You probably already know that too much sugar is not good for your health. Many experts have advised that we should limit our sugar intake. They would even say that we should cut it out completely from our diet if possible. Anyways, there are different types of sugar on the market these days.
There is white sugar and there is brown sugar. Even brown sugar has two varieties. There is the light brown variety and there is the dark brown variety. How do these types of sugar differ from one another? How many calories in dark brown sugar? Is it a healthier option? What is its nutritional value?
Aside from the countless types of sugars out there, there are many sugar alternatives people claim are healthier. Is dark brown sugar healthier than white sugar? What even makes it different from white sugar? The simple difference is that brown sugar is a mixture of molasses and white sugar.
And then, dark brown sugar contains more molasses than light brown sugar. Is this difference enough to impact the calorie content of dark brown sugar? Is it enough to give it more nutritional value? And does it make it any healthier and less risky than white sugar? This article will provide answers to many of your questions.
What You Should Know About Dark Brown Sugar
The earliest humans did not use sugar in their meals. They used sweetener too, but that was mostly honey. Honey was readily available and they made use of it in their meals.
Where then did sugar come from? How did we start consuming a lot of sugar? How did we get to this point where we can hardly do without sugar?
Sugar is a product mostly made from sugar cane. The sugar is a plant that was originally native to New Guinea. From there, it made its way into the Middle East and Asian countries around the BC 400s BC.
All through the ages, people knew that sugar cane was sweet. But we did not start exploiting its sugar content until sometimes later.
By the Medieval Periods, sugar had gained entrance into Europe. But it was a very rare commodity and it was quite expensive too. It took as long as the 1900s before sugar refinement was industrialized, making it cheaper for the common man to afford.
As soon as white sugar refinement kicked off, the industry quickly gained popularity. They began to label unrefined sugar (brown sugar) as unhygienic and unhealthy.
As of today, brown sugar is no longer widely used except for baking. Brown sugar contains molasses, which adds flavor and coloring to foods. Dark brown sugar has 6.5 percent content of molasses while light brown sugar only has 3.5 percent content.
The biggest difference between brown sugar and white sugar is perhaps the taste and flavor. The more the molasses, the more intense the taste and flavor becomes. So, dark brown sugar has a more intense taste and flavor than light brown sugar.
What is peculiar about the taste and flavor of dark brown sugar? It is similar to that of caramel but it is quite stronger. It also adds some undertone of toffee with an acid-like and bitter aftertaste. No doubt, dark brown sugar has a very deep flavor profile.
Calories in Dark Brown Sugar
White sugar contains only sucrose. Sucrose is a combination of fructose and glucose. These compounds have a lot of calorie content and are also known to increase the risk of diabetes (type II).
Brown sugar, on the other hand, contains both sucrose and molasses. However, most of its content is sucrose. Only 6.5 percent of dark brown sugar is made up of molasses.
The main component of both regular sugar and dark brown sugar is sucrose. Both sugars contain sucrose on large amounts. As such, they both have more or less the same calorie content.
Remember that both molasses and sucrose are crabs. So it means both regular sugar and dark brown sugar are total carbs. Nothing but carbs!
Experts have told us that you will get 4 calories from each gram of carbs that you consume. One teaspoon of both white and dark brown sugar contains 4 grams of net carbs. This means you will get about 16 calories from each teaspoon of either sugar.
What does this imply? Dark brown sugar is no better than white sugar in terms of calorie content. They are more or less the same.
Dark brown sugar is not healthier than regular sugar going by their calorie contents. The same is true for light brown sugar. You should consume all types of sugar sparingly.
Substituting dark brown sugar in place of white sugar will not in any way help you to cut your calorie intake. You will not lose weight simply because you are using dark brown sugar in place of white sugar.
More so, dark brown sugar has the same impact on your blood sugars as white sugar. Their glycemic index (GI) response is similar. Both types of sugar are equally sweet and can also increase cravings if you are not careful with them.
Nutritional Value of Dark Brown Sugar
Well, there is an advantage that dark brown sugars have over their regular white counterparts. The molasses in brown sugar contains a few nutrients. Those nutrients are absent in white sugar.
We can say that dark brown sugar may be slightly healthier than white sugar because of these nutrients. However, the nutrients are so small that you would have to consume a lot of dark brown sugar to meet your daily requirements.
You may not get your daily requirements of these nutrients from dark brown sugar. But then, they contribute, even if it is in a small way.
The nutritional value of dark brown sugar is as follows:
You will find mineral traces in dark brown sugar. Examples of such minerals include iron, potassium, and calcium. These are absent in regular white sugar that has been refined.
Potassium functions as an electrolyte in your body. It helps in the conduction of electric impulses. These impulses are necessary for the proper function of all the muscles in your body, including your heart muscles.
Calcium helps to strengthen your bones and teeth. And then, iron is a crucial part of the compound, hemoglobin. Hemoglobin in your red blood cells helps to carry oxygen to the different parts of your body.
Vitamin B Complex
Molasses have some B vitamins in them too. So, dark brown sugars have vitamin B in them as well. The roles of B vitamins are many. They help to convert your food to fuel that produces energy in your body. They also help to maintain healthy hair and skin.
What’s more, B vitamins are important for the brain and cognitive health. They are very helpful in fighting dementia.
Don’t forget that these nutrients are only present in trace (little) amounts. At the end of the day, the nutritional value of brown sugar is not so different from white sugar. Even the calories in dark brown sugar are just the same as that of white sugar.