Brown and white sugar are the most common varieties of sugar. While they are produced differently, resulting in distinct tastes, colors, and culinary uses.
White sugar vs Brown sugar
Contrary to common belief, they are nutritionally similar. Brown sugar contains slightly more minerals than white sugar but will not provide any health benefits.
Basically, brown sugar is white sugar with molasses and it goes through lesser chemical processing as compared to white sugar, allowing it to retain some of its molasses content and natural brown color. Molasses are responsible for its darker color and slightly increases its nutritional value.
Furthermore, sulphur is very commonly used to remove impurities from white sugar, and as a result, a small amount of sulphur is still present in sugar, which is very hazardous for health.
While both the variants of sugar differ greatly in taste, it is the presence of molasses that gives its colour. Brown sugar has minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. White sugar, on the other hand, is deprived of all these minerals, making the brown variant a slightly healthier alternative for day to day use.
Brown sugar also contains slightly fewer calories than white sugar, yet the difference is minimal. One teaspoon of brown sugar provides 15 calories, while the same amount of white sugar has 16.3 calories. Apart from these minor differences, they are nutritionally similar. Their main differences are their taste and color.
Ultimately, the whole debate of brown sugar being healthier than white sugar is just a marketing gimmick because you are consuming the same amount of calories even if you are replacing white sugar with brown.
Importantly, sugar is thought to be a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic and major cause of diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Keep in mind that it’s recommended to limit your intake of sugar, as eating too much may harm your health. In fact, your intake of all types of sugar should be limited for optimal health.