“Sugar in the Raw” That’s Not

by Sarah Healthy LivingComments: 170

sugar in the raw

Sugar in the Raw.    Mmmmmm

If a food is labeled as “raw”, what exactly does that mean anyway?

To a consumer, it means that the food is completely unadulterated and has not in any way changed from it’s original natural form.  Nothing has been added, removed, or heated to a temperature that would change any of the inherent nutritional characteristics.

Unfortunately, to food manufacturers, the definition of “raw” can be quite different.

I’ve blogged before about how most cheese labeled “raw” at the store is not raw at all in reality!

Another fake raw food at the store that is fooling a whole lot of people from the emails I’ve been getting is the Sugar in the Raw product also known as turbinado sugar or natural cane sugar.

But wait!  There’s a “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval in the upper right corner of the Sugar in the Raw box!

Doesn’t that mean that the Sugar in the Raw product has been checked out and is legitimate in it’s labeling claims?

Apparently not.  Here’s what the manufacturer of Sugar in the Raw has to say about it’s product:

Enjoy sweet moments naturally with Sugar In The Raw®, our all-natural Turbinado sugar grown in the tropics. The hearty, golden crystals are never bleached, so they keep the rich flavor and color of their natural molasses. So go on, stir it in or sprinkle it on. Bake and cook with it too. Whatever you do, just do it naturally with Sugar In The Raw®.

It seems that just because Sugar in the Raw is unbleached makes it raw.

Perhaps that is what the USDA allows when it comes to labeling sugar products, but to me, a sugar that is truly raw means much more than just unbleached.  It means that nothing has been removed or added as well.

The wording above is so sneaky because it leads the consumer to believe that the natural molasses is intact.  And, for Sugar in the Raw, a small amount of the molasses is indeed intact because it is a darker color than white sugar.

But, the truth is that most of the molasses has been stripped away and Sugar in The Raw can claim it is raw all day long, but I for one, know it’s not.

Sugar in the RawCheck out the picture to the right which shows a bowl of Sugar in the Raw next to a bowl of sucanat which is a truly unprocessed, all nutrients and molasses intact sweetener.

The sucanat is much darker visually demonstrating that Sugar in the Raw is a fake and is not an unadulterated product that is in it’s original, natural form contrary to the sneaky claims by the manufacturer.

Buy Sucanat As Your Healthiest White or Brown Sugar Substitute

Sucanat is the best substitute for white or brown sugar in your recipes for cookies and cakes – NOT Sugar in the Raw or other turbinado sugars.

Florida Crystals is another processed sugar attempting to masquerade as natural so beware.

Sucanat is simply dehydrated cane sugar juice and has been used for thousands of year by the people of India.   While sucanat is your best choice when trying to find a truly natural and unprocessed substitute for processed cane sugar, be careful not to overdo on the sucanat as eating too much can upset blood chemistry very much like white sugar or a fake raw sweetener like Sugar in the Raw.

It always pays big dividends to do a little checking before buying into any labeling claims.

Sugar in the Raw is just another clever marketing scheme designed to make money off of consumers who genuinely are trying to improve their diets but don’t have quite enough information to make a completely informed decision.

Where to Find Quality Sucanat

Please visit my Resources page for vendors I buy from who offer quality sucanat as well as other wholesome sweeteners.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


More Information

Coconut Sugar: A Healthy and Sustainable Sweetener

Beware Grade B Maple Syrup Trickery

Don’t Fall for Xylitol

Avoid Sugar Alcohols to Protect Gut Health

Comments (170)

  • Michael

    Turbinado sugar is produced by rapid spinning to remove some of the molasses but is not chemically processed like white sugar is. But based on your definition anything removed from a product is not natural. So are cashews, by your definition, not natural? Would you prefer to eat the cashews with the poisonous liquid attached? By my definition natural food has an ingredient that you can hold in your hand. The contents of Turbinado sugar is PURE cane syrup.

    April 11th, 2016 1:47 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      Ummmm, molasses is not poisonous. Molasses is a valuable part of the cane syrup that is stripped away to be sold off separately maximizing corporate profits leaving the consumer with a cheapened and less nutritious end product. Your example is a poor analogy and does not in any way apply here.

      April 11th, 2016 3:35 pm Reply
  • Mamima

    We didnt know about raw sugar until a few months back
    This “Sugar in the raw” brand was what we bought and we soon substituted it for white sugar
    One day however for a particular recipe..it ws required to mix the sugar with water..the water turned completely brown and the sugar became pure white like white sugar..is this because it is artificially coloured or because brown sugar is just like that?

    February 3rd, 2016 12:20 pm Reply
  • John

    Why is it the “LESS” processed foods cost TWICE as much as the MORE processed unhealthy foods. Sounds like someone is PROFITING on people’s desire for healthy foods, an awful racket that is promoted by ” healthy-living” advocates. A terrible practice in my mind, seems like ” healthy-living” advocates should ADVOCATE for lower prices, due to lower cost of processing the food. Unless like “global warming”, it is JUST a business to make wealth at people’ s expense

    January 8th, 2016 5:12 am Reply
    • Sarah


      January 8th, 2016 7:31 am Reply
      • Brian hughes

        Hey Sarah, thank you for the info. That cleared up a lot of my questioning on the sugar in the raw. Good detail and covering every question I was going to ask.

        February 3rd, 2016 4:39 pm Reply
  • Cindy

    Just curious (with all the complaining about “false” advertising) if you go
    into a store and purchase a roll of “Scotch” tape, do you get this frustrated
    when you find out there’s no actual whisky in the package? It’s a brand name,
    after all…

    December 23rd, 2015 12:30 pm Reply
  • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

    How about the fact that unprocessed cane sugar is never the color of Sugar in the Raw? The color gives it away … it is processed.

    May 1st, 2015 4:20 pm Reply
  • Stephen Reynolds

    Turbinado sugar is spin-dried in a centrifuge to remove most of the molasses. I will contain 3 to 4 molasses. Muscovado sugar is not run through a centrifuge, or is only minimally spun in a centrifuge, so more of the molasses is left: 6 to 8 percent in light muscovado, 8 to 10 or even 12 percent in dark muscovado, and Sucanat, according to Wholsome Sweeteners (a subsidy of Billingtons) has 14% despite its comparatively light color. Demerara originally referred to turbinado from the Demerara River area of British Guyana. There is no official definition. The confusion should be ended by the FDC, which could establish standard definitions for the confusing terms and require the percentage of molasses to be printed on the container (for turbinado and muscovado, this would presumably be a range rather than the single correct figure that could be expected of fully refined sugar). Brown sugar is simply white sugar with some of the molasses added back in, usually 3.5% for light brown and 6.5% for dark, so they approximate turbinado and muscovado respectively. But the taste is never quite as rich and complex as that of the half-“raw” turbinado and the rawer muscovado. To decide which to use, test your recipe with several varieties.

    March 30th, 2015 5:06 pm Reply
  • carri foss

    So whats our answer regarding Sally’s advice on not using the succanut?

    March 9th, 2015 12:25 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      She doesn’t advice not to use sucanat as when she wrote Nourishing Traditions (you must have an old copy), sucanat was the equivalent of turbinado sugar. Sucanat is now the same as rapadura and is fine.

      March 9th, 2015 8:52 pm Reply
  • Vicki

    I just searched for Sucanat and found organic sucanat made by Wholesome Sweeteners. It states on their website that, “it’s made by simply crushing freshly cut sugar cane, extracting the juice and heating it in a large vat. Once the juice is reduced to a rich, dark syrup, it is hand-paddled. Hand paddling cools and dries the syrup, creating the dry, porous granules we call Sucanat. Nothing is added and nothing is taken out!”

    Doesn’t the heating alter the composition of the sugar the same way Sugar in the Raw is changed by heating it? Your second paragraph states that you don’t like things that have been heated to change their composition but it seems as if it is a necessary part of the process of making sugar.

    January 30th, 2015 2:48 pm Reply
    • Shruti

      Low heat, not high heat, is used for sucanat

      February 16th, 2015 10:50 am Reply

    When I was in New Guinea, the national sugar company had to stop making white sugar while their factory was undergoing maintenance. This took months. During that time, many stores imported white sugar from Indonesia. The price of refined sugar skyrocketed.

    I found the darker sugar produced by the national sugar company, which did not require the same equipment. It was in plentiful supply, was very inexpensive, and was much more delicious than refined sugar. It became my preferred sugar for all uses. The closest thing I have been able to find in the US is “Sugar in the Raw”.

    That’s why I use it.

    January 7th, 2015 10:15 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      The closest thing to unprocessed sugar cane in the United States is sucanat, not Sugar in the Raw.

      January 7th, 2015 12:43 pm Reply
    • Carmen

      Try looking in asian supermarkets for sugar cane bars. they sell cane sugar that has been dried into bars

      October 8th, 2015 6:02 pm Reply
  • Jen

    I grew up in Hawaii in the 70’s and our family used to take guests to the sugar can factory for tours every year. Those packets have had the label “Sugar in the Raw” and even the same font/picture on them for the past 40+ years (when C&H still ruled the sugar roost). I agree, that the label doesn’t meet the current definition of the word “Raw”, but just because the definition has evolved over the years, shouldn’t mean this company has to change their almost half-century logo. :)

    August 17th, 2014 12:13 pm Reply
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  • Jennifer

    Sugar In The Raw isn’t even “turbinado” sugar lol. It’s DEMERA SUGAR! Real Turbinado sugar is OPAQUE. Real Demera sugar is more TRANSLUCENT.

    Either way, sugar is sugar. As long as the sugars i personally use are organic & non-gmo, i honestly couldn’t care less *shrug*.

    April 18th, 2014 6:31 pm Reply
    • Jennifer

      *meant to put DEMERARA.

      April 18th, 2014 6:44 pm Reply
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  • EverythingIsAConspiracy

    Moderation is key. Sugar in the raw is fine, I’ve been using it for years…

    April 9th, 2014 9:37 am Reply
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  • MO

    I am just curious, I use sugar in the raw and I was wondering if coloring was the only thing you were referring to? I have noticed that sometimes, the sugar in the raw is very dark, while others it is not as dark, but it is always some shade of “caramel” what would account for this? Surely there are differences between canes, temperatures, processes etc? Otherwise why would there be variations even among the same brand? At the end of the day, our bodies are not meant to process large amounts of sugar (no matter how “raw” or “processed” they are). If you look at history, sweet things were very difficult to get, which is why are brains are hard wired to love them so much. They have (if you believe in evolution, which personally, I do) always been a rare treat so to speak. That is why they are addicting (and I mean that literally. They trigger the same reward center in our brains that heroin and cocaine do!) and why there seems to be an epidemic of obesity, because something that used to be hard to come by is all of a sudden in great abundance and getting more and more concentrated as time goes on…. Metabolically, your body does know the difference between honey, molasses, fruits, or cane sugar (raw or otherwise). To your body, they are all simple carbohydrates. The only thing that really matters is that with eating fruit, you get some fiber which helps your body process the simple carbohydrates and remove it from your intestines, which is why drinking a glass of OJ every morning isn’t as good for you as eating an actual orange. Sugar, in large, quantities is bad for you.

    February 23rd, 2014 4:41 pm Reply
  • Amanda

    The only difference between sugar in the raw and sucanat is that one has been washed, removing the surface molasses and making it more suitable for instances calling for white sugar and The other hasn’t, making it more suitable where brown sugar is called for.
    There is nothing unnatural about it.

    December 16th, 2013 11:24 pm Reply
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    November 11th, 2013 6:57 am Reply
  • Emm

    Sugar In The Raw is the name of the brand. That’s why there is the registered symbol next to the name. It isn’t saying, nor does it state anywhere on the box that it is RAW sugar. It does say it is turbinado sugar which is still a lot less processed than the white table sugar you buy from the grocery store.

    The company doesn’t say it is unadulterated. Yes, Sucanat is darker because it is not processed at all, but again, Sugar in the Raw never says it isn’t processed so there is nothing sneaky about their marketing.

    Sugar cane is pressed to extract the juice to make turbinado sugar. It is then heated to remove roughly 1/2 of the molasses, then spun in a centrifuge to dry it. There are no solvents or bone meal used in turbinado sugar. Since 1/2 (or more) of the molasses is still in tact, there are still some vitamins and minerals left in the sugar. http://www.emmshealthyliving.com/sugars/

    Is it as healthy as Sucanat sugar? No, but it’s not as bad as what you’re trying to make it out to be. And by me saying ‘as healthy as Sucanat,’ I’m not implying that I think sugar has any extreme health benefits.

    I believe this is where a big problem lies; blogs posting articles that aren’t entirely true and that causes others to become even more confused. I understand you want to make money by linking to your affiliate account on amazon for Sucanat sugar, but please rethink misleading people as you accuse a company of doing.

    October 22nd, 2013 5:38 am Reply
  • ajk

    I use sugar in the raw, not because it’s “natural”….but because white sugar, along with sugar substitutes hurt my stomach when I use them. Nothing is bad in moderation….that’s the key. Agave syrup is my go to most of the time, however, my grocery store is spotty about what and when they carry an item. Perhaps, more “investigating” by us consumers is the key….rather than believing what is freely available, an unreliable.

    September 1st, 2013 8:21 pm Reply
  • Loretta

    Is Morena sugar raw sugar? The package says “Morena PURE CANE SUGAR” “ALL NATURAL/GREAT TASTE”.

    “Zulka Morena is an all natural, unrefined and NON-GMO pure cane sugar that is made by squeezing and evaporating the juice from freshly harvested sugar cane.
    The result is a golden sweet srystal that tastes like biting into fresh sugar cane.”

    July 31st, 2013 7:17 pm Reply
    • Loretta

      I just picked up a 2 pound bag at my local store in the Hispanic food aisle for $1.89.

      July 31st, 2013 7:24 pm Reply
  • Laura V

    It seems to me that “In the Raw” is only the trademark and not really a guarantee of what the product is. Of course this leads to sales by confusing the public and though this is a technique used in marketing, if it is not truly raw, it is a dirty strategy since as I have mentioned before, it confuses people. This may be the only explanation why it is approved, as they can justify that the mention of the “raw” is only their brand name, and not necessarily the product they are selling. Would have to read the small letters to confirm all these, but this is what I suspect.

    July 16th, 2013 2:35 am Reply
  • TribalGirl

    I agree with Iniquity. All this is about false labeling. So many companies are labeling their products raw when they are not. Along the lines of the raw sugar debate, “Wholesome Sweetners” is labeling their Organic Turbinado Sugar “Raw” but if you read about their processing they heat the sugar syrup before they evaporate it. So I doubt it is really raw in the finished product. Also many nut butter companies label their nut butters “raw” (Maranatha is one) but they aren’t in the finished product. They start out with raw nuts, but the grinding temperatures are high enough to render the final product cooked! We need truth in labeling so we can make informed choices. The reason we don’t have truth in labeling is Greed.

    June 30th, 2013 3:24 pm Reply
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  • david sky

    This article is not accurate. Turbinado sugar, i.e. Sugar in the Raw is naturally lighter than the other brown sugars.

    April 25th, 2013 9:53 pm Reply
  • Curtis Lowe

    The product isn’t called “Raw Sugar”. If it was I might agree with you. I read “In the Raw” to mean just what they describe. Interpretation is subjective I guess. I just don agree with yours…

    March 21st, 2013 8:44 pm Reply
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    March 16th, 2013 5:04 pm Reply
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  • Anne

    Well I guess its kind of false labeling and I suppose that other sugar you mentioned is better, as all its color is remained, however those sugars are sometimes hard to find. You could get sugar in the raw anywhere and even pocket them from Panera Bread or Starbucks. I think the less processing the best, so either way, it is still better then white sugar or even brown which is still processed. I think in the Raw is the name of the brand, not the sugar, the sugar is Turbani sugar and In teh Raw is the brand that makes it. They also make Stevia in the Raw, which I bet is cooked as well. Sucnate sounds better and I will keep my eyes pealed for it next time I run out of the Sugar in the Raw. I do buy Agave or honey sometimes for tea but like Sugar in the Raw for baking and varous things.

    March 1st, 2013 12:38 pm Reply
  • Leighton

    While I do feel the same as you regarding ‘sugar in the raw’, it strikes me as unfair to the company that you can come to an assessment on their product based simply on your opinions. Perhaps you should at least contact the company and ask them to clarify. Give them a chance. Again, I do believe that you are correct in your assessment, but you have many followers of your blog who ‘take your word for it’. But no REAL research has actually been done. Just a sight test. And ‘raw’ is not synonymous with ‘unrefined’. These are two entirely different topics…..

    February 9th, 2013 1:16 pm Reply
    • Anne

      True, I think “in the Raw” is really the brand name and not a product description and is not suppose to be interpreted literally. I do like agave or honey for tea, but sometimes I like the bake or make hot chocolate homemade with the Sugar in the Raw. Maybe if people send a requet to the brand, they could make an alternate sugar like Sucnate, for those who are a little mor health conscous. I think sugar in the raw is minimally processed and broiling done is minimal and just enough to get just a little of the molassas out, I am guessing for majority they believe who prefer the lighter color. However, I would use sometime like Sucnate for my baking as it seems like it would produce similar results. I like the taste of Sugar in the Raw and that is why I purchase it. Perhaps they could change the name to Natural sugar, but I think sugar in teh Raw is just a catchy name.

      March 1st, 2013 12:42 pm Reply
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  • Colleen B

    For those asking about what to use in kombucha, she does say on her video to use regular white sugar because it gets used up in the brewing process.

    My problem with Sucanat is that I can’t get everyone to eat things I make with it because of the potent smell. So, as we adjust, I bought some sugar in the raw (and then some organic cane sugar…which looks and tastes exactly like Sugar in the raw, though I realize it is organic and Sugar in the Raw is not). For us, it is about transitioning in the times we do need it. Luckily, my family is more than happy to use raw honey and real maple syrup for most things, but for regular baking you still need some kind of sugar or substitute for many things. I am hopeful we will gradually move to all sucanat, but it is one of those areas where we have to move slowly or I fear my hubs will say “forget this” and go buy regular table sugar and I will have to start all over!

    So, keep in mind moving forward is good, even if it is in baby steps! Eventually we will all hopefully get to where Sarah is but it doesn’t happen overnight! Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us Sarah!

    January 28th, 2013 11:49 pm Reply
  • susan

    is organic coconut sugar okay too use?

    January 28th, 2013 11:35 pm Reply
  • Adrian A. Gentry

    Great Article!!! This is the type of truth that needs to be exposed to the masses. We as a culture are dying. The main reason, we do not know what we are putting in our bodies. Thanks so much for the TRUTH!!!

    January 28th, 2013 8:16 pm Reply
  • Mary

    I was under the impression that Rapadura was true sugar in the raw and unrefined state, but is almost impossible to buy. I think Sucanat is still treated and separated from the molasses but then they are brought back together again. Sucanat was the closest thing to Rapadura that could be found here in the U.S. I read that here; http://quirkycooking.blogspot.com/2009/07/rapadura-sucanat-muscavado-turbinado.html

    There are similar products to Rapadura, such as Sucanat (USA – a trade name), and Jaggery (India). Sucanat is different to Rapadura in that the sugar stream and the molasses stream are separated from each other during processing, then reblended to create a consistent product, whereas Rapadura is a wholefood product which can vary according to sugar cane variety, soil type and weather. This is why one batch of Rapadura may be lighter or darker than the last batch. (See this diagram) Because Rapadura is not separated from the molasses, it has more nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Jaggery can refer to either whole cane sugar or palm sugar. From what I can understand, it is also heated to higher temperatures, as much as 200 degrees C, which Rapadura is not. Like many of these similar sugars, Jaggery is solidified and formed into cakes, which can then be grated for use.

    Sara, I am not disagreeing with you, only curious. I shopped for rapadura the other day and that was the information I found, so I bought Sucanat. If it’s the same thing, that’s great!

    January 28th, 2013 8:12 pm Reply
    • Jenn

      Awesome info! Where did you get it?

      February 4th, 2013 1:21 am Reply
  • Allie

    Refined white sugar gives me nasty migraines. I have not eaten white sugar in over 15 years. Turbinado, evaporated cane crystals, or organic sugar does not give me migraines but I still use it sparingly.
    I guess something in the final process of bleaching the white sugar is what’s sets it off for me.
    Personally I’m glad I can fall back on the “sugar in the raw” when baking a special treat.

    January 28th, 2013 8:10 pm Reply
    • Mike

      Allie, What in the world made you think refined sugar is bleached?? You are totally clueless like half the other tree huggers on this site. Geez.

      February 15th, 2013 10:59 pm Reply
      • Carol

        Very nicely put. I mean, why give information when you can just insult people?

        August 17th, 2014 1:26 am Reply
  • calvin

    Are you a Sucanat distributor ? And why make such a big deal out of it ? Personally, I like the Sugar in the Raw. It tastes better than refined sugar, and I use much less of it than I would use refined sugar. And, it’s readily available at all grocery stores, which goes to show you, I’d never even heard of Sucanat until I read this article.

    January 6th, 2013 11:39 am Reply
  • will

    “Sugar in the raw” was called “sugar in the raw” before “raw” became a fad diet/lifestyle. I am sure if they came up with their name now, they would be more sensitive to your delicate nature.

    November 8th, 2012 5:37 pm Reply
  • miballzbgreasy

    who cares

    October 29th, 2012 5:24 am Reply
  • Brittany

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    October 24th, 2012 5:16 am Reply
  • Dena

    “Sarah, I’m wondering why Nourishing Traditions Says to use Rapadura but not Sucanat. Sucanat is listed under their ‘sugars to be avoided’ on page 537. Any help on this is so appreciated! I’ve never been able to find Rapadura but I’ve been able to find Sucanat.”

    I’m also wondering the answer to this question asked above… any ideas?

    August 3rd, 2012 9:23 pm Reply
  • Karen Chun

    “Sugar in the Raw”(tm) Please Harvest Cane w/o Burning
    To be delivered to: HC&S
    Dear “Sugar in the Raw” folks,

    We who buy your product care about the environment. And we’d like to know that you care too. When you burn the cane fields on Maui, it adds to the CO2 and worsens climate change. And the smoke from your burning is damaging the lungs of your workers, your workers’ children and the residents of Maui.

    We love your product and want you to change to no-burn harvesting so we can continue to buy it, knowing we aren’t contributing to Global Warming and lung disease.


    June 16th, 2012 10:25 pm Reply
  • pd

    At my local health stores, they have several different sugars all labeled as “evaporated can juice” ranging in light color (off-white) to very dark (chocolate color). It can be confusing to simply purchase based upon “evaporated cane juice”, color is a good judge, especially if it says sucanat on it. Some brown sugars are really white sugar with some molasses mixed back it, so the sum of the parts don’t equal the whole sugar.

    As for fruit, modern fruits have been cultivated for maximum sweetness. A handful of grapes can contain a lot of sugar. If you ever get the chance to eat some wine grapes (merlot, cabernet, etc), you’ll know the difference as they’re quite tart. Sure, fruit is more of a whole food than cookies, but you can overdo it. Everyone is going to have to trust their own gut as to what is right for them. An easy place to overdo it is in fruit juices. We treat fruit like a special treat, like a cookie, not something that we eat on a regular basis and my energy levels have never felt so stable (no highs and lows).

    May 11th, 2012 5:44 pm Reply
  • jill

    I don’t remember my links on info for agave, but did find these tonight.
    She explains why agave is not good, so you can decide for yourself. She also provides a link for the Weston Price Foundation for further explanation.


    May 10th, 2012 11:05 pm Reply
  • Deborah

    Sarah, if sucanat is off the table, what do you recommend instead?

    May 10th, 2012 4:50 pm Reply
  • An Organic Wife via Facebook

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    May 10th, 2012 6:09 am Reply
  • Carrie

    Interesting. But according to Nourishing Traditions p536-537 “Guide to Natural Sweeteners”, sucanat is also not recommended. I am confused now.

    May 10th, 2012 2:18 am Reply
  • Jennifer Keune Reed via Facebook

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    May 9th, 2012 11:21 pm Reply
  • Stanley Fishman

    This all goes to show, once again, that you cannot trust a label.The photo showing the difference between the two sugars says it all.

    May 9th, 2012 9:48 pm Reply
  • Aimee Ridgway

    In my city in Australia, in the health food stores, a small bag of Rapadura is expensive! Its organic but maybe for fermented beverages which is what I mainly use it for, I should go hunting in an Indian store, would the quality really be much different? If the colour is the same I’ll be happy. Is this better than substituting honey in recipes do you think?

    May 9th, 2012 9:18 pm Reply
  • jill

    By the way, I was at a demo of the vitamix at costco, and when the guy made a fruit smoothie, he of all things ruined it by putting Agave Syrup in it. He tried to pick an argument with me since he was angry that I wouldn’t taste his smoothie nor give it to the 3 yr old. I told him the fruit should have been enough sweetener. LOL!
    I don’t know if you’ve done an article on Agave, but after the little bit that I’ve read, I do not use it at all.

    May 9th, 2012 9:05 pm Reply
    • kris

      So much to learn and so much information to get through….. So what is wrong with Agave ???

      May 10th, 2012 8:26 pm Reply
  • jill

    Great topic, and from reading the comments I didn’t realize so many people didn’t know. Off in my own little world I suppose. I love sucanat, and have been using it for more than 3 yrs. I also have tried many other sugars, date, coconut, billingtons molasses sugar, maple syrup, molasses and can’t remember what else. I use it for baking mostly.
    While it’s best to cut down on sugars in the diet, including fruit sometimes we crave a sweet and this fits the bill.
    for the pp who said if they want say a starbucks treat, then go for it. There are many reasons why I would not go for the “real” thing. First of all, I’d say it’s not real. Plus, I would be ill from all the additives that would be in a treat from anywhere. Preservatives, soy, corn syrup, dyes etc. can cause a lot of problems. Not to mention, they can make the sweet craving worse. I was the biggest sweetaholic of anyone I knew. By cutting down on my carbs, eating more veggies, and some fruit, I’ve found that I have the self discipline to not over indulge. I have no idea why, the chemistry behind it, but I’d never have believed it if it hadn’t happened to me.
    I get my Sucanat from Azurestandard.com, which is situated in Oregon. I live in CA. I last ordered a 50lb. bag, but now realize that I’ll have to half that next time as our consumption over the past year has become very low.

    May 9th, 2012 9:03 pm Reply
    • Jenn

      Yes yes yes! Can I recommend a book by Gary Taubes to answer your “how” questions? Good Calories, Bad Calories is the long book, and Why We Get Fat is the shorter version. Happy learning!

      February 4th, 2013 1:16 am Reply
  • Deborah

    I bought Sucanat a few weeks ago. When I opened the bag, the smell sickened me. I persevered and tried to use it in several ways. I’ve reached the point now where I actually gag when either the smell or taste hit me.

    So, if I can’t use Sucanat, what would be the next best thing?

    May 9th, 2012 8:52 pm Reply
    • Aimee Ridgway

      Raw honey? I substitute every need for sugar with raw honey

      May 9th, 2012 10:41 pm Reply
  • Anna Marie via Facebook

    @Elle Yes! It is. You can get good quality clay from bulkherbstore.com. I use it for everything!!

    May 9th, 2012 8:51 pm Reply
  • Susan C. Wheeler via Facebook

    If raw almonds are steamed, how come they will sprout for me?

    May 9th, 2012 8:10 pm Reply
  • D’Ann Smith via Facebook

    FWIW, I like using Neem toothpaste from OrganixSouth.com.

    May 9th, 2012 7:41 pm Reply
  • Alexis

    Oh and…the farm is OWNED by Sally Fallon Morell. Thought that was pretty cool. I live in Maryland.

    May 9th, 2012 7:30 pm Reply
  • Alexis

    I just needed to share with you how extremely EXCITED I am!!!!!!! I only found your website because my husband wanted me to try to get into extreme couponing. Somehow your website came up while looking for organic coupons online. After subscribing to your newsletter, I found out my son probably has eczema. Its just a little patch on his face, not bad at all. But then I found info on The GAPS Diet. Even though his eczema isnt extreme I dont want it to turn into something worse down the road and I figured my gut could use some healing too. Then I ran into a lady randomly the other day while I was out shopping and through conversation she mentioned The Weston A Price Foundation and Body Ecology! Dr. McBride (the author of The GAPS Diet) did an interview which I had just seen a few days before that with the author of The Body Ecologyr! Funny how everything was coming full circle. The lady also had a little kefir culture and kombucha culture because I told her I wanted to try to make my own soon but didnt know where to start. She had instructions with it and everything! Talk about being at the right place at the right time! So today is my first attempt at making chicken stock. And I just got the fermented cod liver oil in the mail…to make matters sooooo much better…..I just found out that a farm only 10 minutes away from me is a member of The Weston A Price Foundation!!!!!! If my husband had never wanted me to coupon and I never came across your website…who knows! Lets just say that I LOVE when stuff works out like this and everything just happening so wonderfully lets me know this is the right thing for me and my family and I am just so grateful you take the time out to do what you do!

    May 9th, 2012 7:19 pm Reply
    • Linda

      This is one of the very nicest posts I think I have ever read! This is really a lot like what happened to me , I wasn’t couponing , but my mind was ever open to the natural. So a friend posted one of Sarah’s posts on Facebook and as they say the rest is history! I have come a long long way since I first even heard of Sarah and The Weston A Price foundation ! Your excitment is wonderful . Keep on learning and doing. You are an inspiraton!

      May 9th, 2012 7:39 pm Reply
      • Aimee Ridgway

        I love this too! I think a lot of us started out this way, stumbling upon it and it being a daily journey ever since! I read comments from people all the time who have ‘always done this’ or ‘always stayed away from that’ – not me, I did everything the media told me to! No natural intuition to stay away from antibiotics, chemical laden products, processed food. Margarine is best? Done! hahah, oh how far we’ve all come, its incredible, and now posts like this to continue the fine tuning :) Definitely keep an open mind and stay excited :) All the way from Australia xx

        May 9th, 2012 10:39 pm Reply
  • Jennifer

    I was talking to a friend recently who used to live in Hawaii. We were talking about the vog and the smoke from sugar cane fields. He said there are literally hundreds of miles of what looks like pvc piping they use for irrigating the sugar cane. Before they harvest, they burn the fields using a vehicle spraying fuel (I’m assuming petroleum product of some kind) and then burning it – pvc piping right along with the sugar cane. I’ve read that cane sugar is better than beet sugar because so many of the sugar beets are now GMO. If you do use white sugar for your kombucha or water kefir, then consider how the sugar is processed and whether it is from canes or beets. Just a little more food for thought.

    May 9th, 2012 7:02 pm Reply
  • Elle Rouge via Facebook

    oooh Jennifer..I’ve recently had the urge to learn about natural toothpaste. I don’t know about placing clay in my mouth but I might since you’re pleased with this mixture. Is benodinite clay the same used for face masks?

    May 9th, 2012 6:07 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Keune Reed via Facebook

    I’ve read also,
    1 tsp salt
    and trace minerals, but I am really happy with my blend for now and I am (hopefully when I get time) going to do more reading on re-mineralizing the teeth and oil pulling and maybe more research on the other ingredients
    I know the clay pulls toxins from the mouth, coconut oil (virgin) is anti-bacterial properties, as well as xytiol and peepermint 😉

    May 9th, 2012 5:44 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Keune Reed via Facebook

    For my toothpaste I have been using
    2 Tbsp benodinite clay
    2 Tbsp coconut oil
    1-2 tsp xylitol
    peppermint essential oil to taste and for anti-bacterial/bad breath fighting

    May 9th, 2012 5:41 pm Reply
  • Amish Country Foods via Facebook

    Raw honey can be substituted for white sugar, ounce for ounce, up to one cup, in any recipe. After one cup, slight adjustments must be made for the liquid components, but still perfectly doable, without using any type of refined, processed products!

    May 9th, 2012 5:24 pm Reply
  • Nicole

    Hi Sarah,
    I love your blog, it helps me tremendously. I can not access any of the links on your resource page:( Help
    Thank you

    May 9th, 2012 5:18 pm Reply
    • Nicole

      I should say that I am on a Mac and I can see the links, however I can not click on them and can not see any of the resources under them. I have thought there was nothing there and am now realizing it is just me.

      May 9th, 2012 5:20 pm Reply
  • Jan Posch via Facebook

    I use sucanat, but I just purchased honey granules to use as white sugar. Honey granules is supposed to be sucanat with the molasses taken out and replaced with honey. What do you think about that?

    May 9th, 2012 4:16 pm Reply
  • Brian Carrozza via Facebook

    Sugar In The Raw is just another refined cane sugar product with a fancy marketing gimmick tacked on to fool the gullible.

    May 9th, 2012 4:14 pm Reply
  • Cathy

    I was duped by this for more years than I care to admit. Now I only buy local honey and maple syrup and sucanat and coconut sugar from Trader Joes. I do use Florida Crystals organic sugar for my kombucha. Cultures for Health have a great list of all sweeteners and whether and why they are suitable for kombucha on their website. I still miss white sugar for some things. I made lemon curd with sucanat and it looked like baby poop. I just couldn’t get beyond the appearance and I missed the beautiful yellow color. My son and I eat it like pudding. I hope I can find a better substitute.

    May 9th, 2012 3:48 pm Reply
  • Kathy Myers Anderson via Facebook

    Maltodextrin is derived from corn. It is the first ingredient in Splenda too. Corn in any form, including maltodextrin, makes my Multiple Sclerosis flare up.

    May 9th, 2012 3:44 pm Reply
  • Sandy Worsham Engels via Facebook

    @Jennifer, can you share your toothpaste recipe?

    May 9th, 2012 3:42 pm Reply
  • Rosanne Jimenez via Facebook

    xylitol(I wonder the same thing)?

    May 9th, 2012 3:34 pm Reply
    • Traci

      I use xylitol from http://www.globalsweet.com Used to buy from Epic Dental until I found out they get it from corn in China. Ugh. And, I know, I know . . . xylitol is not a traditional sweetener. But, it has its good points and I usually go 1/2 and 1/2 it with honey or maple syrup or whatever I’m baking with to cut down on the fructose content. Dr. Mercola says its okay too so I use it.

      May 9th, 2012 5:28 pm Reply
  • Dennise

    Sarah, I looked at your resources page for a place to purchase a good quality sucanat and it did not list one. Am I looking in the wrong place? Can you direct me to where you purchase yours?
    Thanks for all the helpful information.

    May 9th, 2012 3:21 pm Reply
  • Seeds of Nutrition via Facebook

    Sarah, have you seen STEVIA in the RAW? It’s made by the same company as Sugar in the Raw. First ingredient is malto dextrin, then stevia extract. I did a lot of research on malto dextrin, basically it’s a highly refined starch used as a food additive and it’s in almost everything these days. Basically this Stevia in the Raw is nothing more than granulated malto dextrin sweetened up with Stevia extract.

    May 9th, 2012 3:11 pm Reply
    • Mike

      It’s because Stevia is about 800 times sweeter than sugar. If you bought a 1 gram packet of Stevia in the Raw you would basically have an empty packet. You guys are so clueless.

      February 15th, 2013 10:51 pm Reply
      • Terese

        Mike, thank you for informing us (I mean it, thank you!), but calling people clueless is unnecessary. We may be clueless, but we’re here trying to learn. You must have been clueless too, before learning what you know today. Just be nice about it, please.

        September 10th, 2013 12:49 pm Reply
  • Christina

    Wholesome sugar. I really hope Sarah responses about the sugar for Kombucha. Here is what I found http://www.wholesomesweeteners.com/catproduct/2/Wholesome_Sweeteners_Retail_Products.html?PHPSESSID=5bb68561ac4ed3da1f8e9936dfdb69e1

    May 9th, 2012 3:01 pm Reply
  • Susan Linville via Facebook

    Why, why, why must you ruin my life….daily???? 😉

    May 9th, 2012 2:46 pm Reply
    • Linda

      I’m right there with ya Susan! The post about fruit is breaking my heart! This is sure a learning experience isn’t it?

      May 9th, 2012 3:05 pm Reply
  • jenn

    From what I understand kombucha likes regular old white sugar better then sucanat. The yeasts and bacteria use up most of the sugar anyway so it usually isn’t a problem. (That’s why it doesn’t/shouldn’t taste sweet) I have white sugar but just for kombucha, it’s much cheaper. I use sucanat and honey for all by baking and sweetening.

    May 9th, 2012 1:35 pm Reply
  • Karen Sage Buffington via Facebook

    Geri, CA law says that almonds must be pasteurized to prevent food poisoning yet the nuts are still legal to label as raw. Check out the Truly Raw brand from Organic Pastures, near Fresno (not to be confused with Organic Valley, with whom I wouldn’t do business on a bet!). organicpastures.com

    May 9th, 2012 1:34 pm Reply
  • Karen Sage Buffington via Facebook

    Shannon, Fruit doesn’t work because its sugar is fructose, and processed by the liver, unlike other sugars. Too much of it creates fatty liver disease, just like an alcoholic. About 1/2 a fruit of today’s modern variety is enough; more is excess, to say nothing of HFCS!

    May 9th, 2012 1:30 pm Reply
    • Linda

      Ohhhh my. :( Fruit is bad for me? I eat a whole lot of berries. Soon I won’t know what to eat at all …….

      May 9th, 2012 2:57 pm Reply
      • Jenn

        Haha no kidding! :)

        February 4th, 2013 1:08 am Reply
  • Jennifer Keune Reed via Facebook

    I was wondering about this. Any one with information on these…
    What about Xyithol (sp?)? I use in my homemade toothpaste. I know it is anti-bacterial (only kills the bad bacteria)
    What about raw coconut sap (dehydrated and in a crystal form)? I just found this and it is good.
    Stevia in the raw? (it has added stuff, I don’t know anymore (I did accidenitally get “cup for cup”?

    May 9th, 2012 1:30 pm Reply
  • MartaF

    I also use it for water kefir. Do you think it matters in this case. I know it’s not as good as sucanat, but I don’t know if I need to buy it for the water kefir. By the time I drink it most sugar is gone. What do you think?

    May 9th, 2012 1:04 pm Reply
  • Allyson McQuinn via Facebook

    Much appreciated!

    May 9th, 2012 12:55 pm Reply
  • Amy

    What kind of sugar do you recommend for making Kombucha and water kefir? I have been using turbinado sugar, but have friends that say using the plain, white sugar from Walmart is ok. What do you think? Thanks for all the info you give on your blog!

    May 9th, 2012 12:54 pm Reply
  • candace

    I would say that the Sugar in the Raw still has a good amount of minerals in it because my water kefir thrives on it without any mineral supplementation, while it won’t multiply in white sugar without added minerals.

    May 9th, 2012 12:51 pm Reply
  • Beth

    This is an important topic and it reminds me that I’ve been meaning to research and compare other sweeteners more fully but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’m curious to know more about the temperatures and other aspects of the various manufacturing processes and how these impact things like maple sugar and coconut sugar as compared to cane sugar, as well as their effect on blood sugar and whether they create “negative nutrition” (using up more nutrients from the body than they provide during digestion and metabolization) to a lesser degree than cane sugar.

    May 9th, 2012 12:48 pm Reply
  • Gisele O’Brien via Facebook

    Good to know. I have been using “Sugar in the Raw” in my water kefir and it works well. I once used Rapunzel Organic Whole Cane Sugar (unrefined and unbleached) and someone “in the know” told me I may have ruined my kefir grains. Turns out I didn’t, but I’ve been afraid to use it since. Any thoughts?

    May 9th, 2012 12:46 pm Reply
  • Pavil, the Uber Noob

    If I am not mistaken, primitive cane sugar also goes by the name of ‘jaggery’.

    Ciao, Pavil

    May 9th, 2012 12:41 pm Reply
  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    Now, that ‘raw sugar’ is good for something…facial sugar scrubs! I bought some recently just for that purpose. I don’t eat it.

    I do use it in restaurants in a pinch…but usually opt for no sweetener in those cases.

    May 9th, 2012 12:40 pm Reply
  • Angela South Workman via Facebook

    I enjoy organic coconut palm sugar’s ….I don’t know if it’s raw, but it sure is great!

    May 9th, 2012 12:38 pm Reply
  • Geri Ann Debinion via Facebook

    @ Er is California raw almonds parallel to sugar in the raw?

    May 9th, 2012 12:27 pm Reply
  • Myra Hood via Facebook

    Thanks so much Sarah! I have wondered about this because the truly raw sugar – dehydrated cane juice- I found is so much darker than what I have found in the grocery. It is called “Organic Whole Cane Sugar”

    May 9th, 2012 12:17 pm Reply
  • Broadcasting Sunny

    Why would they do that? Is the taste that horrible with the molasses in it?

    May 9th, 2012 12:16 pm Reply
    • Traci

      It is pretty strong in my opinion.

      May 9th, 2012 5:21 pm Reply
  • Shannon Holmes via Facebook

    still don’t understand why fruit isn’t good enough to curb those cravings 😉

    May 9th, 2012 12:14 pm Reply
  • Hannah

    Thank you so much for this information. It burst my bubble a little since this is what I was buying instead of the white refined sugar. Just found a place I could purchase the sucanat in a 50lb bag for just 15 cents more than what I was paying for the other. Happy about that!

    May 9th, 2012 12:10 pm Reply
    • Christina

      Where are you buying the 50lb bag from?

      May 9th, 2012 12:15 pm Reply
  • Jeri Blair Burker via Facebook

    Sugar in the raw is just their brand name….nothing raw about it

    May 9th, 2012 12:10 pm Reply
  • Er Reztis via Facebook

    California is the world’s largest producer of almonds.

    May 9th, 2012 12:08 pm Reply
  • Mama’s Lebanese Kitchen

    Thank you Sarah for bringing the labeling and marketing maneuvers to light.

    Is “color” an enough and reliable indicator as to how “raw” a certain sugar is? I’m not a sugar expert but I realize that there must be different varieties of canes or even beets used to extract sugar. I’ve drank freshly squeezed sugar cane juice in the past and I don’t recall the color to be that dark so I’m thinking that perhaps the crystal version of it wouldn’t be that dark either.

    We use Turbinado/Sugar in the Raw at home for everything and have no problem with it, while we enjoy the molasses flavors… I’m not defending those folks but to me I would appreciate seeing more conclusive evidence before dropping a brand/type of sugars.

    May 9th, 2012 12:07 pm Reply
  • Elisabeth Carrozza Wilkins via Facebook

    Are there almond farms in the US?

    May 9th, 2012 12:04 pm Reply
    • Jenn

      I’m pretty sure there are many almond trees in California, but double check that before you move or anything. :)

      February 4th, 2013 1:04 am Reply
      • RH

        Yes, there are many almond grove farms in Central California, especially around the Visalia and Fresno area.

        April 24th, 2014 3:50 pm Reply
  • Kate Tietje via Facebook

    Za — True, if you buy from a store. But if you buy directly from a farm you trust, you can get actually raw almonds.

    May 9th, 2012 12:03 pm Reply
  • Christina

    Yes, I am with those asking about Wholesome Sweetener brand. I buy it from Costco and use it for Kombucha and fermented punch. Is this the right stuff, because it looks like sugar in the raw color! Amazing how difficult it has come to get nutrient dense food!

    May 9th, 2012 12:00 pm Reply
    • Teresa

      I use this too but also have sucanat on hand. I do not like the taste of sucanat in Kombucha so I use the wholesome sweetner evaporated cane sugar instead. Definitely need to know your opinion Sarah!

      May 9th, 2012 12:09 pm Reply
    • Mike

      You guys are so silly, where do you think Wholesome Sweeteners buys the sugar from? The big name brand sugar refiners, that’s who!

      February 15th, 2013 10:48 pm Reply
  • Za Kocher via Facebook

    Just like “raw” almonds. They’re steamed..how is that “raw”??!

    May 9th, 2012 11:56 am Reply
  • Marissa Workowski via Facebook

    Same with Stevia in the Raw

    May 9th, 2012 11:54 am Reply
  • Maggie

    well I found in internet store that have a very good Panela , I haven’t buy from them yet, but I will ,I just going to put the link just in case anyone want to check this out,is call Amigosfoods.com they have 16 onz for 3.29

    May 9th, 2012 11:52 am Reply
  • marina

    I buy sucanat from Indian store at a very good price (like 3.99 for a kilo) – it is called jaggery. soo good!!

    May 9th, 2012 11:44 am Reply
  • Sarah Keller

    Thanks for adding a bit of clarity to this. Can you explain the difference between dehydrated cane sugar juice (sucanant) and evaporated cane juice? I can get Wholesome Sweetener brand evaporated cane juice organic sugar for a great price at Costco, but as the color is lighter it must be different from sucanant.

    May 9th, 2012 11:43 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      If the color is lighter, its been processed with nutrients removed. Truly unprocessed evaporated cane juice is dark as shown in the picture.

      Sugar manufacturers make more money when they strip the molasses out and sell it separately from the sugar. This way they make money on more than one product line. Fooling the consumer into thinking a processed sugar is whole is good for them as they think they can get it coming and going.

      May 9th, 2012 12:04 pm Reply
  • Normal Food For Normal People

    Very interesting. I’d be interested in learning how the USDA classifies something as raw. To be honest I try to stay away from this stuff as much as possible. Maybe some actual sugar cane every now and then – but all of this sugar (raw or otherwise) can’t be healthy.

    May 9th, 2012 11:36 am Reply
  • Maggie

    Great Post sarah,another good sfuff is Panela it is raw and unprocess and very cheap,it is what people in Indias useas jaggery, another name is Rapadura,I also read the definition the other day that Muscovado sugar it is the same as Rapadura,it taste as like you eating the sugar cane

    May 9th, 2012 11:35 am Reply
  • Linda

    I love this site because I just keep learning and learning. I have been using Sugar in the Raw. Thanks Sarah , again! :)

    May 9th, 2012 11:21 am Reply
    • Linda

      Ha ha on me! Above I said I use Sugar in the Raw…….then as I was eating my Quinoa with REAL maple syrup , I suddenly thought…..I have not used ANY sugars in months! Honey and a little maple syrup! Needless to say I loved that thought! I HAVE sugar in the raw in my cupboard but I don’t USE it ! :)

      May 9th, 2012 11:49 am Reply
  • joe

    i had been using Piloncillo for my sugar substitute and it has worked wonders. i have been looking for another substitute for a while now, thanks for this! and i had no idea about the ‘Sugar in the Raw’.

    May 9th, 2012 11:21 am Reply
    • Maggie

      Piloncillo is the same as Rapadura, so you are in the safe track joe

      May 9th, 2012 11:36 am Reply
    • Greg

      Piloncillo is an unrefined Mexican sugar. The cane is crushed, boiled and the juice is poured unto molds to form the cone shape. It must be grated, chipped away or melted in hot water to make sugar water to use. It has a smoky, caramely and earthy taste as opposed to the simple sweet taste of white sugar.

      January 29th, 2013 3:56 pm Reply
      • Greg

        If you look in the Mexican food section of most major grocers, you may be able to find this CHEAP. We have a large Mexican population here in Eastern NC and the grocers have a pretty good selection of Mexican food products, not just the Old El Paso garbage. There are Mexican/Hispanic wholesellers that sell herbs/spices in these stores and the Piloncillo is usually one of the products. Usually there are 3-4 cones per package and it only runs about $1.99 or less. Check it out and see if your store has them. http://chefcheapo.blogspot.com/ for more ideas on saving some cash and eating well.

        January 29th, 2013 4:02 pm Reply
  • Guro

    Sarah, do you know what the GI of sucanat is? And do you think this raw coconut sugar also is good to use? http://www.iherb.com/Coconut-Secret-Raw-Coconut-Crystals-12-oz-375-g/24096

    May 9th, 2012 11:14 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Coconut sugar is a lower glycemic index than sucanat.

      May 9th, 2012 12:02 pm Reply
    • Pavil, the Uber Noob

      There is a caveat with coconut sugar. The process to harvest the coconut palm tree for sugar circumvents production of coconuts, hence no oil. For my money, the oil is more precious, especially since there are other sources for sugars.

      May 10th, 2012 12:25 pm Reply
      • Laura

        I found this out the hard way, but coconut sugar curdles cream, I had to throw out a whole batch of ice cream. Just FYI. I have also found that when I indulge in white sugar treats I always get a sugar head ache and wake up the next morning with a stuffy nose and a sore throat. This is not true with succanant.

        May 10th, 2012 11:48 pm Reply
  • Elisabeth

    So, what about this evaporated sugar cane juice, is it the same as Sucanat? It’s much lighter than your picture of sucanat so I’m assuming it has been adulterated??? http://www.amazon.com/Wholesome-Sweeteners-Organic-16-Ounce-Pouches/dp/B000E9WB8G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1336576162&sr=8-3

    May 9th, 2012 11:11 am Reply
  • Kelli

    I’ve seen Sugar in the Raw in Krogers before, but didn’t think much of it since I usually stick to plain evaporated cane sugar.

    May 9th, 2012 11:11 am Reply
  • Lucy

    I’ve been using Billingtons raw cane sugar. Any thoughts on that? Is Sucanat a type of sugar or a brand?

    May 9th, 2012 11:09 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Sucanat is a type of sugar. Rapadura is a brand of sucanat.

      May 9th, 2012 12:01 pm Reply
      • Stephanie

        Sarah, I’m wondering why Nourishing Traditions Says to use Rapadura but not Sucanat. Sucanat is listed under their ‘sugars to be avoided’ on page 537. Any help on this is so appreciated! I’ve never been able to find Rapadura but I’ve been able to find Sucanat.

        Thank you!

        May 11th, 2012 2:17 pm Reply
      • Jenn

        Sucanat is actually a brand. There’s more info on the Wikipedia page.

        February 4th, 2013 1:00 am Reply
  • Tasha L.

    Our grocery store sells Demerara Raw Cane sugar in the bulk section. Is that the same as sucanat?

    May 9th, 2012 11:04 am Reply
  • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

    One reason to use whole sweeteners like sucanat that are full of minerals rather than a processed sugar even if you don’t eat sweets that much is because metabolism of sugar requires nutrients and if there are nutrients in the sweetener itself because it is unprocessed, then that means less or no nutrients will be coming out of your tissues as a tradeoff for your indulgence.

    May 9th, 2012 9:36 am Reply
    • Traci

      Aah, interesting comment, Sarah . . . never heard this before.

      May 9th, 2012 5:15 pm Reply
    • Jay

      I noticed, while trying to disolve “sugar in the raw” in cold water, that the molasses, rather that being infused in the grains like you’d think nature made it, washed off! Water turned brown, dumped it out, and was left with white sugar. So in my opinion, this product is standard, processed white sugar with a molasses coating – probably sprayed on. How’s that for false advertising.

      July 16th, 2012 7:25 pm Reply
      • Mary

        You’re kidding, right? If not, molasses is too expensive to extract, then use the expensive technique to spray and dry the coated processed sugar. All it is doing is leaching out of the grains where it is naturally.

        April 1st, 2014 6:31 pm Reply
    • monoceros4

      You know, if the tiny difference in mineral content between one packet of coffee sweetener and another is enough to be significant in your diet, there’s probably a lot more wrong with your eating habits than switching to slightly darker sugar is going to cure.

      February 20th, 2014 1:32 pm Reply
  • iniQuity

    Does it really make much of a difference though? Is Sucanat actually going to CONTRIBUTE to good health? I’m not seeing how Sugar in the Raw is exactly detrimental when compared to Sucanat. Personally, I don’t really add sugar to anything, and if I want something sugary and bad-for-me I just go for “the real thing” (ie: I won’t Paleo-fy a recipe, I’ll just get the crappy treat I’m interested in, since it happens so rarely) so if I was at the worst place in the world (Starbucks) and wanted some sugar I wouldn’t really think twice about using Sugar in the Raw.

    So, is this more about false advertising? cus if so we’re in agreement, but if it’s about one being healthier or just “not as bad” as the other, I’d need a little bit more to go on. I get that something closer to nature is always going to be better than something more processed, so maybe that’s all the answer I need.

    May 9th, 2012 9:03 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Sweets need not be avoided completely. It is possible to be healthy and still satisfy the natural and instinctive desire for sweet things with homemade desserts that are both nutritious and delicious.

      Using an unprocessed sweetener like sucanat is an excellent choice for home baked treats.

      Sugar in the Raw even in small amounts will give me a canker sore where sucanat never has even if I’ve overindulged a bit.

      May 9th, 2012 9:12 am Reply
      • Amanda

        What processing is done to sugar in the raw? Beyond washing it, which is in no way unnatural, how is it “processed”?

        December 17th, 2013 7:37 am Reply
        • Zar

          The fact in which it is not washed by hand and it is indeed washed by a machine categorizes it as processed. Processing foods is an extremely broad term.

          February 13th, 2014 11:06 pm Reply
          • Mary

            Haha, my clothes are processed! Kinda nit picking isn’t it? I’m sure if you wash it by hand, you’re still using something other than your hands in the process. How is the juice taken from the cane, is it wrung out by hand or does a machine do it? I really have problems with your article.

            April 1st, 2014 6:25 pm
    • Brigid

      iniQuity: What do you consider “the real thing?” Because, while I’m not convinced that there is any health BENEFIT to using Sucanat vs processed sugar, the Domino sugar you get is hardly more of “the real thing” than a much less processed version of sugar cane.

      August 8th, 2012 7:53 am Reply
    • Jenn

      Eating sugar (and carbs) requires our body to use a lot of nutrients to deal with the breakdown and management of high carb foods. When those foods do not include any nutrients (like processed sugars and flour), our bodies use our nutrient stores to process them, leaving us with less of the good things we need. Sweets aren’t just empty calories; they are negative calories! Our bodies are very adaptable, though, and strive to survive as long as possible, regardless of what we feed ourselves. That is one of the reasons there is so much seemingly contradictory info about nutrition out there! So, to sum it up simply, sweets aren’t good for you, but unprocessed sweets are most likely less bad!

      February 4th, 2013 12:58 am Reply
  • Tawanda

    Yep, I found myself trying Sugar in the Raw when I had ran out of maple syrup for my tea at work. I immediately got a reaction and moved it to my “never again” list. The reaction was the same as I would get from white sugar. So now, I know if I run out of my preferred sweetner, I just go without. So while they may be able to attempt to fool you on the label, your body can tell you what’s real.

    May 9th, 2012 8:56 am Reply
    • Jennifer

      Can I ask what kind of reaction you experience?

      May 9th, 2012 11:51 am Reply
      • Tawanda

        Sure, for me not a headache or stomach issue, but I would call it a “loopy” feeling mentally, and a general malaize – unlike what I feel when I use honey or maple syrup as a sweetner where I feel strengthened and just good – kinda like when you eat anything that is nourishing to the body and soul.

        May 10th, 2012 8:16 am Reply
    • Amanda

      Sugar in the raw is real. The only thing that’s been done to it is that it’s been washed. Not bleached, mind you. Just washed. The only difference between it and Sucanat is that Sucanat hadn’t been washed, so its surface molasses remains intact, which makes it more suitable for recipes calling for brown sugar. That’s it. That’s the only difference. This entire “article” is misleading and promotes an agenda. Because there is nothing unnatural about washing our food. We do it all the time.

      December 17th, 2013 7:31 am Reply

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