Brown Sugar Vs White Sugar: Which Is Healthier?
Brown Sugar Vs White Sugar: Choosing the right type of sugar can play an important part in improving your health, since the different sugar-types have certain unique qualities in them.
There is no denying that the consumption of sugar has significantly increased throughout the years, which brings us to our topic of finding a healthier choice between brown and white sugar. Though it is often stated that brown sugar is healthier than white sugar, but it won’t hurt anyone if we take a closer look at this statement. Let us start by knowing what is sugar? And what are the different types of sugar?
What Is Sugar? How Does Sugar Affect Your Health?
Sugar is a soluble carbohydrate which is quite sweet in taste. An average person can consume about 24 kilograms of sugar per year, in other terms, this is equivalent to 260 food calories per day. This sweet-soluble carbohydrate is found in plant tissues; however sucrose, a particular disaccharide form of sugar (which is also commonly referred to as table sugar), is exceptionally concentrated in sugarcane or sugar beet, thus making it ideal for commercial purpose.
Since sugar plays such an important role in our lives, it is thus important for us to know the ill-effects that can be the result of a high blood sugar level. Some of its adverse effects include diabetes, unhealthy weight gain or obesity, poor heart health, dementia, and tooth decay.
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Sugar not only functions as a sweetener for food, in fact, it is also used for the caramelization, or the browning of the food while cooking. This process takes place when heat is used to break down the sugar crystals. This and creates a rather nutty flavor alongside a golden hue.
There are four different forms of table sugar, namely white, unrefined, unprocessed cane sugar, and brown. But since we are focusing on the two most popular sugar-types consumed across the world, which are white sugar and brown sugar, those are the two which will remain as the central topic for this piece.
Sugar, white or brown, when taken in large quantities, or taken by someone who may already be predisposed to an illness such as diabetes can only add to your worries. Merely switching from white sugar to brown sugar is not the solution for everything.
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What Is White Sugar?
White sugar is the most popular form of sugar that is consumed across the world. Apart from that, it is widely available and mass-produced in order to meet consumer demand. Manufactured by refining sugar and removing the molasses, there are certain minerals such as calcium, potassium, and iron, which are normally found in molasses, which are removed from white sugar.
White sugar is also present in different varieties such as granulated sugar, caster sugar or superfine sugar, powdered sugar, and sugar cubes.
What Is Brown Sugar?
Brown sugar, unlike white sugar crystals, is completely unrefined and contains molasses, which in turn give it its brown color. Brown sugar crystals, as compared to white sugar, are small and more densely packed with nutrients as per volume. It is also considered to be a raw form of sugar as it does not undergo processing, thus retaining the mineral content thanks to the water-retention property of molasses.
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Due to its water-absorption property, it is important for you to keep brown sugar in a sealed storage unit, as it might increase its shelf live infinitely.
How Is Brown Sugar Different From White Sugar?
The difference between brown sugar and white sugar is due to the presence of molasses in brown sugar crystals and its absence in white sugar crystals. Molasses, being rich in minerals like potassium and iron, provide brown sugar with the required amount of minerals, adding further to its nutritional value.
The densely packed brown sugar crystals, unlike white sugar, contain more calories and minerals per unit volume. So, it is highly advised to avoid any one of these sugar forms if you are suffering from diabetes.
Which is Healthier: Brown Sugar or White Sugar?
Due to its mineral content, it is safe to say that brown sugar has an upper hand over white sugar if we are taking their benefits into account. The mineral content present in brown sugar is known to have dilating effects and thus reduces the severity of the side-effects caused by the excess of salt in your bloodstream. Salt, when present in high quantity can make it hard for the excess water to escape from our cells, thus increasing your blood pressure. However, the presence of minerals like potassium balances out the sodium in salt and makes it easier for the excess water to make it to the bladder, significantly lowering the blood pressure, which also gives brown sugar an ability to promote cardiovascular health. But this is true only, and only when brown sugar is taken in controlled quantities, by someone who has an active lifestyle.
Apart from its mineral content, the other thing that helps the case of brown sugar is its raw nature. After the refining process, when the white sugar crystals are manufactured, they are filled with carbohydrates, which could further add up to the fat in your body.
In conclusion, sugar is an ingredient that is supposed to be consumed in a regulated manner no matter in what form it is consumed, a higher quantity of glucose in your body can cause adverse effects such as insomnia and weight gain. So, no matter which sugar you choose to add to satisfy your sweet tooth, make sure that your consumption is in a limit.