What you need to know about raw sugars
What are sugars anyway?
Sugars are substances that consist of one molecule, also called 'monosaccharides'. There are also sugars that consist of two molecules, called 'disaccharides'. Among the monosaccharides, you may count glucose, galactose, and fructose.
Disaccharides include lactose (this is milk sugar), trehalose (vegetable), maltose (malt sugar), and sucrose. That last name may not mean anything to you, but this is the official name for what we call granulated sugar.
Sugar is a sweet substance that is often used as a sweetener for drinks and food. In addition, sugar is also used as a filler and preservative in various products.
And the other names?
The names monosaccharides and disaccharides don't mean much to the average consumer, which is why a distinction is often made on packaging between natural sugars, refined sugars, and "naturally present" sugars.
The best-known refined sugars are granulated sugar, soft sugar, grape, and cane sugar. Natural sugars include maple syrup, honey, coconut blossom sugar, palm sugar, and agave syrup. These sugars are not refined.
What are naturally occurring sugars?These are the sugars that are present in products such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy. Sugars that have not been added loose during production. For example, if you make an apple pie, the sugars in the dough batter have been added, while the sugars in the apple are naturally present.
...And sweeteners?Sweeteners help give foods a sweeter taste, but contain fewer calories than sugar, or even no calories at all. Stevia, for example, is a sweetener, but not a sugar. Sweeteners are used in products as a replacement for sugar.
What are raw sugars?Raw sugars are sugars in their 'raw', or 'unprocessed' form. They are therefore also called unprocessed sugars. Raw, unrefined sugar can also be found on Naturaplaza, for example in the form of unrefined cane sugar. Raw sugars are 'natural sugars'.
What are refined sugars?Refined sugars are sugars that are first 'cleaned' in a factory before they end up in a product or store shelf. The result of refining sugar is that it gets a nice white colour (the colour you are used to when you buy a 'regular' kilo pack of sugar). Refined, processed sugars often have a much longer shelf life than raw sugars.
Disadvantages of refiningRefining sugars makes them nice and white and longer-lasting, but the problem is that it also removes all the good substances from the sugars. These substances include potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B1, B2, and B3 (also called 'niacin').
These substances are considered very important because they help the body process the sugars better. Therefore Naturaplaza offers unrefined, organic sugar, which still contains these substances.
Sorts of cane sugarNaturaplaza also has several types of unrefined cane sugar in its range. The raw cane sugar comes from the island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean. This island was formed three million years ago as the outflow of a volcano. Don't know exactly where it is located? quite understandable: around 7000 kilometers east from the island of Madagascar.
Vulcanic soil is incredibly fertile ground. This is due to the good substances that ash and the solidified lava contain. It is for this reason that so many people worldwide live in close proximity to volcanoes (and not because they have a death wish...).
In the fertile soil of La Réunion, 100% pure cane sugar is traditionally grown and extracted. Naturaplaza also has cane sugar from Argentina and other countries in its range.
From maple to coconut blossom sugar
The world is sugary! Provided you know where to look, of course. Naturaplaza surprises with the most diverse forms of organic sugar. The natural sugars come from nature and are mostly organic. From the Mattisson brand, you'll find coconut blossom sugar, but HolyFlavours has coconut palm sugar in its assortment as well.
In addition to that, you can find sugar from maple, from birch, and organic sugar from palms. You can use the variants of natural sugar for sweetening coffee or tea, but also dishes.
Advantages of unrefined sugar
Unrefined sugar is processed, but not purified. They are more like sugars in their natural state than refined sugars. The main advantage of unrefined sugar is that it is less likely to be absorbed by the body and therefore less likely to enter the bloodstream.
But beware: unrefined sugar is also a fattener, so don't suddenly use twice as much as you would with processed sugar!