White and brown sugar: Are they so different?

The WHO recommends reducing sugar to less than 10% of the total caloric intake and considers that even a reduction below 5% (about five teaspoons) will produce additional health benefits. But is there any difference if you swap to brown sugar instead of white sugar?

Ok, we swap refined sugar for brown sugar, instead of adding three teaspoons of sugar to our coffee, we add two. Is that enough? If we consider the sugar that we consciously add to food and drink and the sugar that we indirectly eat with processed and packaged foods, many would exceed the recommended amounts.

We all eat highly processed foods that are quite rich in sugar. Children are especially among the ones that consume the most, as they usually eat industrial products rich in sugars such as breakfast cereals, yoghurts, cookies, cakes, dairy desserts, ice cream, chocolates and candies.

Children consume industrial products rich in sugars

We have to keep in mind not to exceed the recommended amount of sugar (5 teaspoons for dessert) but we also have to know which type of sugar is healthier.

Brown sugar vs White sugar

Given that white and brown sugar originate from the same plants, it can be said that they are quite similar. However, brown sugar has less processing and refining than white sugar. As a result, it has more nutrients but the same calories. 

The difference is that brown sugar provides Vitamin B, as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. For this reason, it is considered healthier. The most important nutritional difference between the two is that brown sugar has slightly higher calcium, iron, and potassium contents -but the difference is mild.

Brown sugar has less processing and refining than white sugar

It is true that white and brown sugar are subject to refining processes and lose properties. After this process, brown sugar maintains some properties, but they are insignificant for our health.

These sugars (white and brown) provide us with empty calories. They fatten without providing nutrients in the amount needed to be beneficial to our health. In fact, most of the brown sugar sold in supermarkets is simply white sugar with molasses extract.

Reduce sugar intake for a healthier diet

To improve our health, we don’t need to choose between white and brown sugar, we need to reduce the consumption of all types of sugar.

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Peter O Brien

Peter started out his professional life as a restaurant critic but ended up moving to the kitchen, realizing that his passion didn’t only lie in tasting the food, but MAKING it. Follow his delicious recipes, as well as useful articles about the many benefits healthy and delicious food will bring to your life.+ info

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