Which Type Of Sugar Is Better For You?

Sugar is an inevitable ingredient in all things sweet and addictive.
Text by Corina Tan

The festive season is here, and this usually means an abundance of good food, cakes, cookies, treats and various types of desserts. Christmas time is usually a joyous occasion because of the way food is decorated and served. With fancy gingerbread men, log-shaped cakes, yuletide-themed cookies and more, they are all difficult to resist because they appear so inviting. Let’s find out which type of sugar is better for you.

Why is sugar so addictive?

A key aspect of what makes these sort of treats tasty and appealing is sugar. Sugar is an inevitable ingredient in all things sweet and addictive. While some sugar replacements claim to provide the sweetness without the calories and ill-effects of actual sugar. They come with their own cause for concern too. Still, most candies, cakes and cookies still use sugar in their basic recipe. So we need to ask ourselves how we determine how much we can consume and what kind of sugar is best for us, especially if we are unable to avoid it completely.

Brown Sugar vs White Sugar

Most people are aware that there are two types of sugar – white sugar and brown sugar, and they may assume that brown sugar is evidently the better choice. However, there are actually two types of brown sugar! Natural brown sugar maintains the natural cane juice, while refinery brown sugar is white sugar coated with a thin film of syrup or molasses. All have different percentages of sucrose, glucose, fructose, minerals, and water. Their flavours and textures may be slightly different. Generally, the darker the sugar, the stronger the flavour. But they’re all practically the same when it comes to how they affect your health.

According to registered dietitian Alida Lacobellis, MHSc, “When it comes to comparing white and brown sugar, the two are almost identical nutrition-wise. White sugar is slightly more processed seeing as it has the molasses completely stripped out of it, whereas brown sugar is the result of stopping the production process a bit early while a tiny amount of molasses remains. What you end up with is a deeper flavour and colour with brown sugar.”

The daily recommended intake of sugar

Less processing means brown sugar does contain trace amounts of minerals like calcium and potassium whereas white sugar is pure sucrose with no vitamins or minerals. The natural juice retained in natural brown sugar also means it’s more flavourful, allowing you to maybe use less. Yet this still does not mean you should be bulking up on brown sugar. The recommendation according to U.S. Dietary Guidelines is to consume no more than 50 grams of sugar a day, no matter what kind you use.

This may be a tough thing to do during special occasions and festive seasons like Christmas, but it is something to keep in mind when selecting what you eat and how frequently you indulge. Food isn’t the only way to thoroughly enjoy and take in what a joyful season has to offer. Sometimes just the chance to gather together and reunite with loved ones is enough to make a celebration special.

Read more: Michelle Chai, Kintry- ‘Seriously Sedap dan Sihat’ snacks.’

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Images: Getty

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