Can you imagine your favourite cup of tea without sugar? Well, nutritionally, the sweet crystals are carbohydrates. The units of carbohydrates are said to be inclusive of fructose, glucose, and galactose.
Today, a variety of sugars exist including white sugar, raw sugar, honey and more. And, what cuts the difference is factors like their sources, levels of processing, and flavour profiles.
Sugar stripped off the final refining process, is raw sugar. It retains nutrients like iron, and magnesium, and tastes like honey.
White sugar is the result of refining of beet or sugarcane and comes in the form of granulated sugar. The crystals are naturally white as the refining process devoiding them of minerals, compounds, and moisture.
Brown sugar is the rustic cousin of white sugar having a varying amount of molasses. And, the molasses contain iron, potassium, and calcium.
Honey is featured with fructose, glucose, and sucrose. It is formed from nectar collected by bees and has 17% water.
Syrups produced from plant sources including agave, date, grape, corn, maple, and more, are also used as sweeteners.
Which Sugar Type is better?
It is better to use a substitute that is healthier. So, it would make sense to reduce consumption of white sugar or corn syrup that is known to have adverse health effects.
Try fructose-based sweeteners as a smaller amount can attain the same amount of sweetness as white sugar.
Sugars that are less refined retain mineral and compound content. The compounds increase antioxidant capacity, leading to a reduction in cell damage found featured in chronic diseases.
In terms of blood sugar management, it is best to check the glycemic index (GI). Higher GI is indicative of raising blood sugar levels. In this context, agave syrup has the lowest GI value and is an option to consider.
Due to naturally-occurring compounds, honey is featured with antimicrobial properties, making it a healthy option.