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Since ancestral times sugar forms an integral part of our daily diet. Many of our desserts, smoothies, shakes, or drinks taste sweet. It balances the flavor of other ingredients, and at the same time provides you many health benefits. But today we have heard many people saying that limit the amount of sugar in your diet, sugar causes many health diseases, and whatnot, due to which many people are confused between sugar and other healthy alternatives of sugar like brown sugar or even jaggery.
Many questions must be popping up in your head that what is the difference in the nutritional content of sugar, brown sugar, and jaggery? How they are being processed to obtain the final product used by consumers? Which alternative is safe for consuming regularly?
As we all know there is a complete battle going on between sugar, brown sugar, and jaggery in the market. The people who don’t have much knowledge regarding the particular food item, somewhere indulge in spreading rumors about each item, according to their perspective and preferences. But this approach beyond any doubt makes you confused between the three that hinder you from making the right choices.
So let us understand about regular granulated white sugar, brown sugar, and jaggery one by one. Basically, we need to understand that all the types of sugar available in the market whether regular sugar, brown sugar, or Organic Jaggery Powder, originate from a single source that is sugar cane. The only difference between them is of processing methods. During the processing of sugar cane, dark brown colored juice is obtained which is called molasses. It is being separated to get the fine crystals of white sugar. Further molasses is processed to obtain brown sugar whereas jaggery is unrefined coarse brown sugar that is obtained from traditional methods.
We have seen that how all of them are processed, now let us have a glance at the WHO recommendations for sugar intake, and which alternative is best for our health?
According to WHO guidelines, the minimum amount of sugar by an adult is on average less than 10 percent. Therefore, you can say that 3-4 teaspoons of sugar intake are safe ideally for a person not suffering from any disease.
Regular sugar contains 99.9 percent sucrose that is a combination of both glucose and fructose. During processing moisture, ash, minerals, and colors are completely removed from it to produce the fine coarse crystals of sugar. It contains very high calories, therefore considered as empty calories food as compared to others.
Brown sugar contains slightly fewer calories than normal white sugar. Since it is prepared from molasses, minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium are present in a rich amount in this type of sugar.
Jaggery is better known as "Gur" in many Indian villages is a very rich source of vitamin B, minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. It has many inherent health benefits that can help you stay protected by various infections. Jaggery helps in the purification of blood, building metabolism, and protecting the nervous system. It can even help you get rid of signs and symptoms of the common cold. Also, it acts as a cleansing agent that helps to keep control of your digestive system, and respiratory tracts.
But now the next question arises that in how much quantity it should be consumed? Do diabetic patients can also consume it, if yes then regularly or occasionally?
Let me clarify this doubt. Friends, sugar always imparts a sweet taste to food products whether it is regular sugar, brown sugar, or jaggery. As we have seen that minimal processing is required to prepare jaggery, it is more beneficial to consume but always in a specified quantity otherwise it will increase the blood sugar levels and can harm an individual's body. Though, special care is taken by diabetic patients as they are already prone to have increased blood sugar levels.
Last but not least we can conclude that no matter our taste buds love to have high caloric, and sweet dishes, you should always look for Jaggery that is a perfect alternative to regular and brown sugar. Beyond any doubt, it is rich in various nutrients and thus provides you innumerable health benefits. So adopt healthy ways of choosing your preparations and stay healthy.