It’s common knowledge that white sugar can sabotage your weight loss goals like nothing else and those of us with a sweet tooth look for better or healthier alternatives to sweeten things up. From chai, coffee, to even fruit juices, we want something “meetha” to get that sugar rush, and since “white sugar” has been declared the villian, “brown sugar” has been pushed forward as a better alternative. But is brown sugar better than white sugar for weight loss? Let’s find out:
But let’s start with why Sugar acts as a roadblock in your weight loss journey:
1. Sugar Raises Blood Sugar Sharply and Triggers Insulin Release: When we consume sugar, it leads to a rapid increase in our blood sugar level. This, in turn, triggers a strong response from our body’s insulin hormone. Insulin not only helps regulate blood sugar, but it also plays a role in storing excess glucose as fat by instructing our muscle and fat cells to convert it and keep it stored for later. Ideally, it is best to avoid anything that causes a sudden rise in insulin levels, and sugar falls into that category.
2. Sugar Triggers Cravings: Did you know that when we eat sugar, our brain actually gives us a reward? It does this by releasing “feel-good” hormones like dopamine. The more sugar we consume, the more dopamine is released, and the stronger our cravings become the next time we want to experience that same surge of dopamine. Also read: “Is Honey Better Than Sugar For Weight Loss?”
3. Sugar Makes you Hungry Within a Short Period of Time: When you have a meal high in sugar, the pancreas release insulin to balance out blood sugar, a hormone which directs excess glucose to body cells. Once the blood glucose falls after insulin’s activity, you may experience a slump in energy and would feel hungry soon after in order to replenish energy in the body. The more sugar you consume, the more hungry you would feel soon after! The key is to eat a balanced diet with optimum amount of fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals to avoid a sharp jump in blood glucose.
4. It Causes Bloating: Do you know, the bad bacteria in the gut love sugary treats and thrive when there’s excess glucose in the body. When you consume excess sugar, it passes into the gut where it feeds the bad bacteria, side effects are buildup of gas and bloating to name a few. Cut out sugar to find out if you are feeling less bloated.
5. High in Empty Calories: Sugar has a high amount of empty calories that are devoid of any nutrients. Too many empty calories get converted into fat by the body and packed up under the skin and around the organs for storage.
6. Causes Insulin Resistance: Among the multitude of undesirable effects that sugar can cause, it can make people insulin resistant. It’s no wonder that those with insulin resistance struggle with weight issues. With excess sugar consumption, body cells stop responding to the efforts of insulin and this behavior will trigger more insulin to be pumped out by the pancreas. As mentioned earlier, insulin encourages fat storage, and thus makes losing weight an uphill task.
7. Makes you Addicted To It: Research says sugar has a similar effect on the brain as drugs such as heroin, cocaine because it triggers the release of feel-good hormone dopamine, which would always send you seeking out for more sugar, and that’s why there are real chances of getting addicted to sugar.
Which one is Better For Weight Loss? White Sugar or Brown Sugar:
The difference between brown sugar and white sugar lies in the presence of molasses in brown sugar which gives brown sugar its distinctive flavor and color. On the other hand, white sugar is obtained through extensive processing where this molasses is removed. White sugar is typically made up of pure sucrose, while brown sugar contains both sucrose and molasses. Now, what is this molasses? Molasses is a thick, dark syrup that is a byproduct of the sugar refining process. During the production of refined sugar, sugarcane or sugar beet juice is extracted and boiled to remove the water content and leads to crystallization of sugar, leaving behind a thick, dark liquid known as molasses. This molasses contains the residual non-crystallized sugars, as well as water, minerals, and vitamins. The molasses in the brown sugar gives it a toffee and caramel-like flavour and colour.
1. Even though brown sugar contains more vitamins and minerals than white sugar, the nutritional differences between the two are minimal and hardly beneficial when you are trying to lose weight.
2. Brown Sugar has a glycemic index of 64. Table sugar/white sugar has a medium GI of 65. Not much of a difference in the way they get digested and absorbed, and have an affect on blood glucose level. While trying to lose weight, it would be a good idea to pick low GI foods (55 or below) which comparatively get digested and absorbed more slowly, resulting in a slower and more gradual rise in blood glucose levels.
3. The calories in brown sugar and white sugar are surprisingly the same – brown sugar has 380 calories per 100 gm while white sugar has 385 calories per 100 gm. So, do strictly watch your sugar intake, no matter what the color. Also read: “8 Surprising Sources of Empty Calories you May Be Overlooking.”
4. Talking about nutrients, there are no real advantages of having brown sugar over white sugar (has calcium, smaller amounts of iron, magnesium, selenium, manganese, and potassium), but with its high number of calories, these nutrients hardly manage to bring any benefits to the table.
Summing up, brown sugar carries the same health risks as white sugar, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc. The over-hyped nutritional profile is negligible and therefore, brown sugar is neither a better nor a healthier alternative to white sugar. It’s important to note that while brown sugar is sometimes perceived as a healthier alternative to white sugar due to the presence of molasses, the nutritional differences between the two are minimal and calories, glycemic index all are same, hence replacing white sugar with brown sugar has no added benefit when it comes to losing weight.
Summing up, if losing weight is your goal, no matter how daunting it may seem, we at Rati Beauty diet, are here to help you achieve all your milestones, small or big. Download and subscribe to the Rati Beauty app to access all our diet plans.