Written by Aradhita Saraf (Weloquent)
Brown sugar is the best.
All sugar is bad.
Sucrose is an important part of a balanced diet.
The rumours about sugar are as many as there are types of sugar. Sugar steals the limelight in any conversation about changing diets, being healthier, regulating food habits, etc. Sweets are renowned for making our souls happy and yet mysteriously our bodies unhappy.
However, contrary to popular belief, the first step to being healthy is not to eliminate all sweet dishes from your diet, but instead to find healthier alternatives to highly processed sugar. What causes chaos in our bodies on consumption, is not the sugar itself, but the several harmful chemical processes the sugar undergoes before it is mass-packaged and sold to us.
Amongst the healthier alternatives to sugar, what we hear most talk about is, “raw sugar” and “brown sugar,” and hence we decided to explore the differences between them and answer the important question of - “which is healthier - brown or raw sugar?” Let’s find out through the following components:-
Brown sugar is formed when white refined sugar crystals are mixed with molasses (black treacle.) The amount of molasses mixed in the sugar can be determined by the colour of the brown sugar
For instance, the lighter ones normally contain 3.5 % molasses, whereas the darker brown ones may have up to 6.5 % molasses. The softer texture and sweeter taste of brown sugar can be attributed to the addition of molasses in the sugar.
As the name suggests, raw sugar is the opposite of refined sugar. Made from evaporated cane juice, raw sugar is made by boiling the sap of sugar cane plants. It retains most of its natural molasses content and is purified before it is packaged. Overall it barely undergoes any chemical processing when compared to its other counterparts.
As demonstrated in this video, on adding spoonfuls of brown sugar and raw sugar in different glasses of water respectively, we found that the water with the brown sugar turns a muddy brown (due to the added content of molasses,) whereas, the water with raw sugar retains its original colour while the sugar dissolves in it. This quick experiment is a good way to check whether your sugar is natural or contains additives.
Due to the increased content of molasses in brown sugar, it does contain certain minerals such as magnesium, and calcium, however these minerals are present in extremely miniscule quantities - making them as good as non-existent.
Raw sugar on the other hand is healthier than all other forms of processed sugar including brown sugar. Since it does not go through several chemical treatments, it retains its natural properties and contains traces of minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, and iron.
Taste and Flavour
If you scoop out some granules of brown sugar and taste it raw, you will find a notable difference from what white processed sugar tastes like. Brown sugar leaves a toffee-taste in your tongue, and has a warm caramel flavour to start with. Hence, it is very often used as a sweetener in most desserts. Many also often find brown sugar to be too sweet to their liking.
Raw sugar has a richer flavour than the traditional processed white sugar. Since it is closest to the most natural form of sugar one can consume, it is stickier and coarser to touch than all other forms of sugar - including brown sugar. It’s large crystals make it a preferred ingredient in hot beverages like tea and coffee, and its natural sweetness makes it a key ingredient in healthy homemade pancakes and cakes.
Since raw sugar is the healthiest, tastiest, and most flavourful form of sugar, we decided to scour the most natural raw sugar available in the country, in hopes of adding healthy sweetness to your life. Grab your bag of golden goodness from the Conscious Food website, today!