Is Brown Sugar Really Healthier Than Refined Sugar?

Brown sugar has been in the market for quite a while now and a lot has been written about it over the years. Many experts have been claiming that brown sugar is healthier than refined sugar. And this myth has been making quite a buzz now. But is it only a myth or is there any truth to that claim? Brown sugar looks more natural because of its brown hue. But all that is golden brown might not always be gold. Let’s dig a little deeper to find out the truth.

The Hue Of Brown And White


Sugar is obtained from sugar cane. The juice extracted from sugar cane is boiled and filtered to obtain chunks of sugar crystals. These raw chunks are then centrifuged to form raw sugar crystals. This sugar has a brown hue due to the presence of molasses in it. It undergoes further processing and granulation to form white refined sugar. This process yields white sugar as it removes all the molasses and its brown hue. Commercially available brown sugar is refined white sugar with added molasses in it. Brown sugar has a more distinct taste. Brown sugar tastes richer than white sugar because of the presence of molasses in it. It is a bit moist and richer in its texture compared to dry and plain white sugar.

Nutritional Anatomy Of Sugar


Comparing nutritional aspect of two ingredients is the only way to figure out whether one ingredient is better than the other. Many people believe that brown sugar is better than white sugar and they prefer brown sugar over white. But the truth is that there is not much difference between the two when it comes to nutrition. White refined sugar is 99.9% sucrose where as brown sugar is 97% sucrose, 2% water and only 1% other things. Thus, it is safe to say that nutritionally there is not much difference between these two types of sugars.

Sugar is known for its calories. And that is the main reason why people avoid having sugar in the first place. So, is there any difference in the calorie count of brown and white sugar? As it turns out, there is a difference. One teaspoon of white sugar contains a total of 16 kilocalories whereas one teaspoon of brown sugar contains around 17 kilocalories. This is a very tiny difference in reality. But the presence of molasses make brown sugar healthier than white sugar as molasses can provide minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. But these minerals are present in very small traces. And it doesn’t provide much benefit to us because of its almost untraceable presence.

You can choose which sugar you want to use depending on what you are preparing. If you are looking for richer texture, then you can opt for brown sugar. And if you are looking for bland sweetness, then you can opt for refined white sugar. The choice lies in your hand. Contrary to popular belief, choosing brown sugar over white is not going to give you any nutritional advantage.

The Healthier Way

Health experts and doctors recommend people to avoid consuming more than 150 kilocalories from added sugar everyday. Sugar is detrimental to our health. And since there is hardly any difference between brown and white sugar, we should try to cut down on both. Cutting down on the amount of sugar we consume is the only way to be healthier. Additionally, we can opt for healthier alternatives for sweetness like honey to meet out sweet cravings. This would really help us to lose weight and cut down our chances of encountering various chronic diseases.

So, make the right choice and cut down on your sugar intake, whether it is brown or white.