Jaggery Vs Sugar

Jaggery Vs Sugar, Best for your health in 2021.

Which one you should include in your diet between Jaggery Vs Sugar for your better health!

Now a days everyone is conscious about what they are taking inside the body, is it healthier or not even if it is a pinch of salt or sugar.

As a Dietitian one of the query I always encounter is that, is jaggery is more nutritious than sugar or can I have jaggery instead of sugar in diabetes or can I eat jaggery instead of sugar as much as I want or does jaggery help in weight loss etc.

Its really important to understand the Difference between Jaggery Vs Sugar.

Although they are came from same sources (sugarcane) and contain almost same calorie, only the harvesting process is different and because of the harvesting process the nutritional composition  vary.

As we know that minimally processed food contain more nutrient than highly processed one, so definitely jaggery is more nutritious than sugar and a good substitute of sugar as a sweetener in your tea, coffee or other sweet dishes, but in moderation, especially if you are diabetic or trying to reduce some weight.

As we know both sugar and jaggery contain same calorie only the difference is sugar contain ’empty calorie’ which means calorie without any vitamins and minerals whereas jaggery is a good source of iron, calcium, potassium, zinc etc.

Jaggery are known for their culinary uses like in making sambhar, rasam and other gravies, also used in making many sweet dishes like sweet pongal, payasam etc.

Sugar also used in making many sweet dishes especially in baking, and also used as a preservatives.

How Jaggery / Sugar are made?

Sugar is made up of sugarcane  and the process of making sugar from sugarcane includes:-

  • Harvesting of sugarcane from field.
  • Washing.
  • Extraction of juice from sugarcane.
  • Purification of juice.
  • Remove impurities.
  • Crystallization of sugar.
  • Drying and packaging.

Sugar are available in market in different forms like granulated (table sugar), powdered sugar (icing sugar), superfine sugar also in syrup forms.

jaggery vs sugar
Image Source : https://sugar.ca/sites/default/uploads/images/Cane-Sugar-Refining.png

Jaggery / unrefined sugar / gur also made up of date palm and coconut sap but mostly it is manufactured from sugarcane, and the process include :-

  • Harvesting of sugarcane from field.
  • Washing.
  • Extraction of juice from sugarcane.
  • Clarification and lime addition.
  • Boil the sugarcane juice (concentration).
  • Allow it to cool till it solidify.
  • Packaging.

Color of jaggery varies according to the quality of sugarcane juice we use.

Depending upon the quality the color of jaggery will vary from light to dark brown.

Gur / jaggery having more than 70% of sucrose and less than 10% of glucose and fructose are count in good quality.

Jaggery Refining
Image Source : https://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S0960308519308946-fx1_lrg.jpg

Nutritional value of Jaggery Vs Sugar

Jaggery (100 g)Sugar (100 g)
Calorie383 kcal 387 kcal
Carbohydrate100 g 100 g 
Calcium40-100 mg
Magnesium70-90 mg
Potassium1056 mg 2 mg
Phosphorus20-90 mg
19-30 mg1 mg
Iron10-13 mg
Manganese0.2-0.5 mg
Zinc0.2-0.4 mg
Copper0.1-0.9 mg
Vitamin A3.8 mg
Vitamin C7 mg
Vitamin D26.5 mg
Vitamin E111.30 mg

Recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for Sugar and Jaggery

High intake of both sugar and jaggery leads to obesity and further health related issue like diabetes and heart disease (CVD) etc.

Hence the RDA is very important which allow to take : According to American heart association.

  • 150 calories/day for men ( 37.5 gm )
  • 100 calorie/day for women ( 25 gm )

Health benefits of Jaggery

Compare to sugar, jaggery is more nutritious, it also contain antioxidant and anticarcinogic properties.

Jaggery contain more of sucrose (disaccharides) and less fructose and glucose (monosaccharides) which makes it complex , hence it takes time to raise blood sugar level as compare to sugar.

Because of slow digestion rate it provide energy for longer period.

It is also a very good source of iron  and mineral salt.Other health benefits of jaggery are :-

  • It helps in cleanses lungs, stomach, intestine, Respiratory tract and esophagus
  • Improves digestion.
  • Improve immunity
  • Provide energy for longer period
  • Reduce water retention
  • Purify blood
  • Prevent anemia

But with all the pros when it comes to calorie it is same as white sugar, it will increase your weight and blood sugar level in people with diabetes.

Also people who are prone to inflammation and allergies should avoid jaggery, also not recommended in ulcerative colitis because there are chances of parasitic infection if not properly ( hygienically) prepared.

How to cut down your Jaggery or Sugar intake

It is important for your health to maintain the daily intake as per RDA.

One can easily cut down the intake of jaggery / sugar by using natural sweeteners.

Like if you are having ice -cream go for home made ice cream with fruit pulp which contain natural sweetener and healthy too.

Similarly replace your soda, soft drinks to lime water or fruit juices or coconut water as per your choice.

Change your habit of taking milk tea to green tea or with natural sweetener like stevia.

Reduce portion size of cake,pastries,biscuits and other sweet dishes.

Always remember everything is good in moderation.

Myth & Facts about Jaggery Vs Sugar

Sugar has high calories than jaggery.Both contain the same calories.
A diabetic patient can replace sugar with jaggery.Both came from the same source so jaggery also has a high glycemic index which raises blood sugar levels same as sugar.
We can have jaggery daily as much as we want.No, it will increase your weight and cause other medical problems too but you can have jaggery daily in moderation (avoid in diabetes).
Jaggery helps in weight loss and sugar increases weight.Though jaggery is a rich source of iron, potassium (reduce water retention) which helps in weight loss to some extent only if taken in moderation.

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2 Replies to “Jaggery Vs Sugar, Best for your health in 2021.”

  1. Hi Archana, could u contact me if u are interested in writing some content for my work in the area of diabetes

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