Refined versus unrefined sugars: What does this all mean?
We all have been bombarded with terms like refined, unrefined, natural, raw, organic and many more on shelves and to be honest, it can be overwhelming and pretty confusing.
We are no dietician, doctor or nutritionist. However, lets just have a discussion and talk more about it. Should we really strict ourselves so much in regards to which types of sugar we should consume?
Below is a summary of what we know and our opinion:
Too much sugar can spike your blood levels and causes diabetes and increase heart disease. In our everyday life, it is somewhat difficult to avoid sugar, it is basically in everything: condiments and other products we buy from the grocery store.
Refined sugar is basically sugar that is extremely processed that it leaves no nutritional value. Unrefined sugar on the other hand is still processed to a certain extent, but remains some of its natural nutrients like calcium, iron and magnesium. Some examples of unrefined sugars are molasses, coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, fruit or dates and others.
However, both refined or unrefined sugar is still sucrose! And your body will not detect from where it comes from, it just detects that it is well, sucrose.
In terms of baking or cooking, using unrefined sugar does not automatically makes it "healthy". It all depends on how much you include them into your baked goods. For example, you will be needing a LOT of maple syrup to substitute for the same amount of refined white sugar for a cake. It is definitely not going to be a 1:1 ratio.
Our mother, who has diabetes will still see a spike in her blood sugar levels, even with healthier or sugar-free alternatives because it also boils down to how much she consumes them.
Don't stress yourself out too much on figuring out which sugar is healthier, just try to not consume either one too much. Sugars in any form (organic, refined,) should always be limited. Depending on your priorities, if you are more concern with environmental impact, then organic natural sugar is the choice for you as it involves a more eco-friendly agricultural processes.
We hope that this post has been helpful and if you like more of these kind of posts or a more detailed one (we will try to be as detailed as we can), then let us know!
Even if you have some more info you want to share, feel free! We love to learn too =)