What is the difference between white and brown sugar and which one is good for diabetics? We will try to explain this difference in this article.
Although both are essentially more or less the same, there are still prevalent misconceptions concerning both sugars.
For example, even though they’re made from the same source, brown sugar is usually called as the healthier and more natural option between the two.
Because of this, diabetic people are usually encouraged to choose brown sugar over the white variety, since it’s touted to be the healthier alternative. But is there any real difference?
Let’s find out.
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White or Brown?
Because brown and white sugar are produced from either the sugar beet or sugarcane plant, they’re nearly identical nutritionally.
Brown sugar is usually made by adding molasses to refined white sugar, which gives it a darker color and supplies a small number of vitamins and minerals.
Gram for gram, brown sugar is slightly lower in calories and carbs than white sugar.
Brown sugar also contains more calcium, iron, and potassium, although the amounts of these nutrients found in a typical serving are insignificant.
As such, these differences are very minor and unlikely to affect your health.
Compared with brown sugar, white sugar is slightly higher in carbs and calories and slightly lower in nutrients. However, the nutritional differences are negligible.
Both increase blood sugar levels
Brown and white sugar are composed primarily of sucrose or table sugar.
On the glycemic index (GI), which measures to what extent certain foods increase blood sugar levels on a 0–100 scale, sucrose scores 65.
This means that both sugars increase blood sugar levels as much as foods like french fries, sweet potatoes, and popcorn.
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is incredibly important for people with diabetes. Moderating your intake of carb- and sugar-rich foods can support blood sugar control and minimize your long-term risk of diabetes complications.
Read More: Best Foods For Blood Sugar
Should you choose one over the other?
If you have diabetes, brown sugar is no healthier than white sugar.
Keep in mind that any kind of added sugar should be limited as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet. Excess sugar intake is linked to a higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease.
Some research suggests that excess sugar also impairs insulin sensitivity, which refers to how responsive your body is to insulin. This hormone regulates your blood sugar levels.
Damaged insulin sensitivity reduces your ability to transport sugar from your bloodstream to your cells efficiently.
Thus, people with diabetes should be especially careful with sugar intake.
The American Heart Association suggests limiting added sugars to under 6 teaspoons (25 grams, or 100 calories) per day for women and under 9 teaspoons (37.5 grams, or 150 calories) per day for men.
If you have diabetes, curbing your sugar intake as much as possible can improve your blood sugar control while promoting overall health. To develop an appropriate diet plan, consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian.
Conclusion: There is no difference between choosing white and brown sugar. Both have the same nutrient profile and the same effect on blood sugar levels. Everyone should moderate their sugar intake especially people with diabetes and other health conditions.