Brown Sugar for Diabetes
Brown sugar has a similar impact to white sugar on your blood sugar levels.

Although the two have similar histories, for some reason, people tend to believe that brown sugar is healthier. Even though the distinctions between them are minimal, people with diabetes should be aware of them.

The sugarcane plant or the sugar beet are the sources of both brown and white sugar. Molasses is added to brown sugar to give it color. However, nutritionally, they are almost equal before the addition.

  • Brown sugar has fewer calories and carbohydrates per unit of weight.
  • Brown sugar contains traces of more potassium, iron, and calcium than white sugar because of the molasses.
  • The usual serving sizes for both are quite similar.

Both components serve various purposes as additives because they have unique tastes and physical characteristics. These variances are unlikely to impact your health if you are generally healthy.

Bottom line

Is brown sugar superior to white sugar? No.

Can sugar cause diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a multifactorial disease. The chief cause of diabetes is resistance to insulin (type I) or the absence of insulin. Sugar causes cellular glucotoxicity and insulin resistance by triggering low-level inflammation in the body. Furthermore, insulin spikes lead to beta cell exhaustion.

Sugar intake can cause diabetes mellitus by damaging beta cells. These damaged beta cells continue to cause hyperinsulinemia, causing further problems with glucose metabolism and resulting in a vicious cycle.

It is simple to consume large amounts of sugar because it dissolves in snacks and beverages. This causes weight gain, which raises your risk of developing type II diabetes.

How is sugar processed?

Both brown sugar and white sugar go through a similar initial manufacturing process.

  • After being juiced, the sugarcane is subsequently boiled to create molasses, a viscous syrup that finally crystallizes.
  • The crystallized sugar is then centrifuged to create the raw sugar crystals.
  • Brown and white sugar go through various manufacturing processes in the last stage.
  • The surplus molasses is then removed during additional processing to produce smaller crystals of white sugar. When making brown sugar, different proportions of molasses are mixed with refined white sugar.

What are the nutritional facts about brown and white sugar?

Brown sugar has only 0.25 fewer calories than white sugar. Brown and white sugar have 20 calories per teaspoon (five grams).

Brown sugar is equally high in carbs as white sugar. Brown sugar does, however, include traces of minerals, such as:

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin B6

White sugar only has empty calories. So, their nutritional profiles are roughly comparable.

SLIDESHOW

Diabetes: What Raises and Lowers Your Blood Sugar Level? See Slideshow

3 health benefits of white sugar

  1. Gives you a massive energy boost: White sugar is a form of carbohydrate and a micronutrient that gives the body energy. The body converts sugar into glucose, which is easily converted into energy and used for a variety of bodily tasks.
  2. Enhance brain activity: The brain runs on glucose for energy. Thinking, learning, and memory occur in the brain. The brain is the part of the body that demands the most energy and needs a steady supply of glucose, which white sugar may provide. White sugar can enhance brain function when consumed in moderation.
  3. Improve mood: Sugar has a psychologically positive effect on people. Sugar stimulates the brain's pleasure center and results in a dopamine rush. This immediately improves your mood.

What are the drawbacks of white sugar?

The drawbacks of white sugar include:

  • Increases the likelihood of heart disease: Consuming excess white sugar raises low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol levels. This builds up, clings to the walls of arteries, and narrows them. A heart attack or stroke may result from this.
  • Obesity: White sugar is loaded with empty calories. A diet high in added sugar contains a lot of fructose, which makes people feel hungry more frequently. Overindulging in fructose results in resistance to leptin, which controls hunger and promotes obesity.
  • Hormonal imbalance: Consuming too much sugar can raise your body's blood glucose levels and cause your pancreas to release more insulin. The ovaries are affected by excessive insulin synthesis, which increases the production of androgen hormones, such as testosterone. Sugar can mess with the body's hormones.
  • Sleeplessness: Sugar has a reputation for lowering sleep quality. A typical adult needs six to seven hours of deep sleep per night to function well. The body needs adequate sleep to recover physically, and sugar prevents this from happening.

2 health benefits of brown sugar

  1. Reduces cramping during menstruation: Brown sugar is a folk treatment for period cramps in some cultures. To relieve the discomfort, simply boil some water and add a teaspoon of brown sugar, some crushed ginger, and some tea leaves.
  2. Exfoliation: If you want flawless skin, using brown sugar as an exfoliator is highly recommended. It removes dirt and microscopic pimples from the skin.

What are the drawbacks of brown sugar?

The drawbacks of brown sugar include:

  • An abnormal heartbeat: A meal high in sugar can make you feel uneasy and raise your heart rate. A modest blood sugar level might cause significant symptoms, including palpitations, increased thirst, exhaustion, etc. An erratic heartbeat could be brought on by brown sugar.
  • Increase blood glucose levels: Even though brown sugar contains fewer calories than white sugar, it might still have a similar impact on your blood sugar levels. Those who have diabetes are likewise at risk in the same ways.
  • Inflammation: Consuming too much sugar encourages the liver to produce free fatty acids. Inflammation results from the digestion of these fatty acids by the body. Poor dietary habits, such as eating too much sugar, lead to inflammation of the muscles and joints in the body.
  • Weak bones: By lowering osteoblast proliferation, brown sugar raises the risk of osteoporosis and hinders bone production.

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Medically Reviewed on 10/4/2022
References
Image Source: Getty image

Types of Sugar https://www.sugar.org/sugar/types/

Effects of High White and Brown Sugar Consumption on Serum Level of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Insulin Resistance, and Body Weight in Albino Rats https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7789015/

4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/managing-diabetes/4-steps

Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/