Brown sugar has a reputation for being healthier than white sugar, but the truth might surprise you.

Is brown sugar healthier than white sugar? “Sports Nutrition Handbook” authors Justyna and Krzysztof Mizera provide the answer.

Brown sugar, although considered by many people a better and healthier alternative to white sugar, is in fact almost identical. The process of producing brown and white sugar is essentially the same, but the brown color comes from the addition of some previously removed molasses. Food manufacturers exploit the visual difference to portray brown sugar as somehow better. And many people consider it a lower-calorie alternative: 100 grams of brown sugar contains 373 calories, while white sugar contains 396 calories. Due to the smaller size of brown sugar crystals, though, there are more calories in a teaspoon of brown sugar than in a teaspoon of white sugar. The minute differences between the two sugars will not help anyone lose unwanted pounds.

Unrefined, or “raw” brown sugar is also touted as a substitute for white sugar, though. This type of sugar also owes its color to molasses, which contributes some iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals, however, are present only in trace amounts, and considering the relatively small amount of sugar consumed, they offer no major benefit for the diet.

Republished from Sports Nutrition Handbook by Justyna and Krzysztof Mizera with permission of VeloPress.