Seeds and Cereals

Health Benefits of Brown Sugar

The brown sugar has a different color from refined sugar. Its flavor recalls that of brown sugar. Although both brown sugar and crystal sugar are extracted from sugar cane, the processes are different.

When compared to other sugars, brown sugar often stands out. In contrast, it is important to note that all types of sugar contain calories, which, in turn, can increase blood glucose.

It should be noted that excessive consumption of sugar can contribute to the development of diabetes, for example. Sugar should be used with caution in food preparation and, in addition, regular physical activity.

BENEFITS OF BROWN SUGAR

Note the benefits of brown sugar below:

1. Assists in the weight loss process;

2. Provides relief from menstrual cramps;

3. Provides more energy to the body;

4. Contributes to the digestive process;

5. Abundant in antioxidant; and

6. Good for the skin.

In parallel, brown sugar has in its composition sucrose, glucose, magnesium, sodium, fructose, among others. Therefore, this food is considered rich in vitamins and minerals.

It is noteworthy that the texture, color and flavor can vary depending on the producer. The stronger the sugar color, the more minerals and vitamins will be present.

BROWN SUGAR PROPERTIES

Note the properties of brown sugar below:

The darker the sugar, the greater the amount of vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, the caloric value remains unchanged. Furthermore, brown sugar is just as harmful to health as white sugar, and people with diabetes should take the same care.

Brown sugar can be brown or golden in color. This is due to the presence of molasses, which has significant amounts of iron, calcium and magnesium.

ADVANTAGES OF BROWN SUGAR

Brown sugar has a more characteristic flavor and a slightly darker color. This is due to the process of cooking and crystallizing sugarcane.

As brown sugar does not go through the refinement process, nutrients such as calcium and iron are retained.

With regard to nutritional values, brown sugar is much more beneficial.

It is important to mention that excess sugar increases triglyceride levels. With that, there is the likelihood of diabetes and clogging of the arteries. Because of this, it is emphasized that sugar should be consumed in moderation and, preferably, that it does not have any additive substances.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BROWN AND REFINED SUGAR

Chewed sugar tends to preserve the characteristics of sugarcane more. As it does not undergo the chemical refinement process, the properties are maintained. Additionally, it does not receive chemical additives.

When brown sugar is produced by hand and/or does not go through the centrifugation or juice purification processes, it tends to have a higher content of impurities and moisture.

It should be noted that, although the levels of nutrients present in brown sugar are low, it has antioxidants. Therefore, cells are protected from free radical attack. Furthermore, brown sugar is more easily assimilated into the blood.

As for white refined sugar, present daily on people’s tables, it is the result of a long chemical process. As it goes through the refinement technique, strong nutrients are purged and chemical additives are added, such as sulfur, at the manufacturing stage.

Follow below some problems that can be triggered by unbridled consumption of sugar:

1. Calcium loss (osteoporosis);

2. Periodontal diseases (gingivitis);

3. Loss of magnesium (infections);

4. Loss of B vitamins (diabetes); and

5. Hyperglycemia.

RECOMMENDED AMOUNT OF BROWN SUGAR

A teaspoon of sugar has 11 calories. Also, it is fat and cholesterol free.

The World Health Organization suggests consuming up to 5% sugar daily. This means that the consumption should be, at most, 25 g of candy per day. To sweeten drinks, for example, this would be around six teaspoons or two tablespoons.

From another perspective, it is essential to pay attention to industrialized and/or homemade foods, such as stuffed cookies and cakes. We must also keep our eyes focused on natural sugars, such as industrialized fruit juices, syrups and honey. Soft drinks can contain up to forty grams of sugar.

The sugars recommended by the Organization are those that are present in fruits and vegetables. Based on the studies, there is no evidence that these foods are harmful to health. Furthermore, studies have shown that both children and adults who consume significant amounts of sugar have tooth decay or obesity.

HOW TO USE BROWN SUGAR

Currently, there are several sugar options available on the market. With this, it became possible to combine foods to lessen the effects they can cause.

In this scenario, it is important to emphasize the amount consumed, as well as the frequency of use of sugar at the table. It is suggested that consumption be balanced, given that a substantial increase can lead to serious health problems.

Considering that brown sugar does not go through the refining process, its quality tends to be much better when compared to refined sugar. In addition, brown has minerals that are not present in the refined version.

In view of the benefits, brown sugar can be used in the preparation of cakes and pies, as well as:

1. Honey cake;

2. Spice cake;

3. Chocolate brownie; and

4. Cookies.

It is worth noting that the replacement of regular sugar for a refined one can make the dessert have a slightly different consistency. That is, it can be creamier and more susceptible to sudden changes in temperature.

With regard to storage, choose to store it in a sealed container, as this practice prevents loss of moisture and solidification.

CAN PEOPLE WITH DIABETES CONSUME BROWN SUGAR?

People who have diabetes can consume brown sugar, however, the amount should be noted. It is important to keep in mind the amount consumed, as well as the caloric value and grams of carbohydrate.

It is worth adding that brown sugar sweetens in the same way as regular sugar. However, it is important to assess the amount of carbohydrate.

Here are some suggestions for better eating:

1. Reduce the amount of sugar when sweetening coffee and juice;

2. Carefully read the product labels;

3. Decrease the consumption of soft drinks and industrialized juices;

4. Add fruit to food; and

5. Prefer food made at home.

BROWN SUGAR MANUFACTURING

The manufacture of brown sugar consists of extracting sugarcane juice. This is because sugar is contained in the vegetable. Once this is done, it must be strained and, later, placed in an iron pot and placed on the fire.

Then stir constantly with a wooden spoon. This practice will prevent it from sticking to the bottom and not hardening either. From then on, you need to be sensitive to notice when the broth will start to become consistent and crystallize. Put into shapes and let dry.

This process results in several types of sugars, such as brown sugar, crystal sugar and organic sugar, for example. Additionally, it is also possible to obtain brown sugar, alcohol and molasses.

Finally, we emphasize that eating sweets occasionally will not cause the individual to become obese. Remember that daily habits transform the quality of life. The important thing is that adequate choices are made and that nutritious heat and calories are increasingly available to everyone. The best suggestion is to balance the consumption of sugars and regular physical activity.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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