In days gone by, sugar used to be viewed as a homogenous product: leading to a situation where people shopping for sugar in supermarkets would simply pick the first package they came across and toss it into their shopping carts. Things have, however, changed – to a situation where nowadays, some varieties of sugar are perceived as being ‘healthier’ than others, with some vendors claiming that theirs is the healthiest sugar! Many people coming across these discussions (of some types of sugar that are healthier than others) tend to pose several questions. The first of those is typically one as to what criterion is used to define some varieties of sugar as being healthier than others. And that is the question we’ll be attempting to answer here: as we explore the five criteria used to defined healthy sugar.
Without further ado, the five criteria used to define health sugar include:
1. The nature of sugarcane it was milled from: this is the scenario where, for instance, sugar milled from organically grown sugarcane (also referred to as organic sugar) would tend to be viewed as a healthier variety of sugar than that which is milled from inorganically grown sugarcane. The argument used here is something to the effect that the inorganically grown sugarcane tends to absorb the inorganic chemicals – pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and so on – used to grow it. Subsequently, even when such sugarcane is milled to yield sugar, the resultant sugar is bound to have traces of the said chemicals. Such sugar would, on that account, be ‘unhealthy.’
2. The chemicals used in processing the sugar: it emerges that sugar millers tend to add certain chemicals to the juices obtained when sugarcane is pressed, so as to turn such cane juice into the packable solid sugar. It further emerges that there are several types of chemicals used in this process, with some being regarded as being healthier than others.
3. The ‘age’ of the sugar: it emerges that sugar (like any other type of foodstuff) tends to have an expiry date. Under this scheme, sugar that is expired, or sugar that is approaching its expiry date would tend to be viewed as unhealthy sugar. This would be the case even as ‘fresher’ sugar is viewed as being healthier.
4. The nutritional content of the sugar: this is where it emerges that some varieties of sugar may be regarded as being more ‘nutritious’ than others, on account of the sugarcane they are milled from and the additives in them.
5. The color of the sugar: this is where, according to some people at least, brown sugar is viewed as being healthier than white sugar. The basis for this perception may be hard to point out, but it is definitely part of many people’s criteria for defining ‘healthy sugar.’