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Brown Sugar: Nutritional Facts, Varieties, Benefits and Side Effects

Whenever we hear of sugar, what comes to our mind first is the white sugar. But just like brown rice, brown sugar also exists. In this article, we are going to tell you more about it.

Where Does Brown Sugar Come From

This brown sugar is more of a generic term. Brown sugar is just sugar having molasses, where the molasses give it that distinctive brown colour and flavour.

While white sugar cannot hold its shape, brown sugar can (like wet sand). Many people take brown sugar as “granulated” white sugar, but with molasses added to it.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition values
Amount Per 100 gm
Calories 380
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 28 mg 1%
Potassium 133 mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 98 g 32%
Dietary fiber 0 g
Sugar 97 g
Protein 0.1 g 0%
Vitamin A            0% Vitamin C          0%
Calcium            8% Iron          3%
Vitamin D            0% Vitamin B-6          0%
Vitamin B-12            0% Magnesium          2%
*per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Brown Sugar Varieties

Like to know them? It is important you should:

  • Light Brown Sugar: Also called golden brown, it is the most common type of brown sugar. Light brown sugar is used more for baking purpose and has about 3.5% molasses. If there are recipes that need brown sugar (without specifying light or dark), then light brown sugar is the best bet.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: This type of brown sugar has about 6.5% molasses. Dark brown sugar is normally used when an extra rich flavour or colour is wanted.
  • Sugar in the Raw: This can be safely branded as natural brown sugar. It has the residues of molasses that are leftover from the refining process. The sucrose crystals are slightly larger and less moist than regular commercial brown sugar.

There is also the Liquid brown Sugar which a predominant sugar manufacturer in the United States called Domino Sugar, used to make. Though this product is not available any more, there are many older recipes which still include this ingredient.

Is brown sugar healthier than white sugar?

Most of you would have heard that brown rice is better than white rice. Similarly, whole wheat bread is said to be better off than white bread. Does this thing extend to sugar as well?

The nutritional value of brown sugar is almost the same as white sugar. Any evidence? According to the United States Department of Agriculture, brown sugar contains roughly 17 kilocalories in 1 teaspoon, whereas white sugar has about 16 kilocalories per teaspoon.

Since brown sugar has molasses, it has more minerals, such as calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium (which are absent in white sugar).

How to Make Brown Sugar

Simple it is – no cookbooks or rocket science needed. Here we go.

  • Step 1: Just get 1 tbsp of molasses for every cup of granulated white sugar.
  • Step 2: Stir the molasses and white sugar together (till you get even colour and texture).
  • Step 3: Your brown sugar is ready.
  • Step 4: Now store it in an air-tight container.

In your free time, you can make Brown Sugar. You can always use it as an ingredient in sweetening beverages, sauces, baked goods, and marinades.

How to Store Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar should be kept in an air-tight container. This will help retain its moisture content. When left open to the air, brown sugar may harden as the moisture in it slowly evaporates out.

A trick – you can soften up the hardened brown sugar by adding a bread slice or an apple wedge to the container and then sealing it tightly.

How much sugar is too much?

In any modern diet, added sugar can be the worst ingredient.


It brings you calories with no added nutrients. In the process, it can ruin your metabolism in the long run. The line below is sufficient to keep you aware and alarmed.

  • Excess of sugar intake can lead to weight gain and various diseases like Obesity, Type II Diabetes and Heart Disease.

So how much is too much? Can you eat sugar in small quantities each day without harm? Or should you avoid it as much as you can?

If you go by the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are:

  • For Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 tsp).
  • For Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 tsp).

To sum it up, the less of added sugars you eat, the healthier you will be.

Side effects of Brown sugar

First of all, sugar consumption on a constant basis is not a good habit. It can be damaging to your health. Similarly, brown sugar, when taken in excessive amounts, can be bad for you.

Remember it has almost the same number of calories as white sugar. Fine, it gives you improved taste, boosts in energy and gives great texture for baking. But these are short-term benefits.

Take a glance at the side effects of Brown sugar:

Tentative Short-term side effects of Brown sugar

  • Increase in heart rate
  • Increased BP
  • Increased insulin production
  • Spike in blood sugar
  • Increased fat storage
  • Inflammation
  • Hyperactivity

Tentative Long-term side effects of Brown sugar

  • Obesity
  • Inflammation
  • High BP
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

Now that you have been reasonably educated on the plus points and negative points of Brown Sugar, do spread them around in your circles. Or share it with your colleagues and family members. Stay healthy.

Take Away

We hope the article was able to give an insight into some of these queries; brown sugar benefits, brown sugar price, brown sugar meaning, brown sugar uses, light brown sugar, brown sugar ingredients, how to make brown sugar, Is brown sugar better than sugar?, Is brown sugar good for health?, What is brown sugar used for?, What is brown sugar made of? Do you still have a question? comment below.

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