You probably grew up with the understanding that brown sugar was a healthier alternative to regular sugar, but is that really the case? You have probably heard that the brown version of many things is healthier. For example; brown bread is better than white, brown rice is healthier than white, and the same is said about noodles too, but is it even true? You probably haven’t stopped to really think about it, and since we know that bread, rice and pasta are completely out of the question as they are not Paleo, it is time to delve deeper into the question; is brown sugar Paleo?
What is Brown Sugar?
Great question! Sugar is typically recognized as being an unhealthy ingredient despite it coming from plants. This is all due to the process that sugar goes through to give you that sweet taste you recognize when you bite into a modern diet doughnut. White sugars are high of sucrose which gets extracted from sugar cane and sugar beet plants. Then it is heated to kill off enzymes, only to then be heated some more which allows for the water to evaporate. Eventually, you get a sugary liquid, that has the sugar crystals. It is then dried out even more which is often referred to as cane sugar, raw sugar or natural brown sugar.
A Closer Look
Just as is the case in many situations, what is known in the modern diet as brown sugar isn’t really the natural brown sugar which is referenced previously. The natural stuff is actually processed and refined even more, which rides sugar of the brown color and any other negative minerals that keeps it from being 100% sucrose. In the modern diet, the sugar is then coated in molasses which you can basically do in your kitchen, sans the increase in price.
Is Brown Sugar Paleo?
To be fair, brown sugar is sugar – and not the natural stuff because the natural sugars that are allowed on the Paleo diet aren’t brown at all. However, brown sugar (the varieties that can be found in grocery stores) are healthier than the white sugar options. If you want to get technical though, brown sugar is not Paleo. If you want Paleo friendly substitutes, than you are better off opting for molasses, local honey, maple syrup, or dates instead. Some may also argue that those aren’t 100% Paleo either though.
To each their own.