Healthy and Unhealthy Forms of Sugar


Who doesn’t like sugar when they are baking? Yes, there are some people who prefer to go sugar-free, but the majority of us can’t get enough of that sweetness. Sugar comes in many shapes and forms when baking, making it hard to know which one is best for what dessert. It is difficult to bake with sugar when you are trying to eat healthy, but it’s not impossible.

Here is an overview of some common baking sugars, what types of desserts they are best used for, and how healthy they are for your family:

Granulated white sugar – Granulated is the most common form of sugar used in cooking and in recipes. It can be used for just about anything you can think of to bake. Unfortunately, there are no nutritional benefits in using this form of sugar. In fact, there are 108 calories in just one small serving size of granulated sugar!

Powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar) – Powdered sugar looks precisely like its name, powder. This type of sugar is used in meringue pies, some icings, and toppings for pastries. While powdered sugar may have small amounts of vitamins in minerals it is not significant to warrant the whopping 466 calories that are in a cup.

Brown sugar – Brown sugar is made from refined white sugar with molasses added to it. Brown sugar is a common ingredient in spice cakes, muffins, some cookies, and they give a great taste to baked apple goods. It is considered a cooking myth that brown sugar is healthier than granulated sugar. In fact, in most manufactured brown sugar granulated white sugar is used, so the only health value comes from the molasses, and it is miniscule.

It is important to note that these are not the only three sugars that can be used in your favorite dishes. However, they are the most common. Although these sugars are the most commonly used in cooking and baking, they are definitely not healthy. However, nature has provided us with many forms of sweeteners that are pure and do contain some health benefits.

Some of the purest sweeteners and their health benefits include:

Maple syrup – Natural maple syrup is lower in calories than any processed sugar. It contains nutrients like manganese, giving you energy, and is high in zinc, making it good for your heart health. Maple syrup is also linked to building your immune system and maintaining reproductive health in men.

Molasses – Molasses is a good source of vitamins and minerals when consumed in moderation, since it has as many calories as white sugar. Aside from that small downfall, it also contains calcium, iron, potassium and manganese, and is good for the health of your muscles, bones and teeth.

Honey – Honey is a great immunity builder, it is used as a natural remedy, and it is a natural energy pick-me-up. Honey is actually proven to help seasonal allergy sufferers when a teaspoon is eaten daily!

Corn syrup – Caro syrup is a natural form of corn syrup that has been used for a century to treat ailments like pharyngitis and constipation in babies. It is goof in moderation as it is linked to weight gain and increasing heart attack risks.

Whether you are baking cookies for the holidays or just a snack at home, there are many choices a baker has when reaching for a sweetener. If you prefer the taste of processed, it’s not a crime, however moderation is the key to consumption. Switch up your baking and use white sugar for cookies then maple syrup the next time. You are in control of your health and you control the measuring cup. Just decide which type of sugar you want to scoop up!

The Author:

Criss White is an article writer for My Baby Shower Favors and enjoys baking holiday cookies and other decorated cookies. Criss also enjoys reading when not writing.

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles

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