Brown sugar: is it as bad as white? Properties and which one to choose

White sugar is a sweetener that tends to be addictive and has numerous negative effects on the body. Many people think that by buying brown sugar they can be safe from any health risks. But is it really so? Is brown sugar as bad as white sugar? Let's be clear.

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White sugar is a sweetener which tends to be addictive and has numerous negative repercussions on the body. So many people think that buying sugar cane can protect themselves from any health risks. But is it really so? Brown sugar does it hurt like the white one? We make clarity.

Say sugar cane it gives us the feeling of talking about a healthier and more natural product and this would also be confirmed by the darker and caramelized color that makes us believe we are dealing with an unrefined sugar. Unfortunately it comes to one of the many false food myths.

Now even at the bar we find the sachets of cane sugar, a great commercial idea designed for the growing public of consumers attentive to their health. What we commonly use and prefer as "healthier and more natural" is actually not only full-fledged sugar but also an equally refined product. Let's find out better what it is.




Just as in the case of white sugar, cane sugar is also a product subjected to industrial processing which whiten it, make the grains homogeneous and pleasing to the eye and adapt their taste to the needs of consumers. A slight difference that distinguishes it from the white one is that, in addition to sucrose, there is a small percentage of molasses (the most nutrient-rich part of sugar cane, considered instead the waste in the production of the sweetener) which gives it a more flavor. characteristic.

And that slightly amber color and what makes it so exotic where does it come from? Most of the time the producers add, to make it more decisive, a caramel-colored dye (code E150). It is therefore easy to understand that this sugar is the same if not worse than the white one.

Brown sugar: is it as bad as white? Properties and which one to choose


There is basically not a big difference even in terms of properties and effects on the body between white sugar and cane sugar (also sucrose). Calories, glycemic index and impact on the body are equivalent.


At the supermarket we find 3 types of sugar:

  •  White sugar
  • Sugar cane
  • Whole cane sugar

Undoubtedly, if we choose to consume sugar it would be good to orient ourselves on sugar cane wholemeal preferably organic and fair trade. However, it is always sugar but in this case at least it is not a refined product and therefore the nutritional properties of the original food remain intact.


They are present in whole cane sugar enzymes, B vitamins, minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium even if it must be said that you would have to consume a lot of them to take advantage of the advantages of these substances and at that point the damage of an exaggerated use would probably be greater.

Another small advantage that brown sugar offers over the other variants is to provide about 100 calories less than the others for every 100 grams of product.

In summary, brown cane sugar offers:

  • enzymes
  • Vitamins (especially of group B)
  • Minerals such as potassium, calcium, zinc and magnesium
  • It is a little less caloric
Brown sugar: is it as bad as white? Properties and which one to choose

But how to recognize real brown sugar?

Meanwhile on the label there must be the wording "whole cane sugar" and also visually you can notice the differences: the color is darker (bruno), i grains are larger, of uneven shapes and sugar also tends to be stickier and wetter as well as dissolve much slower. The flavor is also not that of traditional cane sugar but much more intense (vaguely reminiscent of licorice) e less sweet.

There is always the possibility then of choose natural sweeteners which have less impact on the body's metabolism and lower glycemic index. We have introduced you to some of them in this article.

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