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Diet and Nutrition 2023

7 types of açúcar: difças and which one is best for saúde

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7 types of açúcar: difças and which one is best for saúde
7 types of açúcar: difças and which one is best for saúde

There are several types of sugar and they can vary according to their origin and manufacturing process, acquiring different nutritional characteristics. The most natural options are brown, demerara, organic and coconut sugar, which do not undergo many industrial processes and, therefore, manage to keep some fibers or minerals present in the raw material cane.

However, regardless of the type of processing, sugar is a type of simple carbohydrate that should be avoided and consumed only in small amounts, preferably without using it in the daily food routine. Excessive consumption of any type of sugar can cause problems such as weight gain, diabetes and inflammation in the body that leads to more chronic and degenerative problems with Alzheimer's disease, for example.


See below 7 types of sugar and their characteristics:

1. Crystal sugar

Crystal sugar has large, irregular crystals that are transparent or slightly yellow, easy to dissolve. During its manufacture, the sugarcane juice undergoes a process of purification, evaporation, crystallization and drying, which leads to the loss of minerals and vitamins.

Although most of the crystal sugar is white, it is also possible to find it in different colors, being used mainly to decorate cakes and birthday sweets. To obtain pink, blue or orange sugar, for example, the industry adds artificial colors during its preparation, which makes the sugar even less he althy and nutritionally poor. Discover 10 natural ways to replace sugar.

2. Icing sugar

Powdered sugar has very fine grains, making it ideal for making preparations such as whipped cream, toppings and more homogeneous icings, as well as being used to decorate cakes and pies. This type of sugar has an appearance of talc or fine snow, it dissolves much more easily than crystal sugar, and during its manufacture starch is added to the formula, so that the super small grains do not come back together again.

3. Brown sugar

Brown sugar is obtained from the cooking of sugarcane syrup, keeping most of its nutrients, such as iron, folic acid, calcium, zinc and magnesium. Because it is unrefined, it also has larger, darker grains, which do not dilute as easily as refined sugar, and which taste very similar to sugar cane.

Although it is one of the he althiest versions, it is also rich in calories and should only be consumed in small amounts.

4. Demerara sugar

Similar to brown sugar, demerara is distinguished by going through a light process of purification and refinement, but without the use of chemical additives. It also retains the minerals present in sugarcane, and dissolves more easily, in addition to having a milder flavor than brown sugar.

5. Light sugar

Light sugar is obtained from a mixture between refined sugar and artificial or natural sweeteners, such as sodium cyclamate, saccharin or sucralose, making the final product have a greater sweetening power than common sugar, but with fewer calories, as it does not contain a large amount of sucrose. However, it should be consumed in moderation and use by people with type 1 or 2 diabetes should only be done after the nutritionist has indicated it.

6. Organic sugar

Organic sugar has the same calories as regular sugar, but preserves a small part of the nutrients present in sugar cane. The main difference is that during the production of organic sugar no artificial ingredients, fertilizers, chemical fertilizers or pesticides are used at any stage. This type of sugar also differs in that it is not refined, having a thicker and darker format, in addition to having a more expensive price.

7. Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is obtained from the sap of the coconut tree, not extracted from the coconut fruit. It is a minimally processed food, containing no preservatives and not undergoing refinement processes, as with common sugar. It has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar, helping it not to change blood glucose too much.

In addition, it contains minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium, and B vitamins.

It is important to remember that because it is a simple carbohydrate, all types of sugar should be avoided in cases of diabetes, in addition to being consumed only in small amounts to maintain balanced he alth and weight.

How to choose the best sugar

The best sugar is the one that undergoes the fewest types of processing, as it is possible to obtain a greater amount of nutrients, such as coconut, brown, demerara and organic sugar, which also have lower glycemic index, preventing fat accumulation.

However, even though they are considered he althier compared to other types of sugar, it is important that consumption is not excessive, as they can favor weight gain or the occurrence of blood glucose spikes, for example.

So, to choose the best sugar, it is important to pay attention to the food label, checking the amount of calories per 100 grams or unit, the list of ingredients and the nutritional composition.

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