Jaggery vs Brown Sugar: Which Natural Sweetener Is The Best?

Himalayan Natives

6 min Read

August 12, 2022 | health-nutrition

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Brown Sugar vs Jaggery

Could you even imagine how your day will look like, without sugar in your intake of food and drink? Strange isn't it? Sugar is indeed an integral part of our life. However, white sugar is known for having added fats. That’s definitely a big no for a healthy lifestyle. So what are the other options? Jaggery? Brown Sugar? 

Yes, we have these two amazing natural sweeteners as contenders to compete for this spot. You might even have several questions around this like; what are their health benefits, nutrient value, and much more. We’ll share all that. In short;

Refined sugar is combined with a specific amount of molasses to create Brown sugar. On the other side, palm sap or sugarcane juice is used to make Jaggery.

So, it's Jaggery vs Brown Sugar? Which one do you think will emerge as the best healthy sugar alternative? You will find out that soon. Keep reading! 

What is Brown Sugar?

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is a mixture of molasses and sucrose. They are found in light brown or dark brown colours. The colour depends upon how much molasses it contains. The key determinants of brown sugar's colour and texture are its molasses content and degree of processing. It's a very common ingredient used in baking pudding, cakes and also pies. 

Brown Sugar is labelled as Natural Sweeteners mainly because they go through less processing than white sugar. This helps it retain few of its natural properties. Thus becoming a healthy sugar alternative. 

What is Jaggery?


Jaggery is commonly referred to as unrefined sugar and is made from sugarcane just like sugar. In most of India, jaggery is an important component of the diet. Even though it is commonly 

named as ‘Gur’ across India, it is also called Bella, Vellam, and Gul in Kannada, Tamil, and Marathi, respectively.  In fact India produces almost 70% of the jaggery consumed worldwide. 

Watch our Instagram post to know why jaggery is a better fit than sugar anyday. There’s indeed a sweet difference between them. This is probably the main reason why Jaggery is preferred over sugar in all Indian traditional dishes. 

Jaggery vs Brown Sugar: What makes them different?

Brown sugar and jaggery are frequently compared because they are both labelled as natural sweeteners and healthy sugar alternatives. Continue reading to learn more about their distinctiveness, health advantages, nutritional worth, and other fascinating facts.

  • Health Benefits

Brown Sugar when compared to Sugar has more or less the same nutrient value, but it has some traces of micronutrients like copper, iron, Zinc and calcium etc. These are few health benefits:

  • Helps in weight loss
  • Combats menstrual cramps
  • It aids in digestion.

Meanwhile, jaggery benefits for health are comparatively more and provides these amazing benefits. 

  • Regulates blood pressure   
  • It increases immunity   
  • Decreases the chance of respiratory issues
  • It aids in cold and cough treatment.  
  • is packed with different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
  • boosts the haemoglobin levels and prevents anaemia. 


We would like to answer one common FAQ - “ Is Jaggery good for diabetes?” The answer is No. It's not advisable for diabetic patients, due to its high glycemic index which could cause a spike in blood sugar levels and pose a significant risk to diabetic patients.

  • Sourcing and Manufacturing process

Brown Sugar is divided into two types. Unrefined and refined. Refined brown sugar is nothing more than white sugar that has had molasses added.

Unrefined brown sugar goes through less processing, allowing it to keep part of its molasses content and natural brown colour.

In the case of Jaggery, either sugarcane or date palm is used . Jaggery is traditionally made by boiling date palm sap or unpasteurized sugarcane juice.

Liquid is continuously churned, cooled, and then lowered. It is then put into a small pan after being completely thickened, where it is allowed to cool and solidify with jaggery. To create circles or bricks, they cut this jaggery into pieces. If you don't like them in circles or brick shape. Do give Jaggery powder a try.

  • Nutritional Value

For a serving of 100 grams of Brown Sugar, it contains 377 calories. Important to note is that it has 0% protein, 0% fat and 100%  carbohydrates. 

Jaggery’s nutrition value goes like this. For a 100 grams serving jaggery contains calories of 383, where its, Protein ( 0.4 grams), Iron (11mg), Magnesium (70-90 mg), Fat(0.1 grams) , Sucrose (65–85 grams), Fructose and glucose (10–15 grams)

Before choosing to buy Jaggery online, make sure it is 100% natural and chemical-free just like Himalayan Natives.

  • Sweetness Level

Another difference between jaggery and brown sugar is their level of sweetness. Jaggery, with its reputation for being a healthy sugar, is comparatively less sweet than brown sugar. Since it's rich in minerals, jaggery’s taste is additionally different from brown sugar. That's why when you substitute brown sugar with jaggery, you would like to add more of it to attain the same level of sweetness.

Now that you learned their amazing benefits and differences, check out a few delicious recipes that are made with the help of Brown Sugar or Jaggery. Honestly, they are indeed sugar alternatives to be considered. Take a look at this list. 

5 Delicious Recipes using Brown Sugar:

Brown Sugar

  • Brown Sugar butter cookies 
  • Brown sugar pound cake
  • Chocolate Banana cake
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Brown Sugar Pie 

5 Delicious Recipes using Jaggery:


  • Zafrani Pulao (This pulao, is also sometimes referred to as sweet rice)
  • Ragi Coconut Ladoo
  • Gur Ka Halwa
  • Jaggery Roti
  • Unniyappam 

Cool! Isn't it ? You will find hundreds of recipes you could make with these if you research a bit. 

The Battle of Sweeteners: Who wins?

Well, before concluding, we would like to add that Raw Honey is also an amazing alternative for sugar. Although honey has higher quantities of fructose, it has one of the lowest glycemic indexes of all the sugar alternatives, making it one of the best options.

It's now time to announce the winner. Excited? We are very sure that you will be able to tell which of the two is the undisputed winner. Yes, it's Jaggery. Whether its purity, health benefits or nutrient value. Jaggery just stands out. Now that you know the best, add sweetness to your recipes, by adding jaggery.

Also, if you love to gain some great insight into Jaggery’s health benefits do read this blog:  How is Jaggery good for health?

We hope this blog was insightful and super interesting. Always remember that healthy choices are imperative for a healthy lifestyle. That’s when you win. Ensure you take these small steps in your diet plan, which eventually guarantees that you stay strong and healthy. 

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