Is Brown Sugar Better Than White Sugar?

Brown sugar is often advertised as being healthier than white sugar. To decide whether this is true, you have to look at what each sugar is made of and how it affects your body.

Sucrose Contents

Brown sugar and white sugar are very close in their sucrose content. Brown sugar contains 98 percent sucrose and white sugar contains 99 percent. White sugar comes from cane and sugar beets. Brown sugar is white sugar with added molasses.

The problem with sugar is that when it appears in a refined and concentrated form, it passes through your bloodstream very quickly. This gives your stomach and pancreas a shock, creating an acidic condition in your body. When your body is highly acidic, it eats up minerals at a faster pace. This may result in a variety of problems, including a weakened digestive system that doesn’t metabolize nutrients properly. When consumed in large amounts, sugar is linked with obesity, diabetes, hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, heart disease, tooth decay, and bone loss.

Brown sugar is, in reality, not that much different from white sugar in terms of how it affects your body. The imbalances created in your body by large amounts of sugar lead to more cravings for sugar.

Effects of Brown Sugar and White Sugar

In studies comparing the effects of brown and white sugar, findings show that the two sugars cause the same illnesses and issues in animals. However, brown sugar did show to be slightly superior to white sugar in some studies. Although the brown sugar group did not show any difference when compared with the white sugar group, the animals fed brown sugar had offspring that did not show the same abnormalities. This indicates that there is some difference in brown sugar that makes it to some extent healthier than white sugar. The extent of this difference, however, has not been established and needs further study.


If your goal is to eat less sugar, you might try replacing some of your white sugar intake with brown. However, naturopaths and holistic practitioners often recommend limiting intake of refined sugars as much as possible. When you bake, for example, try using rice syrup, stevia and unrefined sugar such as unrefined cane juice powder. Other possible sweeteners to bake with include maple syrup or molasses.

Some cravings for sugar are caused by improper protein digestion. Make sure that your intake of meats is not excessive. If you suspect that your stomach is not producing enough digestive enzymes, look into foods or supplements that assist with this. Chewable papaya enzymes, for example, will aid in your digestion.


Although the question of brown sugar versus white sugar is one that hasn’t been completely settled, the two sugars are similar in their sucrose content and do move through the body in nearly identical ways. If you struggle with an urge to eat a lot of sugar, it may be a better idea to use alternatives such as fruit, stevia and molasses.


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