The main difference between palm sugar and cane sugar is that palm sugar has a lower glycemic index and is considered to be healthier than cane sugar.
Palm sugar is the sweetener made by reducing the sap of palms, while cane sugar is the sweetener made by reducing sugar from cane juice. Palm sugar is often recommended as a natural alternative to sugar. This is because it has several health benefits when compared to sugar.
Key Areas Covered
Cane Sugar, Palm Sugar, Sugar
What is Palm Sugar
Palm sugar is a sweetener made from the sap of palm trees. We sometimes also call it jaggery. It is a natural sugar alternative. We consider it to be healthier than sugar because it involves minimum processing and contains no chemicals. The sap collected from the trees is heated to remove the moisture content until a thick syrup forms. This syrup is then further reduced to crystals. Palm sugar is available in stores in liquid, block, and granular form.
We can obtain palm sugar from any variety of palm trees. Sometimes, we qualify palm sugar by the type of palm – for example, coconut palm sugar, palmyra palm, nipa palm, date palm, etc. Although they have slightly different compositions, they have similar production processes and we use them interchangeably.
What is Cane Sugar
Cane sugar is a sweetener derived from sugarcane. It is grown in in warm to tropical regions of the world, including India, Brazil, Thailand, and China. Cane sugar is mostly sucrose, a simple carbohydrate that plants produce through photosynthesis. The sugar we normally use, i.e., regular sugar or table sugar is mainly made of sugar cane or sugar beet. It is available as a sugary powder or sugar cubes.
There are variations in cane sugar processing, but the essential processing consists of the following steps:
- Extraction of the cane juice by milling or diffusion,
- Clarification of the juice,
- Then, concentration of the juice to syrup by evaporation
- Crystallization of sugar from the syrup
- Separation and drying of the crystals
However, cane sugar has a glycemic index of around 60. This can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. You should know that excessive sugar can have many adverse effects on your health.
Difference Between Palm Sugar and Cane Sugar
Palm sugar is the sweetener made by reducing the sap of coconut palms, while cane sugar is the sweetener made by reducing sugar from cane juice.
Moreover, palm sugar is less sweet than cane sugar.
Palm sugar has a lower glycemic index than cane sugar; palm sugar has a glycemic index of 35 while cane sugar has a glycemic index of 60.
Palm sugar contains nutrients, but cane sugar usually doesn’t have many nutrients.
In fact, palm sugar is considered to be healthier than cane sugar.
Palm sugar has a lower glycemic index than cane sugar. Moreover, palm sugar is much less sweet than cane sugar and is healthier. Thus, this is the main difference between palm sugar and cane sugar. In brief, palm sugar is a good alternative to sugar.
1. Raguram, Anandhi. “Is Palm Sugar or Jaggery a Better Option than Sugar?” Vaya News, 24 Apr. 2019, Available here.
2. “What Is Palm Sugar? Is It Really Good for You?” NDTV Food, 22 Aug. 2017, Available here.