Are jaggery and honey better alternatives to sugar? Dietitians bust myths | Health

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In trendy occasions and amid rising risks of sedentary life-style, individuals are changing into extra aware about what they’re consuming. The ill-effects of meals like refined sugar, trans fat, and junk meals are broadly identified and contemplating these meals will be became scrumptious recipes, many individuals search for their alternate options to cut back danger of persistent ailments. Instead of sugar, many individuals add honey, jaggery or brown sugar, to get extra vitamins as an alternative of empty energy. These pure alternate options are additionally believed to be higher for blood sugar administration. Nonetheless, specialists say that jaggery and honey could have dietary benefit over sugar, however they might nonetheless result in sugar spikes. This is what you should know. (Additionally learn: Aspartame could improve your most cancers danger; record of meals which have aspartame from food plan coke to sugar-free puddings)

In place of sugar, many people add honey, jaggery or brown sugar, to get additional nutrients instead of empty calories. (Freepik)
Instead of sugar, many individuals add honey, jaggery or brown sugar, to get extra vitamins as an alternative of empty energy. (Freepik)

Shamika Girkar, Scientific Dietician and Bariatric Nutritionist, Dr Aparna’s Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgical procedure Centre, Mumbai in an interview with HT Digital bust myths concerning sugar and its most typical, naturally discovered alternate options like brown sugar, jaggery and honey.

Brown sugar

Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added again to it. Molasses offers the wealthy brown color together with a scrumptious flavour. It has barely extra minerals and moisture as in comparison with white sugar however each of them are nonetheless primarily composed of sucrose. Molasses from the brown sugar is eliminated by numerous processes to kind the shiny crystalline white sugar.


Honey, in its purest kind, has some quantities of nutritional vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any extra sugars or preservative components. Then again, commercially bought honey usually has additional elements like flavours, sugar, and colouring added to it, with the intention to make it last more on the shelf, look extra interesting to prospects, and tempt their style buds.


Jaggery is constituted of the juices of palm bushes or sugarcane and is gaining recognition as a alternative for white sugar. It incorporates minuscule quantity of nutritional vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it’s nonetheless a concentrated supply of energy and sugar.

Is it a good suggestion to substitute sugar with honey or jaggery?

Substituting jaggery or honey for refined white sugar can present a small improve in vitamins in a single’s food plan. Nonetheless, it is not advisable so as to add additional jaggery or honey to meals solely for the aim of accelerating nutrient consumption. It is usually extra helpful to acquire nutritional vitamins and minerals from lower-calorie sources.

Honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, and white sugar all have comparable dietary values. All are composed of glucose, fructose, and/or sucrose in various quantities, present an equal quantity of power (roughly 4 energy per gram), and include insignificant quantities of nutritional vitamins and minerals.

So, what must you select; sugar, honey or jaggery?

“When contemplating caloric content material alone, not one of the sweeteners—sugar, honey, or jaggery stand out as considerably higher than one another. All of them contribute additional energy to your food plan. Subsequently, in case your main concern is calorie administration, it is best to make use of these sweeteners sparingly or think about other ways to sweeten your meals and drinks, resembling utilizing pure fruit sweetness or synthetic sweeteners with fewer energy”, says Shamika Girkar.

Whereas jaggery and honey could include barely extra nutritional vitamins and minerals in comparison with refined sugar, the precise quantity you eat in every day use is often not adequate to make a major affect in your total nutrient consumption. Additionally, the adulterations that these merchandise include are a significant lookout to decide.

“Contemplating the financial realities confronted by a good portion of the Indian inhabitants belonging to the center class, it is true that many individuals could depend on native shops that supply extra reasonably priced however usually processed and fewer nutritious merchandise. This example can certainly result in a food plan that’s excessive in empty energy, which can contribute to numerous well being considerations over time”, says Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker, bariatric surgeon at Saifee, Namaha and Apollo Spectra hospitals in Mumbai.

Understanding how jaggery, honey, sugar, or another sweetener works is important for making the correct determination for your self.

“Some individuals think about honey and jaggery as a superfood as a result of it has extra nutritional vitamins and minerals and a decrease sucrose content material than sugar. Nonetheless, all three of them include the identical quantity of carbohydrates (sugar) and the blood glucose peak would be the similar when consumed in equal portions. Additionally, when heated, each jaggery and honey will lose the vitamin and mineral content material via evaporation,” says Girkar.

“Along with that, added sugars increase calorie consumption, the sensory impact of meals, and total satisfaction however they don’t seem to be important for good well being and diet. They’ll substitute nutrient-dense meals and result in poor well being outcomes by delivering energy with out different essential components resembling nutritional vitamins, minerals, or different vital vitamins,” says Dr Aparna.

The important thing message stays that these alternate options should not a license to eat limitless portions of sweeteners. The very best method to sugar consumption is to restrict added sugars in your food plan and concentrate on entire, minimally processed meals.

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