19 “Natural” Sugars

19 Sugars Considered Natural


Most people who do much research on food have probably come to the conclusion that the most natural type foods are best – whether bread, veggies, or sugar. Stuff that’s manufactured and just as much chemical or pesticide as it is edible food has no business going in your mouth. And, yes, it’s true that there are some sweeteners out there that are a bit more healthy than others…

About a week ago, we stumbled upon an article about sugars. It covered 19 different types of sugar – all considered “natural” by the common consumer. We thought it had some nice information, so we condensed the sugar information into the table you see below. Thanks to the original author who compiled the sugars and their descriptions, Diana Herrington who posted these valuable tidbits on Care2.com as an article entitled 19 Sugars and Sweeteners: Which Are Healthy?. We added some pictures, color, and shortened her descriptions a bit to give you a quick overview of these 19 sugars she addresses:

White Sugar: Pure chemical extract of sugar cane or sugar beet.
Brown Sugar: Basically just white sugar coated in molasses.
Fructose: NOT FROM FRUIT. A commercial, refined sugar.
Sugar Alcohol: Neither sugar nor alcohol. NOT WHOLE FOODS.
Fruit Juice Concentrate: Refined and stripped of flavor and nutrients.
Demerara Sugar: Made by heating extracted sugar cane juice until it crystalizes.
Evaporated Sugar Cane Juice: Less processing than refined sugar.
Sugar Cane Juice: Made from same type of sugar cane as white sugar.
Sucanat: Made from sugar cane. Usually organically grown, minimally processed.
Coconut Sugar: From sap of coconut flowers. Boiled down to desired form.
Palm Sugar: Extracted from sap of date palm and palmyra trees.
Honey: Similar to table sugar. Pure, raw honey contains some nutrients.
Date Sugar: Not really sugar. Made from ground, dehydrated dates.
Maple Syrup: Made from sap of maple trees. Less refined than white sugar.
Barley Malt Syrup: From sprouted barley. Complex sugar.
Brown Rice Syrup: From cooked brown rice. Complex sugar.
Molasses: Product of sugar cane and sugar beet refining.
Agave Nectar: Extracted from agave (the same plant tequila is made from).
Stevia: Natural, complex sugar from the plant Stevia Rebaudiana.

Intense, right? There are so many different types of sugar! Diana primarily uses the last four in her kitchen: brown rice syrup, molasses, agave, and stevia, and never uses the first four: white sugar, brown sugar, fructose, and sugar alcohols.

What do you use in your baking? Have you found a killer combination that you like to substitute when a recipe calls for 2 cups of white sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar? Or perhaps you have a substitution suggestion you want the whole world to know about for when a recipe asks for powdered (also called confectioners) sugar? Share it with us here! We’d love to hear what you have to say! And – if you have questions, feel free to leave them also! You never know who might be here, waiting to answer!

Live healthy!


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