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Benefits of brown sugar VS white sugar for diabetics

Currently there are various kinds of food and beverage sweeteners available on the market. Starting from the most common such as white sugar, brown sugar, saccharin, palm sugar, to corn sugar. Even each type of sweetener is provided in different forms. For example, rock sugar, sugar, refined sugar, and syrup. Because of the many choices available, many people are often mistaken which one is healthier and which is more dangerous. For those of you or loved ones who suffer from diabetes, of course you should not mistakenly choose the safest sweetener. The reason is, every type of sugar has different contents.

Brown sugar has been known to the world for a long time, both as a natural sweetener or cooking spice. Moreover, brown sugar is also considered better for diabetics than white sugar.

Maybe not many know that brown sugar from coconut palm sap has a good nutritional value for health, such as iron, minerals, zinc, calcium, potassium, polyphenols, antioxidants, and inulin. Not only that, the glycemic index (GI) of brown sugar is also lower than other sweeteners. So it is natural that brown sugar is often consumed by diabetics.

Benefits of Brown Sugar Compared to White Sugar

The benefits of brown sugar have been considered better than white sugar, especially after being known to have a relatively low glycemic index, which is around 54. The glycemic index itself is a number that describes the impact of certain foods on an increase in one's blood sugar levels.

High glycemic index is above 70. That is, carbohydrates in food decompose quickly and release glucose to the blood. Some foods with high GI numbers include:

  • White rice
  • White bread
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Rice porridge
  • Instant oat porridge
  • Potato
  • Chips


Meanwhile, the number 55 and below indicates the opposite. Foods with low GI numbers, such as brown sugar, pasta, kidney beans, soybeans, beans, oranges, carrots, bananas, mangoes, strawberries, and dates. While white sugar or sucrose belongs to the medium GI in the range of GI numbers 56-69.

However, keep in mind that GI numbers in food can be different for individuals, depending on how to combine the food to be consumed. For example, the actual low glycemic index of brown sugar can be high, if consumed together with other foods that contain high carbohydrates and sugar.

Apart from that, with GI numbers that are relatively small, brown sugar is claimed to be a better choice for diabetic patients compared to white sugar whose GI numbers are slightly higher.

Some benefits of brown sugar for health

  • Smooth bowel movements, because brown sugar activates certain digestive enzymes in the body, which helps the digestive process.
  • Very good for people with anemia, because brown sugar is rich in iron.
  • Remove toxins from the liver.
  • Increase immunity and eradicate damage caused by free radicals.
  • Very effective in curing coughs and colds.


A small piece of brown sugar can be eaten after a meal but diabetics need to ensure that they combine with exercise. After all making the right choices it is very important to manage diabetes effectively.

Brown sugar is safer, but not free

Although brown sugar is classified as safe for diabetics. Not that brown sugar can then be consumed freely. This is because the calorie content of brown sugar is almost equivalent to white sugar, which is about four grams of carbohydrates and 16 calories per teaspoon.

In addition, brown sugar on the market can also be mixed with sugar cane and other ingredients, which makes the glycemic index high. Therefore, if you want to use brown sugar as a sweetener, the key is to consume it in limited quantities. If you consume brown sugar excessively, it will still increase the risk of metabolic syndrome and obesity.

If you are diabetic and really want to eat sweet snacks, you can choose healthy alternative foods, such as fruit salad or fresh fruit. If you still want to use sugar, regardless of the type of sugar, pay attention to the total amount of carbohydrates in the product label. That way, you can readjust your daily diet plan according to the calculation of carbohydrates and calories allowed. Do not hesitate to consult a nutrition doctor to find out the complete benefits of brown sugar.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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