Is brown sugar better than white sugar?

is brown sugar better than white sugar

In order to take better care of our health, many of us have switched to healthy alternatives of the food items which we use to have earlier. For example, we started switching to low fat milk or yogurt, sugar free sweets, diet soft drinks, whole meal breads, brown rice, brown sugar etc. But the healthy alternatives we moved, are they all truly beneficial? This may or may not be true.

Let’s talk about brown sugar. It has been advertised that brown sugar is healthier than the normal white sugar. Is it really true? I guess not. Brown sugar is most often ordinary table sugar that is turned brown by the reintroduction of molasses. Brown sugar contains up to 10% molasses, which are usually derived from sugar cane.

Mixing white sugar crystals with various amounts of molasses results in a soft, lumpy product called brown sugar.

How brown sugar is produced?

Brown sugar used to be sugar that hadn’t been fully refined, it was coarse “raw” sugar. But now brown sugar is usually produced by adding cane molasses to refined white sugar crystals. Sugar beet molasses are also occasionally used.

White sugar crystals are manufactured from either sugarcane or sugar beet. It is refined by immersion into a concentrated syrup. The crystals are then separated from the liquid and dissolved in water. Color is removed using a granular activated carbon or an ion-exchange resin, and the mixture is boiled and then cooled, spun in a centrifuge and then dried in hot air.

Nutrition Value

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, brown sugar contains about 17 kilocalories per teaspoon, compared with 16 kilocalories per teaspoon for white sugar.

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Brown sugar varies from the normal sugar in its appearance, a molasses flavor and slightly more minerals due to the addition of molasses. Brown sugar contains a small amount of calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium but the amounts are too small to have any real health benefit.  According to,  The New York Times, a 1-teaspoon serving of brown sugar supplies just 0.02 milligrams of iron, for example — a miniscule amount of the daily 8 milligram requirement for men and 18 milligrams for women of childbearing age.


Brown SugarWhite Sugar 
ContainsWhite sugar crystals; molassesWhite sugar crystals
Calories per 100g377387
TasteSlightly less sweetSweeter and rich
TextureMoist, clumpyDry, grainy
Calories per teaspoon17 kcal16 kcal
Types of included sugarsSucroseSucrose


So, it can be concluded that brown sugar and white sugar are not that different nutritionally.

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