Different Types of Refined Sugar: Does a Healthy One Exist?
Sugar is a substance that everyone has in their kitchen in some ways or another.
I keep hearing from people about their choices with sugar which they think is healthier or has some benefits attached to it.
I am not talking about artificial sweeteners like Splenda or Stevia, That's a topic for another day.
Today's post is strictly about different forms of popular refined sugars which is commonly used around the globe and if a healthier choice among them actually exists.
To determine different types of sugar, First, we must understand the basics and origin of sugar and how exactly it is produced.
How Is it made?
Sugar is primarily made from Sugar cane or Sugar Beet The canes or beet are crushed in machines to extract their juices. The juices are further purified or filtered to remove any impurities and to extract pure sugar from it. The next step involves boiling it to a point where the extracted juice turns into a thick syrup.
Once this step is completed and the syrup is ready, it's further processed in a centrifuge toproduced raw crystallized sugar, which leaves behind a dark brown thick liquid substance known as molasses.
1) Granulated Sugar
This form of sugar is the most commonly used one, which is the typical white refined sugar, which is used by most people in cooking, drinks, desserts, etc.
Nutritional benefits - None, Since this form of sugar, is highly processed and bleached, by the time the end product is produced, it retains few to none of its nutrients from its original source.
This is why refined sugar comes into the bad light in the world of nutrition since it's not associated with any healthy benefits rather quite the contrary.
2) Powdered Sugar
Sugar of this form is also known as confectionary sugar. Powdered sugar is mainly used in the context of desserts, to top it off with a sprinkle or to wrap a particular type of sugar, making it extra sweet.
It is another form of granulated sugar, which is further processed and crushed into a powdered form. It can also be made at home.
Powdered Sugar, comes in various types, such as 10x or 6x. The number denotes the smoothness of the powder. 10x is supposed to be the finest form of powdered sugar.
3) White Rock Sugar
This form of sugar has some ancient ties to it. Its also known as Mishri in India. Its basically a large lump of crystallized sugar, which is less processed compared to granulated sugar and maintains some of its original nutrients.
Its commonly used as a substitute for granulated sugar, for milk, tea, or even as a type of candy for desserts.
Nutritional Benefits: While Rock sugar is indeed less processed, Although the micronutrients in it are quite minimal, hence if you are one of those who use rock sugar as a healthy substitute.
Keep in mind its still sugar, which still had to go throughthe process, even though it's less in comparison to granulated sugar, the difference is not massive. and it doesn'tpossess any stark nutritional value.
4) Brown Sugar
As I mentioned in the beginning, During the final stage of processing sugar, the molasses is removed, giving the sugar its white color and the smooth texture.
There are two types of Brown sugar, Refined and Unrefined.
Refined Brown Sugar
In Refined Brown Sugar, It goes through the same processing as white sugar, Although in the end, the molasses are added back into it. which gives it a light brown color.
Unrefined Brown Sugar
In Unrefined Brown Sugar, the sugar is minimally processed, which allows it to maintain its molasses and its color, in this form of sugar will be darker in its brown color and its texture will also be a little bit stickier than refined brown sugar.
Nutritional Benefits: Since Refined brown sugar, goes through heavy processing like White sugar, it retains none of its nutritional values.
However, with unrefined brown sugar, its minimally processed, It retains some of its vitamins and minerals, such as Magnesium iron and calcium.
Conclusion: Which one is the Healthier Choice?
The answer is None, At the end of the day, Sugar is still Sugar, no matter in which form, Refined sugar undergoes massive processing, This is why junk foods are said to be kept to the minimum.
Remember If whatever you are eating is made inside a factory then it's processed and not real food. we don't eat sugar for its nutritional content, We eat it for the sweetness it provides in different cooking items.
Should you avoid sugarcompletely?
No, But you must keep its consumption in check, Idon'tbelieve in putting a complete restriction on eating anything.
However, like I always say, Moderation is Key. If you overdo your sugar consumption, the effects on our health can be deleterious. it can lead to many types of metabolic diseases.
If you want to eat your cookie or cake, go ahead and eat it. But keep in mind to not overeat, at the same time make sure you take care of your health by, exercising and making healthier choices in your overall daily diet.