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Is Jaggery Sugar Really Healthier Than Crystal White Sugar?

Is Jaggery Sugar Really Healthier Than Crystal White Sugar? Most people use granulated white sugar to add sweetness to their morning cup of tea and desserts but that does not mean it is the only type of sugar available in the market. So before we answer the question “Is Jaggery sugar really healthier (or better) than crystal white sugar, it will make sense if we look at the different types of sugar available in the market these days. Sugar is available in many varieties including but not limited to raw sugar, granulated sugar, organic brown sugar, demerara sugar, palm sugar crystals, icing sugar, caster sugar and last but not the least “jaggery sugar”. Raw sugar or sugar in the raw has a golden brown color. Organic brown sugar has chocolaty dark brown color and is stickier in texture. Both these types of sugars are considered to be more nutritious but it is misconception that must be clear. Susan Miler of healtyeating.sfgate.com states that;

 

While it’s true that raw sugar is slightly less refined than brown sugar, both provide bout 15 calories per teaspoon, all of which comes from simple carbohydrates. Even though their nutritional profile is exactly the same, however, brown sugar and sugar in the raw have aesthetic differences that give them unique flavor profiles.

 

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Demerara sugar has a chunky and grainy texture, is light brown in color and does contain residual molasses. It is slightly better than white crystal sugar because it is partially processed. White refined sugar is 99.99 % sucrose and refined to the extent that everything other than sucrose is completely removed from the sugar cane juice. Caster sugar is another form of white sugar with small crystals to help it dissolve more quickly in the solution. Interested in making meringues muffins or light sponge like cakes?, consider using caster sugar.

Jaggery shows true Eastman colors, ranging from golden yellow to golden brown, brown, dark brown, and like the color of dark chocolate, depending upon the extent to which it is cooked. Jaggery is semi solid and softer than other types of sugar.

Jaggery powder Vs refined sugar – Which is better?

Almost all nutrition and science based studies confirm that jaggery sugar is better than other sweeteners. This is because of the fact that it is not processed nor crystallized and retains the actual nutritional value of raw sugar cane. Note that white crystal sugar is refined using charcoal (a chemical), later condensed and crystallized. And this it is harmful for organs such as brain, lungs, liver and kidney.

What is jaggery powder and how is jaggery made

Jaggery is predominantly made up of sucrose (C12H22O12), with traces of mineral saltsiron, and some fiber. The first stage of the jaggery production process looks the same as white sugar. Sugar canes are peeled and then boiled to turn them into juice. From that point onwards, the process of preparing jaggery powder changes. The sugar cane syrup is treated with charcoal ( a chemical), condensed and then crystallized to make regular white sugar. Jaggery on the other hand is made by boiling the sugar syrup until it forms a thick paste which is cooled, poured into molds, dried under sun and made blocks of. The blocks are then grinded (in case of jaggery sugar powder) and packed for commercial purposes.

Jaggery vs Sugar
Differences between jaggery and white sugar

Is Jaggery More Nutritious Than Sugar?

Due to its molasses content, jaggery does contain more nutrients as compared to the regular white sugar. In fact molasses is the most nutritious byproduct of the sugar making process which is completely removed from the white refined sugar. The type of the plant used (palm or cane) eventually determines the exact nutrition value of jaggery. According to a study published in Journal of Food Processing & Technology, 100 grams of typical jaggery powder available in the markets may contain:

Jaggery Nutritional Vale

  • Calories: 383
  • Sucrose: 65–85 grams
  • Fructose and glucose: 10–15 grams
  • Protein: 0.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Iron: 11 mg, or 61% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 70-90 mg, or about 20% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 1050 mg, or 30% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 0.2–0.5 mg, or 10–20% of the RDI.

However, keep in mind that this is a 100-gram (3.5-oz) serving. This is much higher than you would generally eat at once. You’d probably consume closer to a tablespoon (20 grams) or teaspoon (7 grams). Jaggery may also contain small amounts of B vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc, phosphorus and copper.

Conclusion

So, the answer to the question, “is jaggery better than sugar?”. Yes, Indeed Jaggery is a superior and more natural form of sugar. If possible, replace regular white granulated/crystal sweetener in your diet with jaggery sugar or jaggery powder. Pakistan’s jaggery powder is considered to be the best in the world but the industry is very unorganized and so the jaggery powder product available in the market is a little expensive. But make no mistake, jaggery powder is worth your every single rupee. Stay safe and stay healthy! Watch our video on the benefits of jaggery powder here.

 

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