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Sugar – White or Brown?

written by Vidya Sury September 17, 2010

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Brown sugar is better for you than white sugar.

True or False?

False. Most types of brown sugar are simply refined white sugar with a bit of molasses added in. This is pretty ironic, because molasses is actually removed during the refining process.

The fact that molasses contributes a healthier-seeming color to white sugar is secondary to its real purpose, which is to modify the white stuff’s taste and baking properties. As for boosting nutritional value, while it’s true that molasses does contain certain valuable minerals, the amount that ends up in brown sugar is negligible.

Strangely enough, when it comes to natural sweeteners, the only one that does contain appreciable amounts of nutrients is molasses. Blackstrap molasses in particular is a nutritional powerhouse. One tablespoon contains 177 milligrams calcium, 3.6 grams iron, and 510 milligrams potassium. Problem is, the stuff tastes pretty nasty and would definitely not be a good sugar alternative in your morning coffee.

Bottom line, minimize all sweeteners, including sugar (white and brown), molasses, and even honey.

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Vidya Sury

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