The battle of what’s healthier has taken over the humble sweetener in the kitchen as well. No we’re not talking about healthy sugar substitutes. Just your everyday, white sweetener. Your every day refined sugar is derived from two sources, sugarcane, and beet. Both are found in a variety of food forms. A recent study took to them to find out which one is the healthiest.
To begin with, we must note the sources of each. Beet sugar is derived from sugar beet plant and cane sugar is derived from the sugar cane plant. Both of these plants are the most common plants required from the production of white sugar. Sugar beets are additionally used for the production of other refined sweeteners like molasses and brown sugar.
However, packaged foods are not known to reveal the source or the type of sugar used for the production of the products. The study that was published in the Healthline, said one of the biggest difference between the two was in their processing and production method. Beat sugar involves thinly slicing sugar beets to extract its juices. While cane sugar was also produced in a similar process, with the occasional addition of bone char (an ingredient made by charring of bones of animals) which helps bleach and whiten the sugar.
But in practicality, the difference between the two sugars is only in the way they are used, as the primary difference is between their flavour and taste. Beet sugar has an earthy, oxidised aroma, whereas cane sugar caramelises more evenly.
In terms of health, both types of sugar are equally responsible for weight gain if consumed in high proportions. Health organisations like American Health Organisation recommend not more than 6 teaspoons of sugar for women and 9 teaspoons for men.
But at the end of the day, one must remember that both the type of white sugars are primarily made up of sucrose which is known to harmful to health when consumed in excess. Hence moderation must be practised while consuming either of them.