Ask the experts: Raw vs white sugar

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Ask the experts: Raw vs white sugar

Q: “Is there any nutritional benefit in using raw sugar over white sugar? My husband insists on using raw sugar, saying it hasn’t had any of the minerals removed from it like white sugar has. Is this true?”


A: Nutritionist Bronwen King responds:

“No. As far as the body is concerned, there is very little difference between white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, honey, maple syrup and corn syrup. They can all be described as ’empty energy foods’, which means they have lots of energy (kilojoules) but little if any useful nutrients. Many people see additional health benefits in products described as ‘natural’ (cyanide is natural by the way) or ‘raw’. All sugar is natural (it occurs naturally in plants) and raw sugar is no better than white. The best advice is to use sugar sparingly as a way to make healthy food more interesting, but not for any health benefits in itself.”

First published: Sep 2008
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