Demerara sugar or brown sugar is that exotic version of white sugar with a golden toffee colour to it. It is essentially a marginally less refined sugar which is made during the first pressing of sugarcane. It is made up of around 93% sucrose. White sugar on the other hand is made up of 97-98% sucrose. Demerara sugar has some minerals, but they are too less to be able to contribute to your daily recommended levels. The sugar got its name from the British colony of Demerara, which is now in republic of Guyana. This sugar was originally extracted from the sugarcane grown in volcanic soil of the region. The sugar has a distinct flavour to it with deep caramel-like touch to it. In this article, we will see if demerara sugar really healthier or in any way better than white sugar. Keep reading…
Delhi-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra says that demerara sugar is less refined from white sugar. She says, “Demerara sugar has slightly less sucrose (88-93 percent) as compared to white sugar (96-98 percent). While white sugar has been completely refined to remove minerals, demerara sugar contains important minerals like magnesium, manganese, zinc, chromium, cobalt etc. However, these minerals are present in trace amounts. Both types of sugar provide essentially the same amount of calories (4 kcal per gram), and these minerals are needed by our body in small amounts to help digest the sugar. However, to meet our mineral requirements, we will have to load up on demerara sugar, which obviously makes no sense.”
She goes on to mention that if you choose demerara sugar over white, it will essentially be for its flavour rather than the nutrients it provides. “So remember, while raw sugars like demerara are nutritionally superior to white sugar, they can’t be called health foods and need to be used with the same caution as refined white sugar,” explains Pooja.
1. Demerara sugar is made from sugarcane
Demerara sugar is obtained from dehydrating syrup of sugarcane. The process is more or less like white sugar. The only difference is that is made by purifying syrup from sugarcane.
2. Minerals in demerara sugar are too little to count
Mineral content in sugar can be seen by the ash level or molasses in sugar. Most of the ash in sugar comes from minerals. This is provided that these minerals are not impurities. Ash level in demerara sugar is below 0.45% by most manufacturers of the sugar. This level is much lower than other alternatives of white sugar. Thus, neither demerara sugar nor white sugar contain enough minerals to be credited to being beneficial for health. Your daily intake of sugar should be in limited amounts only.
3. Demerara sugar has less sucrose and more molasses
When compared to white sugar, demerara sugar is found to have less sucrose and more molasses. 96 to 98% of demerara sugar is sucrose. However, minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium in molasses, along with fructose and glucose help in bringing a balance. But the high sucrose content makes it very similar to white sugar. People on a weight loss regime are not going to benefit vastly by opting for white sugar of demerara sugar.
4. It is partially refined or raw sugar
The initial process of demerara and white sugar are the same. But demerara sugar is taken from the raw sugar of first pressing of cane. It is not processed any further and thus retains the molasses and colour of sugar. The grain of demerara sugar is a little bigger than white sugar.
5. Demerara sugar has a rich flavour
The unique flavour of demerara sugar is what makes it unique and intriguing. Its intense toffee flavour is a favourite of many. Brown sugar is a popular ingredient in cakes and pastries. Crystals of demerara sugar are larger than white sugar. They take longer than white sugar to dissolve in the drink.
(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)
Dermatologist Suggests Ways To Prevent Hair Damage In Monsoon
With monsoons comes a breather from the sultry hot summer, a unique liveliness in the aura which is certainly a favourite of many. We all love petrichor and the very calmness which is attached to monsoons. But what we really don’t like about monsoons is the unpleasant humidity and hair damage. Not only does excessive humidity make us sweat, it also causes unavoidable hair damage which is quite difficult to deal with. Hair gets extremely frizzy because of humidity in the air and at times, no shampoos or popular home remedies for damaged hair actually work.
Dermatologist Dr Kiran Lohia explains that during monsoon, hair gets frizzy because there is a lot more moisture in the air. “Your hair picks up the moisture in the air and gets fluffed up. This is why hair gets frizzy. And to prevent hair from getting frizzy, it is important to provide enough moisture to your hair. The more moisture that there is in your hair, the less it will take from the air. You can apply conditioning serums or conditioners can prevent hair from getting frizzy during monsoon,” she says.
She goes on to add that you can even add your own conditioner on dry hair and apply on dry hair. “If you don’t have conditioners on you, you can even put body lotion on your hair. I personally have put body lotion on my hair to prevent hair from getting frizzy during monsoon,” says Dr Kiran.
Here are some more tips to prevent hair damage during monsoons:
1. Shampoo twice a week
In order to remove residue on your scalp because of rain water, use a mild and deep cleaning shampoo twice a week. Using a nice shampoo goes a long way when it terms of nourishing your tresses and preventing fungal and bacterial infections. Also, apply the shampoo with the right technique, which is applying it from root to tip.
2. Condition the right way
Conditioning hair with the right technique is as important as shampooing hair with the right technique. Make sure you apply conditioner only in the ends and lengths of hair. Also, avoid using too much hair conditioner.
3. Do not tie your hair tightly
When you tie your hair tightly during monsoons, it results in accumulation of rain water in your hair. This makes hair more frizzy and limp. During monsoons, make sure you tie your hair in lose ponytails and buns only.
4. Take regular oil massages
A good oil massage on your hair will help in reversing hair damage caused by monsoons. Hair oil massage gives a natural boost to moisture in your hair and revitalises the dry hair strands. It is also an effective and popular deep conditioning technique for hair. However, avoid using excessive hair oil as it will result in nothing but use of excessive shampoo, which is again harmful for your hair.
5. Use the right comb
During monsoons, it is the best to use a wide tooth comb. It helps in easy detangling of tresses and serves as a good conditioning comb.
6. Flaunt short hair
Monsoon is the best time cut your hair short. It reduces the hassle of maintaining them during monsoons.
7. Eat right
Healthy hair is a sign of good health. Good health is achieved by eating healthy and nutritious foods. If you aspire to strengthen your hair follicles, add more protein and iron rich foods in your diet. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, walnuts and curd are also good for hair health.
(Dr. Kiran Lohia Sethi is a dermatologist at Isya Aesthetics Pvt Ltd)
People with wrinkled eyes appear more sincere
Do you use anti-ageing creams? Besides hiding your wrinkles, they may also negatively impact people’s perception of your sincerity, say researchers. The findings showed that human brains are pre-wired to perceive wrinkles around the eyes as conveying more intense and more sincere emotions. This eye-wrinkle feature, called the Duchenne marker, occurs across multiple facial expressions, including smiles, expressions associated with pain, and expressions of sadness. When participants were shown images of faces grinning and frowning with and without eye wrinkles, the participants focused on which one their brain deemed most important.
They systematically ranked the Duchenne smiles and Duchenne sad expressions as more sincere and more intense than the non-Duchenne expressions, the researchers said. “The expressions involving the Duchenne marker were always dominant,” said Julio Martinez-Trujillo, Professor at Western University in Ontario, Canada.
“So if the emotion is more intense, your brain actually prefers to bring it into perceptual awareness for longer time.” The results, published in the journal Emotion, are a step toward understanding the more general questions of why facial expressions contain the specific facial actions they do, and how that contributes to our understanding of emotion, the researchers said.
“These findings provide evidence of a potential universal language for reading emotions. In other words, a given facial action may have a single role across multiple facial expressions — especially if that facial action shapes your social interactions,” said Nour Malek from the university. “My interest now is, what will be the results if we do this same test with people with autism spectrum disorder. “They often have trouble reading out emotions from other people, so we wonder if that might have to do with their ability to read this marker for sincerity,” he said.
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