Variety is the ‘spice’ of life and the same is true of the types of sugar regardless of where you come from. India is known to consume the most sugar, and you’ll find this is true as each community prepares a host of sweets unique only to their kith and kin, and find great pride in distributing them on numerous festivals and occasions for celebration.
Variety, in a truer sense of the word… yes, and a serious number of ailments to go with it such as tooth decay, obesity and Type Two diabetes.
In other countries though, where people seem to be health-conscious enough to choose between types of sugar… well, that’s variety of a different kind serving a different purpose altogether.
Amongst these types of sugars are the most widely used ones known as the organic and refined sugar.
So, let’s look at these types of sugars a little more closely, while discussing their differences as well.
Organic Sugar vs. Refined Sugar: Differences
Just before we get to defining what these types of sugar are, what is important is that sugar is composed of sucrose also known as ‘saccharose’. Sugar is most commonly derived from sugar cane or sugar beet amongst other sources as well.
Now, what differentiates organic sugar from refined sugar?
The first (and most obvious difference) is that organic sugar is brown in color unlike refined sugar that is white in color due to the absence of the molasses which gives it the brownish tint. Another difference is that is not so noticeable is that organic sugar is derived from its natural source by using a lesser number of pesticides, unlike the case with refined sugar. A drawback for its producers (in the case of organic sugar) is that this might result in losing some of their crops, hence they might cost a little more than refined sugar.
However, the biggest difference between refined and organic sugar is the amount of processing and chemical application that is involved in preparing the final product. In the case of organic sugar, you will find that there are two type which are directly related to the amount of molasses that is left behind.
Brown-sugar with 3.5 % molasses is known as light brown sugar, while the one with 6.5 % molasses is known as dark brown sugar.
Now that we’ve understood the difference between organic and refined sugar, let’s compare these types of sugars from a health point-of-view.
Organic Sugar Vs Refined Sugar: Pros and Cons
When one has to make a choice between the two these days (thanks to doctors and their verdict), most people would prefer ‘refined sugar’. At this point, you might wonder why the white sugar that you use everyday to sweeten your tea, coffee and beverages is considered harmful.
Well, simply put… refined sugar is processed to a purity of 99.9 % sucrose, which for all practical purposes have empty calories as most of the vitamins, minerals, proteins and fibers have been eliminated during the processing phase.
Additionally, a respected doctor called Dr. William Coda Martin after his research in the disease-producing capabilities of sugar said: “What is left consists of pure, refined carbohydrates. The body cannot utilize this refined starch and carbohydrate unless the depleted proteins, vitamins and minerals are present.”
When he’s talking about the vitamins and minerals in this case, he’s referring to the vitamins and minerals present in sugar cane and sugar beet [Read: Organic Sugar].
Although this note on refined and organic sugar ends on a dark note, one cannot rule out the possibility of using refined sugar as it has become synonymous in our daily lives. What one must look at if you’re serious about your health is look for alternatives that are healthier, and perhaps the first step in that direction is to reduce the amount of sugar that is consumed on a daily basis.