Sugars/Sweeteners (Table Sugar) What is it really?

I blogged about xylitol on March 8th.  Because, one of my co-workers said he would change my cream cheese recipe a little.  He wanted to replace 1/3 of the powdered sugar with xylitol and add a scope of protein powder.

Ummmmmm. Really? What?(so many emoji faces would go here)

One of my other co-workers said, “If you want more protein, eat a piece of chicken”.

That is what lead me to investigating xylitol and thinking about what else I could use that is low glycemic.

The other day I went thru the sweetener section of my local Natural Grocers Store.  I saw Xylitol, Erythritol, Lactose, Dextrose, Cane Sugar, Coconut Sugar, Stevia, Brown Sugars, Honey, etc.  How confusing.


Photo by myself, Jean E. King.  Sweetener section at local Natural Grocers Store.

The month of April is going to be about Sweeteners.  Each Monday & Wednesday I will post about a different type of sweetener.  I will also discuss them on

I have broken the sweeteners down to five categories to make the information easier to digest: Table Sugar, Sugar Alcohols, Plant Based Sweeteners, The Ose’s (lactose, glucose, etc.) and Honey.

Some items fall into more than one category.  I chose these five categories because they are the most identifiable and easiest to find.

First, let’s start with Table Sugar. Which is derived from Sugar Cane or Sugar Beets.  Also, called Sucrose.

Source of graphic

Sugars Derived from Sugar Cane or Sugar Beets:

White Sugar (table sugar)

derived from Sugar Cane or Beet Sugar. See above photo

Raw Sugar/Turbinado Sugar

Cane Sugar which has been minimally processed.  Made from the first pressing of sugar cane and retains some natural molasses.  Larger crystals than white sugar.  Can be used in place of white sugar for coffee, tea, sprinkled on top of baked goods, etc.

Evaporated Cane Juice

The crystalized liquid that remains after sugar cane has been processed

Brown Sugar

White Sugar with Molasses added, then dried again.

Demerara Sugar

Large Crystals, pale color, toffee flavor, can replace brown sugar
Mascavado or Barbados Sugar – very moist texture and a strong molasses flavor. Looks like dark brown sugar

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