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Question
Posted by: Emma | 2010/08/19

White sugar, brown sugar

Dear Doc,
What is the difference between white sugar and brown sugar? Do they have the same health properties and energy value?

Can one cook with brown sugar (ie. replace the white sugar in recipes)?

We don''t use a lot of sugar at home (none in or over meals or breakfast cereals/porridge) - only one spoon of sugar in tea/coffee (about 3 cups a day).

I''ve started using brown sugar simply because of the " rumour"  that brown is healthier, but I don''t really know if this is true.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Emma
There is very little difference between white and brown sugar as regards nutrient composition. Both types of sugar have approx. the same energy content, namely brown sugar 1561 kJ and white sugar 1612 kJ per 100g. Brown sugar contains a small amount of calcium and iron, but if you only use 3 t per day (15g) this will not really contribute to your calcium or iron intakes. You can experiment with using brown sugar in recipes, but keep in mind that the taste will be slightly different.
Enjoy
DietDoc

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Flewzie | 2010/08/21

Yea, and remember this, too: not all brown sugar is actually brown sugar - make sure the kind you choose is not ''caramelised'' - ie, white sugar which has been coated with a thin layer of caramelised sugar to make it look brown. This may actually cause harm, because there are questions around burnt sugar being a carcinogen.

If you''re not sure, try this: fill a glass with water, drop in a spoonful of the sugar, wait a few moments, and then gently ''shake'' the glass from side to side, and watch. The caramelised type of sugar will end up white in a very short time, when the thin layer washes off. True brown sugar will remain brown.

Reply to Flewzie
Posted by: DietDoc | 2010/08/19

Dear Emma
There is very little difference between white and brown sugar as regards nutrient composition. Both types of sugar have approx. the same energy content, namely brown sugar 1561 kJ and white sugar 1612 kJ per 100g. Brown sugar contains a small amount of calcium and iron, but if you only use 3 t per day (15g) this will not really contribute to your calcium or iron intakes. You can experiment with using brown sugar in recipes, but keep in mind that the taste will be slightly different.
Enjoy
DietDoc

Reply to DietDoc

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