There is a long-standing debate over the difference between white and brown sugar, and which the healthier option is. Many assume that brown sugar is more natural and therefore the better option, but is this true? Let’s take a closer look.
Sugar is produced from sugar cane or sugar beet. Often to produce brown sugar, companies simply add molasses to refined white sugar to give it a brown colour. Brown sugars differ in colour depending on how much molasses has been added. In their refined form, the sugars are similar in nutritional content. 1 teaspoon of white sugar contains 16 calories, and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar contains 17 calories. The majority of these calories come from carbohydrates in the form of sucrose.
The more significant difference in the types of sugars comes in when you compare raw and refined sugars. Raw, unrefined sugar should not be mistaken for brown sugar that you can buy in supermarkets, even though they are both brown. Unrefined, raw sugar is made from the juice of the sugar cane plant and contains trace minerals and nutrients.
When it comes to choosing sugar, there is no doubt that unrefined raw sugar is the best choice. It contains minerals and nutrients that are stripped from refined white sugar
and regular brown sugar. Raw sugar contains roughly eleven calories per teaspoon and has the same vitamin and mineral consistency that is found in the juice from the sugarcane plant. These minerals include Phosphorus, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, and Potassium. In addition, when sugar is refined and processed there are many harmful ingredients that are added to the sugar as a result. Unrefined raw sugar does not have these harmful chemicals.
It is important to remember that whether brown, white, refined or raw, all types of sugars
contain calories and carbohydrates. It is preferable to get carbohydrates from complex, high fibre sources, such as whole grains and breads, rather than from added sugar. As such, the addition of any types of sugar to food and drinks should be kept to a minimum.