Have you ever thought of yourself as a victim of health marketing? Marketing that offers an alternative but turns out to be neither healthy nor an alternative at all? Brown or raw sugar is advertised as a healthy sweetener, supposedly having more nutrients than white sugar, which is known to be public enemy number one.

Brown sugar is an irreplaceable part of healthy living now. It is present in posh cafés and healthy food bars around the world. It is considered the better choice, but the truth is that it might be even worse than white sugar.

What is brown sugar?

Brown sugar is simply white refined sugar with molasses added (up to 10%). The added molasses is obtained from sugarcane. Natural, brown, or raw sugar will have a specific color, taste, and smell that will originate from molasses. Molasses is the reason that brown sugar will also be naturally moist and have bigger crystals than its white counterpart; it looks a bit like wet sand. Molasses will also contribute to the content of nutrients, so it could theoretically be considered healthier than white sugar. It has small amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins. However, the amount of nutrients is not enough to call brown sugar a nutritious sweetener. Brown sugar has the same caloric value as white sugar, and a similar glycemic index.

Just a marketing gimmick

There is no scientific proof that supports the claim that brown sugar is better than white, yet it is considered a better option if you need to use a sweetener. It has become so popular in healthy diets and recipes that it almost justifies the need to use sugar. While white sugar deserves its bad publicity, brown sugar still appears a healthy option. The truth is that our perception has been misled by marketing spin doctors, and our over-consumption is constantly justified by false health claims.

No matter if it’s brown, raw, light, or dark in color, it’s still sugar—better to stay away from it!


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