Brown Or White Sugar?

On store shelves, you can find so-called brown sugar, which costs much more than regular sugar. Sometimes you hear that it is much healthier than the usual refined sugar, and causes less harm to your body and health. Is this true?

According to experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), the daily sugar intake of the body should not exceed 10 percent of the daily diet. In other words, the daily sugar intake for men is no more than 60 g and no more than 50 g for women.

Therefore, the brown sugar on supermarket shelves is cane sugar.

How to tell the difference between real brown sugar and dyed white sugar

First, look for the word “unrefined” on the package; if the sugar is labeled as “refined brown”, it means that it contains dyes and other additives.

Secondly, the aroma of cane molasses is quite characteristic, and it is easy to distinguish it from the smell of burnt sugar, which is used to color fakes.

Third, natural brown cane sugar is always quite expensive. It is more expensive to produce (in particular, sugar cane must be processed within a day after it is cut), and because it is produced abroad, transportation also costs money.

Buy sugar from producers who have been on the market for a long time. They value their name and monitor the quality of their products.

Which sugar is healthier: white or brown?

Yes, brown sugar is healthier than white sugar, but for a different reason.

In addition to calories, it contains various minerals that are extremely beneficial for the human body. As for the calorie content of brown sugar, it is almost the same as that of white sugar.

Brown sugar, which has a little syrup (and, accordingly, water) left on it, is slightly less sweet, and 1 gram of such sugar contains 0.23 fewer calories. In addition, many people may have noticed that brown sugar becomes harder after a while. This is because the liquid from the small layer of syrup remaining on the sugar evaporates and the crystals stick to each other.

So, brown sugar has more liquid in it. It also absorbs more liquid than white sugar. By the way, you can make brown sugar softer in this way, for example, by placing it in a container with foods that contain a lot of liquid, such as apples, for a while.

And if you make baked goods and add brown sugar to them, it will also take liquid from the dough. This is not very noticeable when you are making bread, but it is visible in the example of cookies.

Cookies made with only white sugar will turn out wide, as if the dough itself was more liquid, while brown sugar cookies will turn out very small. The sugar absorbed the liquid and prevented the dough from spreading. Thus, we can see that the difference between white and brown sugar is not so much in their taste or color, but in the way, they interact with water.

The harm of cane sugar and contraindications

The harm of sugar from cane juice is caused by its high-calorie content. Having become available to the entire population, it began to be used in very large quantities, which caused a large number of diseases and the development of addiction.

With uncontrolled use of it in food, the risk of acquiring diabetes mellitus, cancer, and atherosclerosis increases significantly.

The pancreas may not be able to cope with the processing of a large amount of sweet food, which leads to a long list of problems.

For those with a sweet tooth who still can’t give up desserts, you can replace sugar with other substances:

  • Natural honey.
  • Fruits with high glucose levels (bananas, apricots, apples).
  • Dried fruits (raisins, dried apricots, etc.).
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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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