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Diabetics Consume Brown Sugar, Is It Really Safer?

Diabetics who want to still taste sweet, generally will looking for an alternative to white sugar. The type of sugar that is generally chosen is brown sugar. However, is brown sugar really safe for consumption? Check out the explanation below.

Diabetics Consume Brown Sugar, Is It Really Safer?

Facts About Brown Sugar

Brown sugar comes from the sap of the coconut tree which is heated until the water evaporates and leaves brown sugar. This sugar has a caramel aroma and is popular as a cooking ingredient in Southeast Asia and Africa.

There is an opinion that brown sugar is better than regular granulated sugar. However, can diabetics consume brown sugar?

Before answering this question, there are several things to consider, including:

1. Low Glycemic Index Score

The glycemic index is a rating system for foods that contain carbohydrates. This score will indicate how quickly each food affects blood sugar levels after eating.

According to Apepperan Diabetes Associationthe glycemic index is divided into:

  • Low: a score of 55 or below
  • Medium: score between 56-69
  • High: score of 70 or above

It is known that the glycemic index score for brown sugar is 54 so it is included in the low category. Some people think that this sugar is healthier because it has a low glycemic index score.

A low score means that brown sugar is less likely to make blood sugar spike.

However, this score does not automatically make brown sugar a healthy type of sugar for diabetics. This sugar still has the same carbohydrates and types of sugar as granulated sugar, so it can still increase blood sugar levels.

Also Read: Can Diabetics Eat Peanut Butter?

2. Contains Minerals

Brown sugar goes through less processing when compared to granulated sugar. Therefore, this sugar contains several minerals such as zinc, potassium, calcium, manganese, and iron.

Manganese is a mineral that has the potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, namely by reducing the risk of insulin resistance.

However, to be able to get the benefits, you need to consume large amounts of brown sugar. You can get this mineral source from consuming various fruits and vegetables.

3. Contains Inulin

Inulin is a type of dietary fiber that has good benefits for digestion. A study found that this sugar has an amount of inulin of 4.7 grams per 100 grams.

Inulin is known to provide benefits for women with type 2 diabetes, including controlling blood sugar and increasing the amount of antioxidants.

However, to get the benefits required consumption in large quantities. Meanwhile, consumption of added sugar is only recommended for less than 10% of total calorie needs.

Thus, brown sugar cannot meet the needs of inulin in diabetics.

Also Read: Sugar Substitute Sweetener, These are 10 Benefits of Stevia for Health

Can Diabetics Consumption of Brown Sugar?

There is not enough evidence to suggest that brown sugar is healthier for diabetics.

Brown sugar and all types of sugar have a high calorific value and low nutrition. Brown sugar also still contains glucose, fructose and sucrose so that it can still increase blood sugar.

However, judging from its low glycemic index score, brown sugar can be consumed by diabetics as long as it is in small amounts and still considering daily calorie and carbohydrate intake.

People with diabetes need to be more careful about consuming all types of sugar, including brown sugar.

If you are confused about determining the right amount, you should consult with your doctor. I hope this information is helpful.

  1. Anonymous. What Is The Glycaemic Index (GI)? (Accessed December 21, 2022).
  2. Anonymous. 2022. Palm Sugar: Are There Health Benefits? (Accessed December 21, 2022).
  3. Barham, Lana. 2019. Can People With Diabetes Eat Coconut Palm Sugar? (Accessed December 21, 2022).
  4. Gardner, Elaine. 2017. The Unbearable Sweetness Of Sugar (And Sugar Alternatives). (Accessed December 21, 2022).

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