White granulated sugar can be made from sugar cane or sugar beets. The origin has no effect on the appearance or nutritional values. Brown sugar can only be made from sugar cane. Many people consider it to be healthier – but is this really the case?
The difference between brown and white sugar
The confusion often begins with the question as to which term refers to brown sugar. The terms "raw cane sugar" and "cane sugar" are often confused. "Raw cane sugar" (brown sugar) and "cane sugar" (white sugar) are both made from sugar cane. Whether the sugar is brown or white depends on the way in which it is purified. In the case of brown sugar, the final crystallization and purification process is stopped prematurely.
Brown or white sugar: which is healthier?
Brown sugar has only minor health benefits compared with white sugar. It contains traces of vitamins and minerals. The calorie content and its effects on blood sugar levels are also almost identical. Raw cane sugar does contain certain amounts of antioxidants – but even with a teaspoon of brown sugar in a cup of tea, these are not significant from a health perspective.
To sum up: brown sugar is not healthier than white sugar. Here, too, less is more!