Jaggery Vs Sugar

Jaggery Vs Sugar, Best for your health in 2022.

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

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

As a Dietitian one of the queries I always encounter is, is jaggery 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?

It’s really important to understand the difference between Jaggery Vs Sugar.

Although they are came from the same sources (sugarcane) and contain almost the 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 contains more nutrients than highly processed one, so definitely jaggery is more nutritious than sugar and a good substitute for 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 the 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 is known for its culinary uses like in making sambhar, rasam, and other gravies, also used in making many sweet dishes like sweet Pongal, payasam, etc.

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

How Jaggery / Sugar is made?

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

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

Sugar is available in the market in different forms like granulated (table sugar), powdered sugar (icing sugar), and 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 is also made up of date palm and coconut sap but mostly it is manufactured from sugarcane, and the process includes:-

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

The 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 counted as 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 allows to take: According to the American heart association.

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

Health benefits of Jaggery

Compare to sugar, jaggery is more nutritious, it also contains antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties.

Jaggery contains more sucrose (disaccharides) and less fructose and glucose (monosaccharides) which makes it complex, hence it takes time to raise blood sugar levels as compared to sugar.

Because of the slow digestion rate, it provides energy for a longer period.

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

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

But with all the pros when it comes to calories it is the 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 goes for homemade ice cream with fruit pulp which contains natural sweetener and is healthy too.

Similarly replace your soda, and soft drinks with 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 sweeteners like stevia.

Reduce portion size of the 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 the 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 diabetes).
Jaggery helps in weight loss and sugar increases weight.Though jaggery is a rich source of iron and potassium (reduce water retention) it 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 2022.”

  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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