Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as simply diabetes, is a disease that results in the weakening of the body’s ability to manage blood sugar levels. This occurs due to improper functioning of insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating the same. There are different types of diabetes; the most common being Type I, II and gestational diabetes.
Type I results from a failure of the body to produce insulin. Type II occurs when body cells become seemingly ‘resistant’ to insulin and are unable to process sugar present in blood. Gestational diabetes is seen in some pregnant women, where their body is unable to process blood glucose effectively during the course of the pregnancy. It is generally a temporary condition.
Type II diabetes is the most common type of diabetes seen across the world. While there are certain genetic factors that might predispose an individual to this type, there is increasing evidence that the development of Type II diabetes has something to do with lifestyle as well. This also means that Type II diabetes can be managed or even prevented with the the right lifestyle changes, under the guidance of a doctor.
A diet with a high sugar intake is not healthy for anyone, but it is especially dangerous for diabetics. Consistently high blood sugar levels can cause damage to blood vessels and vital organs, resulting in weight gain, kidney damage, heart disease and visual impairment. Thus, diabetics are often restricted from consuming food items with added sugar.
However; diabetic or not, we are all only human and enjoy eating sweet things. Whether it is cakes and biscuits or even breakfast staples like tea and coffee, everything tastes better with sugar. So how does a person with diabetes enjoy an occasional treat without compromising their health?
One suggestion that is commonly put forward is to use brown sugar for diabetics in place of white sugar. Can brown sugar help diabetics? In this article we investigate: Is brown sugar good for diabetics?
What Is Brown Sugar?
Brown sugar, like white sugar is derived from the sugarcane or sugar beet plants. Brown sugar gets it colour from the small amount of molasses present in it. It can contain anywhere between 3.5 to 6.5% molasses. This also gives it a distinct flavour, different from the blandly sweet flavour of white sugar.
The processing of white and brown sugar differs. Brown sugar is generally completely or partially unrefined, thereby retaining a small amount of the vitamins and minerals that are lost in the processing of white sugar. However, brown sugar is also sometimes prepared in the reverse, i.e., by adding molasses to white sugar.
Nutritional Content Of Brown Sugar (Per 100g)
Is There A Difference Between Brown Sugar And White Sugar?
Due to the difference in the level of processing that brown sugar and white sugar undergo, brown sugar is slightly more dilute in terms of sweetness and possesses slight higher nutritional content when compared to white sugar. However, the difference is too minute to make any significant difference. Which brings us to the most important question.
Can Diabetics Eat Brown Sugar?
Unfortunately, the answer to the question, is brown sugar good for diabetes patients is, a resounding no. The scientific consensus on this is absolute. The nutritional differences between brown and white sugar are too small to be significant.
The idea that substituting white sugar with brown sugar is good for diabetics is a myth. Brown sugar for diabetics can be just as detrimental to health as white sugar. The consumption of brown sugar for diabetics must be moderated in the same manner.
The popular idea of brown sugar being good for diabetics is unfortunately, not based in fact. The consumption of sugar for diabetics, white or brown must be limited in order to manage the symptoms of the disease. Using artificial sweeteners specially formulated to have low levels of sugar is a much better alternative for diabetes patients.
Replacing commercially manufactured sugar with organic sugar, whether it is as brown sugar for diabetics or as white sugar, is a good option too. While organic sugar has much the same composition as commercial sugar and thus, its intake must be moderated; it is a healthier option.
Organic sugar is cultivated using traditional practices that do not utilise the variety of chemical fertilisers and pesticides that are used in commercial agriculture. Organic products are healthier and better for the environment. They also support small farmers and keep indigenous farming methods alive.
So there you have it! Brown sugar for diabetics is NOT better than white sugar. However, when eaten within healthy limits as advised by your doctor, organic sugar – white sugar or brown sugar for diabetics – is definitely better than the commercial kind!
Try 24 Mantra Organics’s Brown sugar and enjoy the goodness of organic!