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Is brown sugar healthier than white sugar?
Asked by anonymous on Mar 31, 2010 in Nutrition

I want to avoid chemical sweeteners but I also what to make healthy choices. When baking, can I swap out white sugar for another sweet alternative without compromising taste? I use brown sugar in my oatmeal, Sugar in the Raw in my coffee, and Agave Nectar in my yogurt.  How do these different options compare? Am I making the right choices?


Brown sugar is not healthier than white sugar. Brown sugar is basically granulated sugar with a little molasses added.  As far as they other sugars go, raw sugar is unrefined sugar extracted from sugar cane and crystallized through evaporation. It has a few more minerals but the amounts are not significant. Agave (ah-GAH-vay) nectar is a sweetener made from the spiky agave plant. Its nutrient contribution is insignificant but it impacts blood sugar less than cane sugar does. In baking, white, brown and raw sugars have a one-to-one conversion, but when replacing one cup of sugar with agave nectar, use 2/3 of a cup of agave and reduce the other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 to 1/3 cup.

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