Raw Sugar: Whole Food or Hoax?

Monday Morning Review: #Balance Your Life with Heart

Today marks the beginning of a new feature I am adding to the Monday Morning Review and I’m excited to share it with you. I’ve teamed up with some pretty incredible ladies  to offer a few ways to bring balance to your life. Our goal is to to share information on four different blogs on how to bring balance with Spirit, Mind, Body and Heart.

BalanceYourLife

Spirit is represented by Heather @ My Sweet Mission.  Visit her to see what great wisdom she is sharing today.This week Heather addresses  Overcoming Fear

Body will be represented by Caroline @ Fit Pink Mom. She shares simple exercises to to get the body moving. Caroline is sharing some awesome Stretching Exercises anyone can do. 

I represent HeartPure Grace Farms and  will be sharing healthy recipes and ideas with an emphasis on whole food. I love sharing with you what’s going on in my kitchen! Today I am sharing Raw Sugar: Whole Food or Hoax.

Mind comes from Christina and Millie @ 2 Crochet Hooks  sharing easy crafts you can make from items found in the home, great book reviews, fun games and activities to build memory. Fun stuff, you won’t want to miss. Millie and Kristina are sharing a great post on Positive Thinking.

I hope Balance your Life enriches your experience here at Pure Grace Farms and you take the opportunity to see the great ideas from all four blogs that may help to bring balance to your life. Have fun and enjoy!

Raw Sugar: Whole food or Hoax Raw Sugar: Whole Food or Hoax?

Recently the question came up; is raw sugar a whole food? I too have wondered about this question, so I decided to do some research to find out the answer. Since I’m not an expert, I pulled together a review of sorts from those that are much more knowledgeable than I.  Here’s what I discovered.

Let’s start from the beginning.

What is raw sugar?

Raw sugar is cane sugar which has been minimally processed. The precise definition varies, depending on who you talk to. Adherents to a raw food diet, for example, may have very specific definitions which involve temperature and handling, while others may view any sort of lightly refined sugar as raw sugar. In all cases, raw sugar is the product of the first stage of the cane sugar refining process. ~ What is Raw Sugar: Wise Geek

What is Evaporated Cane Sugar?

Evaporated cane sugar is the  juice that comes from the sugarcane. The juice from the cane is then processed in various ways to achieve evaporation, leaving only sugar crystals behind. 

Raw Sugar: Whole food or Hoax The Benefits of Natural Cane Sugar

The natural sugar cane is brimming with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fibers, and phytonutrients that help the body digest the naturally occurring sugars. The minerals required to digest sugar are calcium, phosphorous, chromium, magnesium, cobalt, copper, iron, zinc and manganese. It also contains vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which work synergistically with the minerals to nourish the body. ~ ProcessedFreeAmerica.Org

Processing Sugar Cane

Putting the organic issue aside, it is important to note that all raw sugar and evaporated cane sugar is not the same. The way the cane sugar is processed makes a huge difference on how much of the nutrients from the sugar cane is left behind. As with any other fruit or vegetable, high heat processing destroys vitamins and minerals, leaving the sugar devoid of any nutritional benefit. Most manufacturing of sugar cane in the United States uses high heat processing. The “raw sugar” sold  in our grocery stores and in most food products that list “evaporated cane sugar” most likely use a form of high heat processing. Unfortunately because of the processing technique, much of our “natural” products are devoid of the benefits the natural sugar cane has to offer.

Raw Sugar: Whole food or Hoax

Rapadura Picture by ProcessedFreeAmerica.Org

Raw Sugar as a Whole Food

The good news is there are products manufactured outside of the US that do not use the high heat process so prevalent in the United States. To enjoy Pure Cane Sugar as a whole food it is best to prepare your own whole foods when possible using a low heat processed evaporated pure cane sugar.

  • Rapadura / Sucranat – Made by extracting juice with a press and then stirring the juice with paddles while the water evaporates over very low heat  Sometimes comes in brick form, but most often has been put through a fine sieve producing a very dark grainy brown colored sugar.

Raw Sugar Refined: The Great Hoax

Other types of so-called “natural” sugars on the market like Muscavado, Turbinado, Demarara, wrongly called “Evaporated Cane Juice and Evaporated Cane Sugar”, Sugar in the Raw, and Organic Raw Sugar are all refined, though not as much as white sugar. They are all boiled, dehydrated into crystals, then spun in a centrifuge so the crystals are separated from the molasses. The clarifying process is usually done with chemicals, although sometimes through pressure filtration.  The crystals are then reunited with some of the molasses in artificial proportions to produce sugars of varying colors of brown. ~ ProcessedFreeAmerica.Org

Conclusion

It is good to remember that sugar is still sugar and should be used in moderation. I am not recommending that by buying Rapadura or Sucranat one now has a license to use sugar in huge quantities. We all know that this is not healthy no matter the nutrients that may be gleaned from it. What I do believe is that these minimally refined sugars can take their place along with honey and maple syrup when needed. As with everything else, moderation is key.

Resources:
The Skinny on Evaporated Cane Juice: ProcessedFreeAmerica.Org
What is Raw Sugar: Wise Geek

Raw Sugar: Whole Food or Hoax? shared with:

Creative K Kids: Bloggers Brags * Plucky’s  Second Thought *Yesterfood: Treasure Box Tuesday * April J Harris: Hearth and Soul Blog Hop * Lou Lou Girls: Lou Lou Girls *Back to the Basics: Tuesdays with a Twist  *Southern Beauty: Let’s Be Friends *The Ultimate Linky: Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop *Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesdays *Simply Sweets: Party in Your PJ’s *Jordon’s Onion: Thank Goodness it’s Thursday * The Pin Junkie: Pin Junkie Pin Party * Juggling Real Food and Real Life: Let’s Get Real *Feathers in the Woods: Green Thumb Thursday Snippets of Inspiration: *Weekend Wind-Down *In the Kitchen with Jenny: Foodie Friends Friday *Natasha in Oz: Say G’day *Our Rosey Life: Share it Sunday *Life with Garnish: Teach Me Tuesday

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”