Sugar, by any other name, is still sugar.

diet-and-nutrition.jpgAs I mentioned in a prior post, I’m reading some books off the “recommended reads” list for the holistic nutritionist course I’m starting in September. I chose to start with Diet & Nutrition, A Holistic Approach by Rudolph Ballentine, MD.

It’s heavy on facts and research, yet written in language that’s easy to understand (mostly).

Have you ever wondered if one kind of sugar is actually better than another? Is it better to use “raw sugar” now found on restaurant tables? Or what’s the deal about “cane sugar”? Its become broadly accepted that cane sugar is a healthier form of sugar than table sugar. Is that correct?

Here’s some facts about the different ways sugars are processed:

  1. White Sugar is highly processed and purified sugar cane. Everything is removed except the sucrose. The current trending term of “cane sugar” has been promoted across social media as a healthier alternative over table sugar, and companies now list it in the ingredients on several products. This is a myth, cane sugar is table sugar.
  2. Molasses is a byproduct of sugar production. It consists of all the left over material remaining when sucrose is removed from the sugar cane juice.
    1. Sweet molasses has some sugar left in it.
    2. Black-strap molasses has less sugar, but a more unpleasant taste.
    3. Molasses contains iron, calcium, zinc, copper, chromium, but also lead, pesticides, and processing substances such as sulfur.
  3. Cane syrup is boiled down cane juice where only the water is removed. It has similar nutrients to molasses, but is less processed. However, due to a shorter shelf life, preservatives are added.
  4. Raw Sugar is solid granules created from evaporating water from sugar cane juice.
  5. Brown Sugar is simply white sugar with molasses poured over it.

It’s all sugar, no matter how it’s processed or marketed or named.

Another interesting fact is people who work in sugar cane fields, often chew on chunks of sugar cane all day long. It has no affect on their blood sugar nor creates cavities in their teeth. It appears that raw unprocessed sugar cane doesn’t have the negative affects on the body. It’s the processing that changes the make up of sugar and the way our bodies absorb it.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. So interesting. Can you buy raw sugar cane somewhere?


    1. Excellent question, thanks MaryLou. I’ll keep my eye out and let you know what I find.


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