January 28th, 2009

Unrefined Cane Sugar

by Tim, 15 Comments »

I think it’s amazing to watch the body’s reaction to refined and unrefined products. For example, whenever I have refined sugar I notice a marked terrible feeling. Ha. Almost every time that I have refined sugar I regret it. My body digests and responds so much better with unrefined sugar. Like Rapadura:

Rapadura by Rapunzel is the best that I have seen for high quality organic, unrefined sugar. Sucanat is good as well and still has the original molasses intact but it is processed differently. Buying “raw” sugar is better than refined, and I notice that I handle it better, but when sugar still has that crystal look to it then it is still more processed than I prefer it–it should look more like dirt.

Buying unrefined sugar is better for your health as it retains trace vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, vitamin B6, potassium and chromium, which help to balance blood sugar. Refined sugars do not retain theses vitamins and minerals. Also, real sugar is not white. Most people are just used to seeing and buying heavily processed and refined sugar. Really the major thing here is the insulin swings. As I just mentioned, having the minerals remain in the sugar (like chromium) greatly aid in the body’s ability to control and balance blood sugar. Some studies have shown that up to 98% of chromium is removed from refined sugars and flours.

So if you are going to enjoy sweet things and are going to use cane sugar, I highly recommend using unrefined Sucanat or Rapadura. Your body will thank you… and you can feel a little less guilty.

Update: Rapunzel has since removed the name Rapadura and is just calling their product Organic Whole Cane Sugar. Also, the processing for sucanat and what was once called rapadura is very similar now.

Related Posts:

High Fructose Corn Syrup – Yikes

  • I should have wrote this article. ha! Great post.

  • cabcree

    I like your site and what you write about. I have a great big issue with sugar. I know it. My body feels it, but I still grab a soda. I can't figure out why. Any advice for that? Or do I have to find some will power somewhere?

  • yeah… we both react the same way… and you should still write it… the more the merrier… and the better

  • Thanks! I do have some advice for you ūüôā Everyone has issues with sugar (whether they realize it or not), your body craves it especially if you regularly feed the addiction. So the best thing you can do is take a good probiotic, limit your sugar intake and if you are going to have sugar use unrefined sources like the ones mentioned above or raw honey or maple syrup. It will do you wonders to get away from soda… if you are having a hard time try Reed's ginger brew or Virgils soda to replace until you “say no”

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  • I noticed today that my Rapadura sugar (the only kind I buy, yummy!) has an added bonus: 11% of my RDA for iron!! Thanks for your article, it is so important to be informed and make healthier (and more responsible–Rapadura is fair trade!) choices!!

  • thanks for your comment Jennifer!

  • morgage31

    I already diged this my firend.

    Have a nice day
    aion kinha | aion kina

  • Jkstubbington

    Can't thank you enough for this article…really helped me as I am trying to be more wise about what I put in my body. Many blessings to you!

  • You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

  • rocambole

    I am very happy to find this blog. I have never answered a blog before and feel compelled to add my comment to this entry about unrefined cane sugar. I recently bought a block of Jaggery from my local Indian store and have been using it ever since. I am amazed at the down shift in my sweetening requirements, and discovery that no sweetener is also good.
    I bought some special containers just for jaggery lumps and enjoy thinking about how much to break off and choosing the degree of sweetness every time I use it. It is no longer an automatic two spoons of white granules. As a matter of fact, I am no longer enjoying the ( non) flavor of refined sugar. And certainly do not miss the buzzy reactions from ingesting it.
    Thank you for your entry. I will check your other ones now.

  • Way to go!¬¨‚ĆGlad to hear it!

  • JeremyR.

    I’m looking for some good recipes for unrefined cane sugar. I had recently traveled to Louisiana. And while visiting I was given a couple of ziplock bags of unrefined cane sugar. Now in search for some good recipes. Would like to use it in a barbecue sauce or even glaze. Sure would hate for it to go to waste. Was told it is pricey when I gave a bag to my aunt.

  • Hi Jeremy,
    Sorry for the late response! I would recommend recipes on or as those use unrefined sugar for almost every recipe (that require sugar). It is an excellent change to make!