Is Brown Sugar Healthier Than White Sugar
Brown sugar, filtered molasses, is closer to the natural state of the sugar cane plant. White sugar is actually refined, cleaned, refined again, bleached, filtered, and then packaged for sale. The brown color of brown sugar is the result of an advanced process of refining, filtering, and bleaching out all of the naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, antibodies, enzymes, anti-oxidants, and other healthy components of cane sugar. Why would anyone buy white sugar if brown sugar is considered healthier?.
Cane Sugar Vs Granulated Sugar
Natural cane sugar is made from sugar cane, while conventional white granulated sugar may be made from either cane or sugar beets. Since both plants produce molecules of sucrose that are identical, this is not a significant distinction. Also, the natural tag is a bit of an oversell: Natural cane sugar is only slightly less processed than regular white sugar. That said, it retains a bit of a blond color.
Does Storage Temperature Affect Shelf Life Of Sugar
Brown sugar and powdered sugar last best stored in a cool dry location.
Granulated sugar is not temperature sensitive. Any temperature below 300 is safe. It can be stored in hot or cold areas, including a garage or outbuilding. As long as you have it in tightly sealed container, it can go pretty much anywhere.
You May Like: Does Oat Milk Spike Blood Sugar
How Pure Is White Sugar
Anything that is refined, processed and made into a white powder, such as white sugar, white bread, and white rice is stripped away of its nutrients and fiber. These refined foods pass through the digestive tract almost completely intact and as such, they often make us feel hungry again soon after we eat them. The body relies on fiber to regulate metabolic function. Fiber helps us feel full and satisfied?in other words, the fiber in the food we eat does most of our bodys work for it. Most people have no idea how many calories they are actually consuming on a daily basis. Most of the calories people eat are not actively being burned by their bodies. Most of these calories are being stored as fat..
Is There Refined Sugar That Is Vegan
There are some brands that now make white refined cane sugar without bone char, and instead use granular carbon or an ion-exchange system. Most of these brands will specify that they are free from bone char or are certified vegan.
Another option is to use refined beet sugar. Beet sugar never involves the use of bone char because sugar beet juice is far easier to refine and process compared to cane juice, making it a vegan-friendly option.
Also Check: Can Apple Watch Measure Blood Sugar
Whats The Difference Between Cane Sugar And Beet Sugar
White table sugar comes from either sugarcane or sugar beets and is usually sold without its plant source clearly identified. This is becausechemically speakingthe two products are identical. Refined table sugar is pure, crystallized sucrose, much in the same way that pure salt is simply sodium chloride. Sucrose is found naturally in honey, dates, and sugar maple sap, but it is most concentrated in sugarcane and sugar beets. The refining process renders the original plant irrelevant as the sucrose is completely extracted from the plant that produced it.
However, distinguishing between cane and beet sugar is not completely a marketing ploy and is fairly common on sugars sold in health food stores. In order to make sugarcane crystals pure white, the sugar is usually processed with bone char beet sugar does not require this step. Although the final sugarcane product does not have bone in it, this distinction is important to many vegans and other vegetarians who seek to minimize animal suffering.
Are Animal Ingredients Included In White Sugar
Bone char, which is used to process sugar, is made from the bones of cattle from Afghanistan, Argentina, India, and Pakistan. The bones are sold to traders in Scotland, Egypt, and Brazil who then sell them back to the U.S. sugar industry. The European Union and the USDA heavily regulate the use of bone char. Only countries that are deemed BSE-free can sell the bones of their cattle for this process. Bone charoften referred to as natural carbonis widely used by the sugar industry as a decolorizing filter, which allows the sugar cane to achieve its desirable white color. Other types of filters involve granular carbon or an ion-exchange system rather than bone char.
Bone char is also used in other types of sugar. Brown sugar is created by adding molasses to refined sugar, so companies that use bone char in the production of their regular sugar also use it in the production of their brown sugar. Confectioners sugarrefined sugar mixed with cornstarchmade by these companies also involves the use of bone char. Fructose may, but does not typically, involve a bone-char filter. Supermarket brands of sugar obtain their sugar from several different refineries, making it impossible to know whether it has been filtered with bone char.
It would be virtually impossible for PETA to maintain information on the refining process used for the sugar in every product. We encourage you to contact companies directly to ask about the source of their sugar.
Michigan Sugar Company
Don’t Miss: When’s The Best Time To Check Blood Sugar
How To Recognize It In Stores
Depending on where they come from, traditional brown sugars have different names: muscovado , piloncillo , jaggery , panela , kokuto , rapadura , and rock sugar .
Sucanat and other similar products labeled as “whole cane sugar” are unrefined sugars produced by a patented drying process, which results in a sweetener that does not clump, cake, or harden.
To check if a syrup or molasses is unrefined, look for terms such as traditional, home-style, open kettle, or original.
I invite you to visit my Unrefined Sugars page to explore all sweeteners I found in stores.
Or read this post Unrefined Sugar: 4 Myths and How it Compares with Common Sweeteners
/6what Is Bone Char How Is It Used In Sugar Production
Bone char is also known as natural carbon, which is a product made from the bones of cattle. Bone char has tricalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate and carbon, which is used in several commercial processes as a filter.
To make this bone char, animals bones are powdered and sold to sugar factories, which is further used during the process of making refined sugar. According to PETA’s website, bone char is used in processing and refining of sugar as it works like a crude filter, a porous material which acts as a decolourising filter for sugarcane to get that perfect white colour and fine texture.
You May Like: Why Do Diabetics Crave Sugar
Molasses Helps Do The Trick
So if you find yourself brown sugar-less halfway through a recipe, what do you do? According to The Spruce Eats, it’s pretty simple. The process for transforming white sugar into brown sugar is basically just a matter of adding white sugar’s extracted molasses back into the sugar.
Using a ratio of one cup of sugar to one tablespoon of molasses, all you need to do is mix these ingredients together using a wooden spoon, or more efficiently, a mixer. The sugar will absorb the molasses until it becomes the rich brown of store-bought brown sugar. If you want to make dark brown sugar, you’ll need to increase the molasses to two tablespoons.
Luckily, even if you don’t have molasses in your cabinet, you can still make this DIY brown sugar. Spruce Eats suggests using maple syrup, agave nectar, or buckwheat honey instead, maintaining the same ratio as the molasses recipe calls for. All these substitutions will yield slightly different flavors of sugar, but if you’re up for an experiment , this is the way to go! Who knows, you might even find that you prefer maple syrup sugar.
/6is Sugar Really Vegetarian
Granulated or white sugar comes from the stalks of sugarcane, which makes it vegetarian, but the mixing of this processed sugar with animal bone char to give a perfect white colour changes the entire game, which is why vegans around the world consider refined sugar to be a non-vegan food product. The commercial production in many parts of the world uses animal bone char to make the refined white sugar whiter. Lets find out why it is done and are all types of sugar made with animal bone char?
Recommended Reading: How Much Does Stress Affect Blood Sugar
Break It Down: Where Does Sugar Come From
The sugar we use in commercial bakeries is chemically known as sucrose, a disaccharide of glucose and fructose. These two simple sugars are carbohydrates that naturally form in plants through photosynthesis, which you probably learned about in grade school science .
Glucose is the main energy source for our bodies cells. We hydrolyze sucrose into glucose in order to digest it. Fructose in its natural form think fruit, vegetables, and honey is not bad for you when consumed in moderation. Our liver metabolizes fructose, but it can be overloaded if large quantities are ingested .
Problems arose with the age of industrialization and modern refinement processes. Before the 18th century, sugar was considered a luxury. Only well-to-do folks could afford it because sucrose was difficult to extract from sugar cane and mass produce. With the development of steam and mechanical engineering during the Industrial Revolution, we were able to more effectively extract the sucrose from its natural sources and create a solid form.
Conventional sugar is made from the sugar cane or sugar beet plant. These plants have a high concentration of sucrose, which we can extract and refine into table sugar. Refined sugar can be divided into several categories, but the main three are:
/6is Indian Sugar Refined With Bone Char
As per a report published by animal rights organisation Beauty Without Cruelty, “Sugar derived from sugarcane in most refineries of India is vegan. Filtration and declourisation techniques for cane sugar can involve either bone char, traditional granular / activated carbon , or the use of synthetic ion exchange resins. Manufacturers of cane sugar in India use the latter or sulphur dioxide.”
As per other available reports, the cane sugar that we consume in India, does not involve any non-veg ingredient in its processing, unlike in the US and other countries.
Recommended Reading: How To Eat Sugar Free
Why Is White Sugar Bad For You
White sugar contains high levels of fructose, which can be harmful to health. Sugar can increase the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, impotence, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. It can also damage the liver, pancreas and kidneys. Sugar is not only found in white table sugar, but also in nearly concealed forms, such as corn sweeteners, honey, molasses, maple syrup, candy, fruit juices, etc. Low-fat or fat-free foods are also sources of hidden sugars. Table sugar, on the other hand, is better than high fructose corn syrup, which is often found in processed foods. Table sugar is relatively safe due to its pure form, while high fructose corn syrup is more dangerous. Some studies claim that pure table sugar can also be harmful. However, its impact on the human body is not as severe as HFCS. But still, it is wise to keep your consumption of sugar under control..
Whats The Difference Between White Sugar & Brown Sugar
The sugar section in the grocery store is getting a little bit crazy. There are so many different kinds of sugar and sweeteners available now white sugar, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, raw sugar, molasses, honey, agave nectar.. should I go on? There are all the different brands. My goodness how is a person supposed to choose? It can be tough. So lets stick with the two basics to start with, shall we? White sugar and brown sugar whats the difference? And why does it matter?
Recommended Reading: What Is The Normal Blood Sugar For Pregnant
How Cane Sugar Behaves In Recipes
With such slight differences in the sugars, we werent surprised that sugar cookies made with cane sugar had a slightly deeper color but otherwise were no different from the batch made with conventional granulated sugar.
We had more of an issue with simple syrup. The natural cane sugar produced a liquid with a caramel tint rather than the traditional colorless syrup. While a brown syrup would be fine in iced tea, it might discolor lemonade or a pale cocktail .
We also found natural sugar to be problematic in caramel sauce. The syrup in the pan was brown from the start, which made it hard to detect color changes. Furthermore, the impurities in the natural cane sugar caused foaming , in one case making it impossible to get an accurate temperature reading.
Little Is Wasted In Sugar Processing
Most of the non-sugar materials generated in sugar processing are used for other purposes, recycled or reused.
Molasses, used by feed companies, bakers, distillers and pharmaceutical companies, for animal feed and many more products, is extracted through the beet and cane sugar refining processes. It takes about four rounds of extraction to remove the molasses to obtain the maximum amount of sucrose.
The sugar beet residue, or pulp, is generally used for animal feed or further processed for use as other carbohydrate-based products.
The sugar cane stalk residue, called bagasse, is often used as fuel to run the cane factory. Many sugar cane mills and refineries produce their own electricity, and some even supply power to nearby towns.
In addition, much of the water removed along the way still contains sucrose , so its pumped back into the stations to be used again.
Carbon used in sugar cane filtration is recharged and reused too.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Your Sugar Up
How Is Sugar Cane Grown
Sugar cane is a type of perennial grass, and it needs a warm climate to thrive. As such, its commonly grown in tropical climates like Brazil, as well as in some parts of the U.S., such as Florida, Louisiana and Texas. The American Sugar Refining Group, whose brands include Domino Sugar, is based in southern Florida.
While sugar cane can be grown from a seed, you can actually bury a mature stalk and watch 10 buds sprout up from it. How neat! Mature sugar cane looks similar to bamboo, with jointed stems. Once its fully grown, its then harvested and transported to a sugar mill for processing.
Are Bones Used To Make Sugar
Bones are used extensively in the production of sugar. Bones are actually a rich source of animal calcium phosphate, which is a major ingredient of bone ash. Sugar is a major product of bone ash. Modern sugar companies do not use bone ash directly because it costs a lot, and it is difficult to maintain a high quality level. Therefore, they make bone ash into a very fine powder, and mix it with a series of organic and inorganic chemicals to make a super phosphate fertilizer. Ultra-fine bone ash powder is then used in the ultra sugar filter instead of sugar. Ultra-fine bone ash powder is usually used in sugar industry..
Also Check: Where To Buy Sugar Cane Sticks
Make Your Brown Sugar Darker Or Lighter
This recipe uses just 1 tablespoon of molasses for each cup of white sugar, but you can adjust the amount of molasses depending on whether you want your brown sugar lighter or darker:
- To make dark brown sugar from white sugar, increase the molasses to 2 tablespoons per 1 cup of granulated sugar. Stir with a fork and keep in an airtight container.
- To make dark brown sugar from light brown sugar, add 1 tablespoon of molasses to 1 cup of light brown sugar. Stir with a fork and keep in an airtight container.
How To Soften Brown Sugar
If by chance the brown sugar you bought is hard, or you forget about it in the back of the pantry and it turns into a brick, there are several ways to soften it.
With brown sugar, it gets hard if it gets cold, or if it dries out. To make brown sugar soft again, we add moisture or warmth or both.
If you have time to wait for the sugar to get soft:
Place the sugar in a container. Set a damp paper towel or damp cloth in the container on top of the sugar. Cover tightly and let rest overnight so the sugar absorbs moisture from the towel.
For quicker results, place the sugar in a microwave safe container with a damp towel. Cover and heat in short bursts , mixing between heating to check softness.
Some people add an apple, or a slice of bread, or a damp ceramic disk to add moisture, but using a towel with clean water is simple and doesn’t contaminate your sugar. If you don’t have a microwave, you can sprinkle the sugar with water and heat it gently on the stove top.
Risks And Side Effects
Why is cane sugar unhealthy? Here are some of the reasons that, when eaten in high amounts, sugar is bad for you:
- High sugar consumption can contribute to inflammation and chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, fatty liver disease and even certain types of cancer.
- Because its easy to over-consume and can contributes many empty calories to your diet, it can also lead to weight gain and fat gain, including dangerous visceral fat accumulation.
- It may also contribute to sugar withdrawal symptoms when you stop consuming it, along with other issues like candida overgrowth, tooth decay and mood-related issues.
How many grams of sugar per day should you consume? According to the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should limit added sugar consumption to less than 10 percent of your total daily calories .
On a typical 2,000-calorie diet, this translates to about 50 grams of added sugar per day, which many experts warn is still a relatively high amount.