Are Natural Sugars Healthier?


Sep 2016

Have you been tempted to buy dark organic Demerara sugar believing it is healthier for you? Do you prefer dark sugar over white sugar? Are you willing to spend more for natural sugar? If you’ve answered yes to any of the questions above, think again. When it comes to calories, sugar is sugar, with about 4 calories per gram (16 calories per teaspoon). It makes no difference if you are using table sugar, demerara, organic, whole cane, or other fancy named sugar products. The best decision you can make, is to reduce your overall sugar consumption, regardless of the type of sugar.

There are some differences you should be aware of, but they are all of second to third order, compared to the most important consideration above. Most sugars are derived from sugar cane or sugar beets. The vast majority of sugar beets in the US are genetically modified. If you are trying to avoid GMOs, look for cane sugars. The darker sugars simply have a bit of molasses added to them. The molasses are removed from sugarcane as part of the processing it goes from cane to granules. It’s funny that they are then added back to make the product seem healthier.

You may have read about coconut sugar, which has a slightly lower glycemic index (GI) compared to cane or beet sugars. The GI is a measure of how much a food spikes blood glucose levels. This has made it popular in diabetes circles. That said, coconut sugar is still high in fructose (like regular sugars) and taxes the liver if too much is consumed. It’s true that the darker sugars have some nutrients that are missing from highly processed table sugar. however, the amounts are miniscule and totally irrelevant in their contribution to the daily required amounts.

KISS Fact:  Stevia seems to be your best options for replacing sugar.  The real fact is that if you have an “addiction” to sugar the only true way to break our dependence on it is to STOP USING IT COLD TURKEY.  I know it’s hard to do but every time you stop, for a little awhile, you will  go through withdrawals.  Over time, with our sugar, your body will adapt without it.  When you eat sugar again you are just reestablishing your addition for it.


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