Saturday, 6 October 2012


Brown sugar examples: Muscovado (top), dark br...
Brown sugar examples: Muscovado (top), dark brown (left), golden brown (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We were introduced to the taste of sweet from the time we were infants.  Remember Woodward Gripe Water that every mom would give to their babies after bath time?

In the past, Gripe Water contained sucrose and it was used as a remedy for infants who are colic or have other stomach ailments.  

Gripe Water is still being used but nowadays, the manufacturers have replaced the sucrose with a sweetener known as Lycasin which is derived from processing maltose.  

Our bodies have grown accustomed to tasting sweet food during our growing years  We are constantly exposed to  candies, chocolates, cream buns, popcorn smothered with syrup, sweet drinks and the list goes on.  Even our breads and cereals have sugar added for a better taste.   

Sugar makes us crave for more of the same food and by eating more sugar food, we are consuming calories that are harmful to our bodies. The majority sweets and candies uses corn syrup.

Sugar sugar
Sugar sugar (Photo credit: dhammza)

Having a diet that is high in sugars have contributed to the increase of diseases such as obesity, diabetics and heart problems.

Some of you may be thinking of switching to brown sugar or if you already have, lets take a look at the facts about brown sugar.

A myth

Most people think that brown sugar has more nutritional value compared to white sugar as the thought that all brown version of certain foods, such as rice, bread and pasta are more beneficial to health than the white version.

When was brown sugar invented?

Brown sugar was discovered by the Indians in 1883 when they first learnt how to use the juice in sugar cane.  Unrefined brown sugar are called raw sugar and has a small amount of nutrients left.

Sugar In The Raw / Turbinado Sugar
Sugar In The Raw / Turbinado Sugar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is the difference between white and brown sugar?

  • The brownish color in brown sugar is due to the presence of molasses.  Sugar manufacturers will normally bleach the sugar to remove the molasses, turning the sugar white.
  • Brown sugar is produced by adding molasses back to the white sugar.  That is why brown sugar taste a bit different from white sugar due to the molasses.  
  • The taste can be milder in light brown sugar and stronger in darker brown sugar.
  • Brown sugar has a sweeter and richer taste
  • It has a moist and clumpy texture
  • White sugar is dry and grainy

When is white and brown sugar used in food?

Practically every food has white sugar in it and it is used especially in baked food.  However, people who  make baked goods such as cookies and pies usually would substitute white sugar with brown sugar because the flavor is richer and more aromatic.  

The color of the final product may be altered and it will be more moist.  Brown sugar is also a great ingredient for marinating meat dishes.  It can also be sprinkled on desserts.

Both brown and white sugars are added to sweetened beverages that are hot or cold such as coffee, tea and cocoa.

What is the nutritional value of white and brown sugar?

Most of us are of the opinion that brown sugar is a healthier option than white sugar.  Some of you may be surprised to know that brown sugar only have a very narrow difference in terms of it's nutritional values.

  • White sugar comprises of 99% pure sucrose
  • Brown sugar comprises of 97% sucrose, 2% water and 1% other substances
  • A teaspoon of white sugar contains 16 kilo calories
  • A teaspoon of brown sugar contains 17 kilo calories
  • Molasses in brown sugar has minute amounts of minerals that include calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron so they do not actually have any health benefits to our bodies.
  • Both white and brown sugar do not do much to promote our health.

This is a bowl of white sugar.
This is a bowl of white sugar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Final word on sugar

Sugar is still sugar. 

Whether brown or white, it is a matter of choice and your personal preference.  People who like a richer taste, they will pick brown sugar.  Others prefer the plain sweet taste of white sugar.

At the end of the day, when practically all the foods we consume have sugar, the question we should be asking ourselves is, "Are we taking too much hidden sugar?"

My next topic for discussion is, "My Best Dressed Celebrities photos at the 2012 Emmys."

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Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  Until the next post,

Here's To Your Health!

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