Is refined brown sugar less harmful than refined white sugar? Is it less fattening than white sugar?

Thereâ??s actually very little difference between refined brown and white sugar that you buy at the supermarket.

1.  Molasses is added to refined white sugar to make brown sugar

In order to make brown sugar, companies frequently simply add some molasses to refined white sugar.  Molasses gives white sugar a brown colour and a slightly different taste.  Brown sugar, in fact, contains more calories than white sugar, viz., 17 calories in brown sugar and 18 calories in white sugar per teaspoon.

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2.  Raw, unrefined sugar â?? calories and mineral content

The difference, however, between refined brown sugar and unrefined raw brown sugar is significant. Raw unrefined sugar contains around 11 calories per teaspoon, and also more molasses than refined sugar.  Molasses gives raw sugar its brown colour and contains minerals such as phosphorus, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.  Raw sugar contains minerals and nutrients that refined white and brown sugar do not.

3.  Harmful substances formed through sugar refining

Some harmful substances are formed during the refinement and processing of sugar. Raw sugar does not contain these harmful substances.

4.  Sugar needs should come from high fibre carbs, rather than from sugar

All sugars, no matter what kind, are high in calories and carbohydrates.  Ideally your carbohydrates should come from foods with high fibre, such as whole grains and fresh vegetables and fruit, rather than from refined and processed sugar.

Major culprits of high levels of refined sugar are carbonated soft drinks. Try to avoid carbonated soft drinks â?? they can contain up to 10 teaspoons of refined sugar per 340ml can. Many artificial sweeteners also have some serious adverse health reactions.

5.  Negative effects of refined sugar on human health

People who overindulge in sugar have fatty livers, high blood triglyceride levels, high bad cholesterol, and high uric acid levels. Too much sugar may also cause insulin resistance and increase your risk of heart attack.

High sugar intake can result in kidney stones, high blood pressure, low bone mineral density and cancer. Furthermore too much refined sugar causes dental cavities and depletion of vitamins and minerals.

Our bodies need (but can also manufacture) some glucose, but they do not ‘need’ fructose.

Refined sugar offers no health benefits

Refined sugar has few nutrients and offers no health benefits for the human body.
Sources:, Health-e-news, and

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.