Raw Sugar vs. Refined Sugar
Due to this nation's recent interest in personal health, it's important to understand the difference between brown sugar, refined white sugar, and unrefined (or "raw") sugar. Many grocery stores these days sell all 3 variations and even though they're different, they are all very similar.
To begin with, it's important to note that "unrefined sugar" is actually a misleading term. It is still refined, but only to put it in a crystallized form. The sugar that is extracted from the sugar cain or the sugar beet must still be washed, boiled, filtered, and pressed for it to be crystalline and usable by consumers. The product is still brown in color.
This is the most common sugar you will see in stores. The sugar is still derived from sugar canes or sugar beets, which won't change. The refined sugar is achieved by removing the sucrose from the plant before it is cleaned and the impurities are removed from the product. Things like mold, soil, bacteria, stalk fibers, and wax can all be left over until this point. Carbon dioxide or phosphoric acid and calcium hydroxide are then used to bleach the product and get it to the lusterous white that we are accustomed to. In order to be considered table sugar, it has to be processed one more time. It is filtered in a liquid state through "beef bone char". From beginning to end, the product has changed considerably. The sugar that was initially brown in color is now white. Finally, many people refer to refined sugar as "empty calories", as there is absolutely no nutritional value to the product. None.
Refined Brown Sugar
Our common brown sugar goes through the exact same process as refined sugar, but along the way, molasses is added to give it the brown color and a little additional sweetness.
It would be ridiculous to choose refined sugar over raw sugar given the option. Raw sugar has a minimal 11 calories per teaspoon and remains the natural vitamins and minerals that are in the sugar cane juice. Refined sugar lacks out on phosphorus, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Also, during the process of refining table sugar, there are various chemicals that are used that could potentially be passed to person ingesting the food.
When you are in the store, be sure to check the labels of the sugar you are purchasing. Although raw sugar and brown sugar both have molasses, the brown sugar was added during the refining process and is not the natural presence. They are very similar in color, and it can be difficult to tell without looking at the label.
The use of sugar should be done sparingly. There are too many studies noting that sugar is the cause of Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, and Tooth Decay. Be sure to take an investment in your health and to use it sparingly.
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