White sugar is one of the world’s most pure foods.
Now before you get excited about it because it’s ‘pure’, read on.
White sugar is 99.9% sucrose, refined from the natural sugars that occur in the sugar cane but with all impurities such as mineral ash completely removed.
Raw sugar is made from cane juice and is golden in colour. It is virtually identical to white sugar and is 99% sucrose. Raw sugar does have a few minerals but not enough to give a huge health advantage over white sugar.
Another few that may be of interest are:
Brown sugar contains 95% sucrose and 5% molasses, which adds a toffee flavour and sogginess but no great nutritional benefits over white sugar.
Caster sugar has the same composition as white (granulated) sugar, but the crystals are smaller so it dissolves faster. It’s best for baking, especially light sponges and meringues.
Icing sugar is also just white sugar ground to a fine powder so it dissolves quickly and makes smooth icing.
Despite their different colours and flavours, the nutritional value of these sugars is very similar. (Sadly,) Sugar is sugar, whether white, brown or raw. One teaspoon of any has around 68 kilojoules (16 calories).
Any sugar can be hazardous when consumed in excessive amounts; and though not many, raw sugar does have a few minerals, so I suppose it is technically a better alternative to white sugar.
And while you don’t need to avoid or cut out sugar completely, it would be sensible to cut back on foods that are high in sugar AND low in nutritional value.
For example: soft drinks, lollies, pastries or sweets.