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Health at Every Size - these are the buzz words around the internet these days. Are you healthy? Do you want to be healthier?

What is health? The World Health Organization defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Being healthier doesn't mean losing weight. To you it might mean:

We would like to introduce you to a blog series on Intuitive Eating. This blog is written by Danielle Lithwick M.A., founder of Move Out Of Madness. With over a decade of combined education and experience in nutrition, yoga, psychology, addiction counselling, mindfulness, and personal training, she believes that how we move and how we eat should nourish not only our bodies but also our minds. Her mission is to teach people how to take the simpler and saner approach to exercise and eating using a personalized, skills-based, and compassionate approach to change. Her coaching services are rooted in non-diet and weight-neutral approaches to health and in the values of education, empowerment and enjoyment. She lives in Ottawa, ON Canada.

To read the series of blogs click the links below:

We are very happy to announce that we have a Registered Dietician on staff who will be writing our Health At Every Size series as well as answering a reader's question each month. You can read about Shari's philosophy and experience on our staff page. If you have a question for Shari, please email us at

Disclaimer: This advice is not intended to be a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical, health or nutritional advice.

Raw sugar vs. white sugar: is one better than the other?

Natural beats artificial/processed every day of the week.

But let's keep it real here: sugar is sugar. Yes, it tastes amazing and we are all wired physiologically to love sweet tastes. BUT sugar has no nutritional benefits whatsoever.

"But some forms of sugar contain minerals!!!", you say?

True, but they're present in trace amounts. What this means is that you'd need to consume an awful lot of sugar, however pure it may be, to get a significant amount of nutrients.

Some people say that raw sugar contains potassium and that it's heart healthy. This is "inner eye-rolling" worthy. I mean, come on! You'd need 7 cups of raw sugar to get the potassium in 1 medium-sized banana! Eat the banana if you're trying to get more potassium. Because 7 cups of sugar spell real bitter trouble for your ticker.

Bottom line: Sugar, whether raw or not, is not a health food.

BUT YOU CAN TREAT YOURSELF FROM TIME TO TIME. That's totally healthy unless you've got an adverse reaction to sugar.

So, which type of sugar - I'll cover natural sweeteners in the next article - should you choose for those treats? To answer this question, it can help to distinguish between the different types of sugar that exist on the market.

Let's start with the less natural of them all

White sugar: This type of sugar is the most processed and involves boiling the sugarcane or beet juice several times, often with sulfur dioxide to make the sugar 'sparkly' white. Moreover, phosphoric acid, calcium hydroxide or carbon dioxide are added to remove impurities. This chemical manipulation removes all the fiber and trace nutrients from the original plant.

Brown sugar: This is made by adding a small amount of molasses back to the white sugar. In other words, brown sugar = white sugar + molasses.

To get dark brown sugar, manufacturers add more molasses. Light brown sugar simply means that a very small amount of molasses has been added to white sugar.

Less processed forms of sugar

The following can be considered "raw" sugar.

Turbinado sugar: To produce turbinado sugar, the sugarcane or beet juice is boiled only once. This ensures that the sugar retains some of the molasses' flavor and texture.

Demerara sugar: To produce demerara sugar, sugarcane juice is boiled and eventually turns into a syrup which is then allowed to cool and harden. Although this sugar undergoes minimal processing, it has the same effect on blood sugar levels as white sugar.

Other names for demerara sugar: Muscovado / barbary sugar

Sucanat: Short for Sugar Cane NATural, sucanat is made by simply heating and cooling sugarcane juice.

So, what's the verdict?

If you choose to use sugar, go for raw sugar. But be true to yourself: this is about pleasing your taste buds. Period.

Can't even think about giving up sugar?

Instead of simply trying to cut down, or quit cold turkey, challenge your beliefs with this FREE exercise.

Submitted by: Shari

Feel free to post about your own journey with Health At Every Size, any questions you may have or suggestions for future topics on our Facebook page or our Forums. Shari also has her own Facebook page .

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