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Updated 08 February 2017

Is brown sugar a healthier alternative to white sugar?

It’s a new year and everyone wants to start the year by eating healthier foods. You might believe brown sugar is a healthier alternative to white sugar, but is this actually true?

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If you want a healthier lifestyle, you may need to make changes to your diet. You may choose to eliminate gluten, change to brown instead of white rice, or exchange white sugar for brown sugar. The question, though, is if brown sugar is really healthier than white sugar.

Read: 10 foods with hidden sugar

Sweet truth

Brown sugar is usually more moist and has a distinctly different aroma to that of white sugar. Basically brown sugar is raw sugar cane that has only been refined once. The refining process produces sugar grains that contain about five to 10 percent molasses, which gives it its brown colour.

White sugar is the result of brown sugar being repeatedly refined, removing all of the remaining molasses. This changes the colour, smell and taste of the sugar.

Read: Am I eating too much sugar?

According to the Canadian Sugar Institute, nutritionally white and brown sugars are no different. They explain that "brown sugar is not more nutritious than white". The amount of fibre and nutrients left in brown sugar is so small that it is insignificant.

So whether you choose brown sugar or white sugar doesn't really matter, and brown sugar is not more beneficial to your health. The healthiest option is to lower your sugar intake, regardless whether you prefer white or brown.  

Read more:

Sugar secret - What SA needs to know

Why too much sugar is bad for you

Flavoured water is full of sugar

References:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/12/health/nutrition/12real.html?_r=0
http://www.medicaldaily.com/brown-sugar-vs-white-sugar-health-benefits-facts-and-myths-405965
http://www.sugar.ca/Nutrition-Information-Service/Consumers/Facts-and-Fiction-About-Sugars-and-Health/Nutritional-Value.aspx


 
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