“I stopped using white sugar and bought brown ones is it ok?”
The short answer is: No. Brown sugar is not better than white sugar. Sugar is sugar, period!
But I’m sure you’re interested in more of an explanation and some more details on the different types of sugars. So let’s take a closer look at them.
Current dietary guidelines from the World Health Organization are to eat no more than 25 g or 6 teaspoons added sugar per day.
This can be difficult for us to do with the state of our current food supply. According to the Institute of Responsible Nutrition, around 77% of grocery store items contain added sugar – which is just crazy, right?
That means many people eat way more than 6 teaspoons per day, simply because they are not aware of all the different foods that contain sugar. Always read the labels.
Sugar, Diabetes and Metabolic Issues
Sugar just happens to be half glucose / half fructose.
Although foods may have similar calories, according to Dr DiNicolantonio: “Different types of calories have different metabolic effects in the body.”
In Dr James DiNicolantonio research they compared different types of sugars – sugar (50% glucose/50% fructose), glucose, and starch. What they found was that fructose is more harmful to metabolic issues than other carbohydrates.
As a diabetic you have metabolic issues. What this means is that your metabolism is not working correctly. For example, your body does not metabolize carbohydrates effectively. You may also have issues with weight, cholesterol, or blood pressure. These are all types of metabolic issues.
So what Dr DiNicolantonio’s research shows is that sugar, because of it’s fructose content, is particularly harmful to people like you who have type 2 diabetes.
In fact, Dr DiNicolantonio goes as far as saying: “It’s clear from our review that type 2 diabetes is driven by added sugar – ‘refined sugars, added sugars’.” And further suggests that: “The current recommendations from some institutions are putting the population at risk of major health issues.”
I know he’s not the only researcher to find such results.
Sugar Nutrition Facts
Now let’s take a look at the comparison of different sugars.
For 1 Tablespoon of each item
White sugar – 48 cal, 12.6 g carbs/sugar, 0 nutrients, GI: 54-84.
Brown sugar – 51 cal, 13.5 g carbs/sugar, 3 mg sodium, 18 mg potassium, 0 nutrients, GI: 54-84 .
Raw sugar – 45 cal, 12 g carbs/sugar, 0 nutrients, GI: 54-84.
Molasses – 58 cal, 15 g carb/sugar, 7 mg sodium, 41 mg calcium, 0.94 mg iron, 293 mg potassium, 0.134 mg niacin, GI: 55.
Blackstrap molasses – 47 cal, 12 g carb/sugar, 172 mg calcium, 3.5 mg iron, 43 mg magnesium, 8 mg phosphorus, 498 mg potassium, 11 mg sodium, 3.6 mcg selenium, 0.216 mg niacin, GI: 55.
Rapadura sugar – 45 cal, 12 g carb/sugar, 5.7 g iron, 3.6 g vitamin C, GI: 65.
Coconut sugar – 45 cal, 12 g carbs/sugar, 0 nutrients, GI: 35.
Raw honey – 70 cal, 17 g carb/sugar, 11 mg potassium, antibacterial and antiviral, GI: 50.
Brown rice syrup – 21 cal, 15 g carb/sugar, 4.8 mg calcium, 49.4 mg magnesium, 1.9 mg manganese, 14.8 mg phosphorus, 2.8 mg, vit B6, GI: 25.
Maple syrup – 52 cal, 13-14 g carb/sugar, 4 mg phosphorus, 42 mg potassium, 2 mg sodium, 1 g calcium, GI: 54.
As you can see, most forms of sugar contain the similar amounts of carbs/ sugars. As a diabetic the thing that influences blood sugar the most is the amount of carbs you have.
Your best option out of all of them is coconut sugar and brown rice syrup, because of their lower glycemic index load. Brown rice syrup contains no fructose.
What kind of sweetener should you eat?
Well it does depend because everyone is different. But we use stevia or erythritol in our diabetic desserts and sweets – read more about best sweetener options over here.
These have zero carbs and sugars and don’t impact blood sugar at all in most people. The odd person does still get blood sugar spikes from stevia.
The best bet is to test, test, test. Only your glucose monitor can really tell you what types of foods you’re most sensitive too. People with diabetes have a carbohydrate intolerance, but everyone’s tolerance is different.
What sweetener do you use? And, will you be trying something different now? Leave your comments below.
Please share, pin, or tweet this post.
Stuck for Sugar Free Dessert Inspiration?
100% diabetic friendly, low carb, sugar free, DELICIOUS desserts!
Look good don’t they? That’s because they are, and that’s just 2 of the tasty desserts you’ll find in the menu.
Brown sugar is just granulated sugar mixed with molasses, so it actually more processed than white sugar. I work at a sugar factory.
Hello Jedha….im 30 yrs old and type 2 diabetic….in a bit of a funny situation here…..
I have no access to low carb food or artificial sweetners for diabetics….major part of my diet is white rice (i work with a lot of filipinos)….my nature of work leaves me little or almost no time to work out a lot….but i do wat i can…..
If i take my prescibed medicines, cut my added sugar intake and work out all at the same time….i feel drained and dizzy….n my blood suar level drops to 70…(i monitor religiously) and on the other hand if i skip my meds or my work outs…the blood sugar shoots up very fast (lingers around 250 after a wk long cheating) any advice…especially with respect to diet and workouts?
Sometimes i feel little pain n burning sensation in my lower back towards left side jus below the rib cage….is it related to diabetes…?
Need advice on a better diet if you almost have no special diabetes friendly food available and make do with what everyone eats…thanx…cheers…
Emily - Dietitian (MS, RD)
Sounds like a tough situation. You need to choose the lowest carb foods available to you, and try to keep your daily intake as close to (or under) 130 grams per day, even lower is better. As far as the erratic blood sugars go, I would recommend working with your health care team to make possible adjustments to your diet and/or meds on days that you workout, and vice versa. It could be as simple as bringing a snack with you to eat right before starting your workout. That pain and burning is usually associated with diabetic neuropathy, although not typically does it occur in your low back. Again, check with your doctor and they would have to run diagnostic tests to check if it is related to diabetes.
If they didn’t all taste so nasty it would be so much easier to stop the sugar but being from the south, sweet tea is hard! I have been able to cut back by asking for 1/2 sweet and 1/2 unsweetened ice tea when we go out to eat or at drive-thru’s. I hate this, all of this… it SUCKS!
True BB, making adjustments is not easy but your health IS worth the effort.
I use Stevia….and there is a brown sugar made by splenda that I use in recipes….
Sounds good Cindy, they are both good options 🙂
I Just found out I’m type 2 diabetic. I have cut out all carbs that is breads ,pastas, rice sna any sugars. I have some Palm sugar that I bought a while back.It is dark brown and has a slight caramel smell it says it is low glycemic. Do you you know anything about it. I am not a big sweet eater never have been. I make the little cakes they look a like a pancake out of almond flour and I have used the palm sugar before. One tablespoon has 3 g. of carbs. Is this something that I should or should not continue to use?
Hi JoAnn, Palm sugar is the same as Coconut sugar, which is also listed above “1 Tablespoon – Coconut sugar – 45 cal, 12 g carbs/sugar, 0 nutrients, GI: 35.”
Though it may be a lower GI, it’s bascially exactly the same as sugar and is best avoided. Just because something is dark brown does not make it a good option. Most sugar – whether they be natural or not – are going to raise blood sugar levels. We use liquid stevia extract in all our desserts and sweets. Hope that helps.
Yes this does help. I use very little of the Palm sugar and not every day. I mainly use it in little almond cakes that I make.I put a tablespoon in this recipe, it gives it just a touch of sweet. I make about 6 at a time . They are about the size of the palm of your hand. These will last me four of five days. I use three egg whites one to two tablespoons of milk ,one cup almond flour with flax seed sesame seed and any other seed I have and walnuts . I Mix it all up and spoon it in to my little pan, cook it on each side,cool and store in an airtite container. There are very few carbs in these and they really make a nice snack. Thank you for all your help and great information.
Sounds delicious and with only one tablespoon of sugar they would be low in carbs. We all need snacks and these sound perfect. 🙂
I am type 2 and i find it hard to cook something that is good for me
It feels like everything i make my sugar is high and goes to 15 to 20
I was told that if i drank 8 glasses of water a day it would bring it down
Emily - Dietitian (MS, RD)
Cindy, drinking water can help bring your high sugar levels down. However, it would be wise to figure out WHY your sugar levels are going high (so that you can prevent them from going high in the first place.)
Here is a list of blood sugar friendly foods that you may find helpful. Remember, carbohydrates are going to have the most impact on your blood sugar, whereas protein and fat will have less of an effect. This is why we encourage a low carb diet for people with type 2 diabetes.