Is Brown Sugar Better for Gut Health?
Brown sugar versus white sugar, which is better? Really simple question, right? But it's confusing a lot of people and understandably so. It's a simple question that's been made to be really complex.
And today, by the end of this topic, you are going to better understand what the differences really are. And I'm filming again from Costa Rica, I woke up extra mornings or extra early today so that we don't have the wood cutting in the background. So today you get to hear the birds waking up as the sun is rising. So hopefully that's much more pleasant for you.
And I'm Ashley Oswald, I'm a registered dietitian, and founder of Oswald Digestive Clinic, where we help people improve and often eliminate bothersome gut issues like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, and more. So let's just without delay dive right in and start talking about brown versus white sugar.
So let's start out by talking about how sugar is made. Basically what happens is they take the sugar cane, which is what you see on the sides of the streets.
We'll show a picture here and it's pressed, they roll it through a presser many times to get this liquid out, which is basically liquid sugar. And then that is dehydrated. And that's how we get brown sugar.
Now brown sugar turns to white sugar simply because phosphate is added to the brown sugar to make it white, and then to make it crystalline, another machine is used to make it crystalline.
So brown sugar and white sugar, they're a lot more similar than what you might think or what you might be told by marketing. Cause marketing makes you think that brown is way, way, way more natural, right? It is. It's more natural because it doesn't have that phosphate added to it.
However, when it comes to gut health, they are pretty similar because here's the thing. For gut health, it's really all about the quantity of sugar. And then also what's going on with your individual health.
So if you're struggling with something like yeast overgrowth, or candida, then yeah, you'll likely be more sensitive to sugars. You can make your symptoms worse and you likely will have to be more mindful of this versus somebody who isn't really experiencing symptoms.
And for overall health, they're pretty well having a bit of sugar in their eating is likely not going to trigger symptoms for them, but for everybody regardless, it's really smart for overall health and kind of preventative care to keep your added sugar intake under the World Health Organization's recommendation of 25 grams of added sugar per day or six teaspoons. So 25 grams of added sugar per day at six teaspoons, that's about the same amount.
And what this looks like in food form is one cup of most orange juices have this much-added sugar or one container of yogurt because yogurts are notorious for having a lot of added sugars or a three-inch donut. So inches from there to there is about one inch. So a doughnut that's about three of those, or simply two tablespoons of a honey barbecue sauce or half of a small brownie. So that much-added sugar,
I give some examples because it's in smaller amounts of food. Then you likely realize, that sugar goes by a lot of different names on the label because these companies are getting sneaky, and to see what added sugars are in a product, you're going to look at the ingredient list. And the first thing on the ingredient list is what's most of in the product.
So because these companies don't want to put sugar as their first ingredient, they're using a bunch of different names for it. So that accumulatively, it adds up to being a good amount of sugar in the product, making it really sweet and for a good amount of people, a preferable and tasty, right, but just really sweet. And so by looking at all these different names, they could use three different names and have those ingredients fall lower on the ingredient list.
So maybe the number one ingredient is oats, but then down the line, like with oatmeal, there are different forms of sugar.
So next there's moonshine, where does moonshine come from? Because that's a part of this process as well. Moonshine is simply that liquid sugar that's left to ferment for two weeks and becomes this alcoholic fermented beverage called moonshine.
And moonshine is about 70% alcohol. It's not legal to sell something that high in alcohol. So it gets watered down to 40% and that's called rum. So basically moonshine and rum are the same things.
But well, they're not the same thing. They come from the same source and moonshine is just much stronger at 70%. And when it comes to gut health when somebody is really trying to heal their gut it could be a hindrance to that process of healing.
However, for overall health, we look at the blue zones, which are these pockets around the world, where people are living really healthfully beyond a hundred years old. Some of these cultures, do have a glass of wine or a glass of beer in their day-to-day eating it's incorporated into their culture. So to say, alcohol's always bad.
And we have some research showing in small amounts, maybe it's protective of different disease states. We just can't make that conclusion.
So it really has to like most things in nutrition come down to each person as an individual, personalized nutrition, functional nutrition is all about personalized nutrition because two people could be experiencing the same symptom like gas and bloat, for example, but the root cause of it could be totally different for those two people. And what helps them feel better could be totally different as well.
Hope you learn a lot from this topic. Let me know if you have topic ideas for future videos, I'd love to make these cater to you this channel is all about you. So just let me know in the comments below.
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Have a nice day and see you at the next one!
If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.
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