Which of these sugars is the most nutritious – Raw, brown, or refined?
Before we answer, let’s take a minute to remind ourselves how sugar is produced.
The raw materials utilized are either sugar cane stalks or sugar beet (a root). Sugar cane is pulverized an then mixed with water and lime to create a sticky liquid. The liquid is boiled until the water evaporates and the sugar begins to crystallize. A centrifuge then separates the sugar crystals.
This is raw sugar. It is also called turbinado or demerara sugar. Its crystals are relatively large and have a brownish tinge.
Raw sugar is further processed to create the white sugar that we know. This involves washing, purification, and bleaching using chemical processes. The result is smaller, whiter crystals called refined sugar or table sugar.
Brown sugar is simply refined sugar with molasses mixed in. Molasses are a brownish syrup derived from sugar cane as well.
Many of the brown sugars for sale are nothing more than marketing tricks. Manufacturers add some molasses to the refined sugar and expect us to believe that it is the more natural and healthy form of the sugar. This despite it having gone through a longer manufacturing process.
So which sugar is the most nutritious?
Truth be told, our headline was a trick question. None of the sugars, including raw sugar, should be considered nutritious or healthful food. Sugar is great in dessert preparation and is to be used in moderation, a spoonful here or there.
But best to get your minerals and vitamins from other sources.
What to do at the supermarket:
Don’t bother spending more money for brown sugar’s false health benefits. Spend the money saved on fresh fruit.
Help us test our new food comparison tool: alpha.fooducate.com