Brown sugar vs. white sugar: which is better for you?

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Maybe you’re not Julia Child or Martha Stewart but you like to use sugar as you cook or to sweeten a drink. Do you think brown sugar is healthier than white sugar? Brown sugar is known as a healthier option. It’s got to be better. The world loves sugar, as in the movie “Willy Wonka” sugar is beloved in America and the globe.

The history of sugar

Both brown and white sugar originated in Asia, primarily India. Emperor Darium of Persia invaded India, and further invasions led to the spread of sugars to Europe. The most notable was when Columbus in 1493, brought sugar cane to the Caribbean. Sugar prospered along islands due to the perfect climate for growth. Sugar has surprisingly taken a long journey to arrive in your kitchen but what is the actual difference between brown sugar and white sugar?

What is the difference between the two sugars?

Color:
• The color in brown sugar comes from molasses being left during the refining process. Commercial brown sugar contains 3.5% molasses making it light brown and 6.5% molasses resulting in a darker brown.
• White Sugar has most of the molasses taken out during the refining process. The result: 99.7% taken out.

Flavor:
• Brown sugar has a unique taste, its less sweet than white sugar. Enriching the flavor when baking goods, giving them a richer taste. This is a result due to the moisture content left during the refining process.
• White sugar has the molasses taken out of it and any impurities. White sugar has a sweeter taste than brown sugar.

Cooking

White and brown sugar can be used differently:
• It is important to use brown sugar in cookies. It will result in a moist, dense cookie.
• Gingerbread cake
• Baked apples
• Apple pie

White sugar will result in airy dough with airier texture:
• Meringues
• Cake

Vegan or not vegan:

• White sugars and some brown sugars may add bone char to their sugars during the refining processing, this method usually used by sugar cane refineries.
• Sugar beets don’t use this process.

Is brown sugar healthier than white sugar?

Brown sugar is higher in some minerals and the same goes for calories. Both are numerically insignificant to even compare.

How to store brown and white sugar

Store brown sugar in the refrigerator in order to preserve the moisture due to the molasses content. Also keep it in an airtight container, so it doesn’t turn hard.
With lighter maintenance, white sugar will stand the test of time. Just keep it in a dry and cool place!

Which should you choose?

The nutritional value is similar. Yes, there are minor differences between white vs brown sugar, but only in flavor, processing, and color. So, if you enjoy sweetness in your tea or coffee or baking goods, it’s just a personal choice.