When walking supermarket aisles, reading the label on various products, you’ll most likely come across the ingredients: ‘cane sugar’, ‘unrefined sugar’, ‘beet sugar’, ‘fructose’, ‘sucrose’, ‘glucose fructose syrup’ and many, many more. It’s so confusing! What do all these terms mean, and where do the ingredients come from?
At some stage, you’ve probably become aware that it’s ‘better’ (whatever that means) to buy foods containing unrefined sugar, rather than simple white sugar that’s been processed. But what does the processing stage involve?
Essentially, unrefined sugars are those that come from the freshly harvested sugarcane without any refining process, apart from that which is involved to remove the liquid (water) from the ingredient, leaving traditional brown sugar types – like maple sugar, jaggery (an Indian originating pure brown chunky sugar type), molasses, panela (Colombian) and dark Muscovado sugar. These forms of sugar contain all the essential minerals and vitamins that existed in the plant itself, before it was harvested.
Refined sugars, on the other hand, are processed much more thoroughly than unrefined types. They are produced from raw crude sugars, with the production process involving many steps, such as remelting, filtering, evaporation and centrifuging. Impurities are removed from the original plant in this process, which can take place multiple times before the sugar is sold to a customer. Sucrose (formed of glucose and fructose) can make up up-to 99% of refined sugars, meaning they contain far fewer natural minerals than their unrefined counterparts.
At Nutcessity, we only use unrefined sugars, never any refined sugars like cane sugar or beet sugar. Unrefined sugars are more beneficial to the body and digestive system than refined sugars since they have a lower Glycaemic Index (GI) and boost the body with the minerals and vitamins they contain.
Photo Credited to: Calum Lewis, via Unsplash