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Is Brown Sugar Better than White?

The war declared to the sugar causes that many opt for its alternative brown, in theory healthier (and therefore, more expensive). A nutritional myth that we dismantle here.

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The war declared to the sugar causes that many opt for its alternative brown, in theory healthier (and therefore, more expensive). A nutritional myth that we dismantle here.

That society is more aware of what it consumes and worries more about its health, is positive. Or it should be, since there are always those who take advantage of these trends to make fashionable new or traditional products that did not have much demand, with the excuse that they are healthy.

When people are favorable to something, they are more likely to believe that which reinforces their arguments. This is what happened with “detox” juices or brown sugar. The latter has become almost without realizing in the “less bad” alternative of the increasingly maligned white sugar, which has increased its consumption.

But, to what extent is this so? The “official” theory (what we have always been sold) is that white sugar is more artificial than brown, because chemical substances such as calcium sulfate, sulfuric acid or carbon dioxide are used to obtain it.

These components, as they explain in the food science and technology blog Gominolas de petróleo, are used to purify the sugar extracted from beet, and then they are eliminated so that their presence in the final product is negligible.

Brown sugar, on the other hand, has (in theory) a series of vitamins, minerals and fibers that its white brother lacks, so it would be healthier. However, as they explain from the OCU, they are in such small amounts from a nutritional point of view, that they do not justify that good reputation and much less the price difference that we pay for it.

The process by which brown sugar is obtained is very similar to that of white sugar: sugar, whatever the type, is basically made up of sucrose, which is obtained from sugar cane or sugar beet. Once extracted and crystallized, to obtain the tan it is mixed with molasses cane or honey to “tintarlo”.

There is another process to obtain it, although very similar, that simply does not eliminate cane molasses (this is known as brown sugar). In both procedures the same white sugar chemistries are used to remove impurities.

Therefore, we can not consider brown sugar to be healthier than white sugar. Where there are obvious differences is in the taste, smell and price. The OCU reminds us that white sugar is the cheapest and brown sugar is the most expensive (because they sell it to us as more natural, although we have already seen that this is not the case).

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