Sugar is one of the most consumed food products in the market; almost everyone in the world consumes sugar in one form or another. According to a survey, the worldwide consumption of sugar is expected to reach 174.41 million metric tons in 2022. This number was only 154.1 million metric tons in 2010.
AS the level of sugar consumption increases, so does the prevalence of diseases in the population, and we have strong reasons to believe that this increase is liked with the consumption of excess sugar. According to a research article, sugar consumption is directly linked with the effectiveness of the spread of non-communicable diseases, and the effects of sugar on our bodies are similar to that of alcohol. This article further links the prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome to sugar consumption.
With all this information out there, and the constant warnings of doctors and dieticians, people have become more aware, and now, they are trying to eliminate this white poison from their diets by substituting it with other products. Two of the most popular sugar alternatives used by many are Brown sugar and Coconut sugar.
This article explores the reality of these two sugar alternatives, their differences and their potential health benefits. So, keep reading to find out all you need to know about the differences between Coconut Sugar and Brown sugar.
Coconut Sugar vs. Brown sugar
It may be hard to believe that there might actually be some differences between these two, but trust us, they are not the same thing. Some subtle differences like production method, source, texture, nutritional value set them apart. But you should also keep in mind that they are both just sugar at the end of the day, so both of them have their commonalities, which we will also discuss in the next section.
It might be tempting to use coconut sugar in your recipes to add that extra nutty taste to your baked goods. But you should use coconut sugar with caution in your baking recipes as it is way less predictable than other kinds of sugars. This unpredictability can cause your baked products to become very thick and dry.
So, using Coconut sugar is kind of a risk, which you’re better off with, especially when you have guests over and your dishes need to be perfect. But if you are making cookies for your little ones, you can always experiment with coconut sugar, and who knows, your kids might like it better than the other kinds of sugar. The difference in taste, however, is not too great.
Brown sugar, on the other hand, is frequently used in baking. You can never go wrong with using brown sugar because it is considered a lot more consistent when delivering results. Brown sugar also has the bonus of being lighter on your pocket, and you won’t have to go from store to store searching for brown sugar, as it is easily available in almost all grocery stores.
The texture is an important factor to consider while choosing the kind of sugar you’re going to use because sugars dissolve depending on the kind of texture they have. In general, the sugar with large individual particles takes longer to mix, and the sugars with small particles mix quicker.
We can best describe this link between the mixing rate and particle size in terms of surface area. Sugars with larger individual particles have less surface, which means there is less area for the water, coffee, tea (or whatever you’re mixing the sugar in) to come into contact with. So, naturally, it will mix slowly.
And the opposite of this is true for sugars with small individual particles. Coconut sugar has larger individual particles than brown sugar, mixing more quickly. Brown sugar also has more moisture while also being stickier because of the added molasses during production, making its mixing speed even faster.
Production and Raw Materials
One of the key factors that differentiate brown sugar from Coconut sugar is the raw materials used in their production. And the raw materials play an important role in determining the health benefits, nutritional content, and Glycemic index of each sugar. Coconut sugar is believed to have a lower GI and more health benefits than Brown sugar, but what led people to believe this?
For starters, it was clever marketing. Today, many people believe that Coconut sugar is made from coconut milk, meat, and water. But that is nowhere near the truth. In reality, Coconut milk is made from coconut palm sap. The sap is the sugary-sweet fluid that flows in the coconut palm.
A cut is made on the flower of the coconut palm, and the sap is collected. Then, it is heated to release the water, and we are left with a brownish powder called coconut sugar. On the other hand, Brown sugar is made similar to producing white sugar from sugar cane or sugar beets. The difference between white sugar and brown sugar is the addition of molasses to brown sugar during production.
Coconut sugar is believed to be healthier than Brown sugar in terms of the nutrients present. This claim is true to some extent, but not entirely. Because Coconut sugar is less refined than brown sugar, it retains more nutrients from the raw material it was made (Think of honey, how it has a lot of nutrients because it is minimally processed).
But these minerals are trace minerals, which means they are not present in large quantities. You’d have to consume a lot of Coconut sugar to see any positive results in your health. So, no matter if you use coconut or brown sugar, keep the amount in check and be mindful of how much you’re consuming.
So What’s the Difference Between Coconut Sugar and Brown Sugar?
Even though brown sugar and Coconut sugar are both sugars, some subtle differences set them apart:
- Brown sugar has a smaller individual particle size than coconut sugar, so it mixes more quickly.
- Brown sugar has almost no nutrients, while coconut sugar has trace minerals present.
- Brown sugar is made like white sugar and the addition of molasses, while coconut sugar is made from Coconut palm sap
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