Muscovado sugar in a bowl with eggs & spice.

Muscovado Sugar: 7 Reasons Why I’m Okay With It

Muscovado Sugar in a bowl with spices.

Muscovado Sugar isn’t just empty calories. It’s dark brown, coarse and moist, and still retains many of the nutrients of raw cane sugar. Muscovado is still sugar, and for that reason I don’t recommend that you go swilling it down. But if your tastebuds have been re-eductated to the point where you only need a little sweetness in your baked goods, then I’d say Muscovado is a valid option.

Sugar cane cut and bundled.

Muscovado Sugar: Is It Healthy & Nutritious?

Muscovado Sugar (also called Mascobado, Khandsari and Khand, depending on the country of production) presents a much higher nutritional profile than refined white sugar. Which isn’t difficult when you consider that white sugar has zero nutrition. White sugar is just empty calories – 387 per gram – which means it does nothing other than stimulate your tastebuds, raise blood sugar levels and push insulin production into overdrive.

Muscovado Sugar, on the other hand, provides us with a little goodness. It has 383 calories per 100 grams, as well as

  • 3.9mg of Phosophorus
  • 85mg of Calcium
  • 23mg of Magnesium
  • 100mg of Potassium and
  • 1.3mg of Iron

Per 100 grams, it actually has more Calcium, Magnesium and Iron than Cauliflower.

For every 100 grams, Cauliflower contains

  • 44mg of Phosphorus
  • 22mg of Calcium
  • 15mg of Magnesium
  • 299mg of Potassium
  • 0.4mg of Iron

When compared with Sardines, however, Muscovado Sugar falls a little behind.

For 100 grams, Sardines contain

  • 257mg of Phosphorus
  • 382mg of Calcium
  • 39mg of Magnesium
  • 375mg of Potassium
  • 1.2mg of Iron

So, to be clear, regardless of being able to draw a comparison between healthy foods like cauliflower, we shouldn’t go so far as to convince ourselves that Muscovado Sugar is ‘healthy’. Like refined white sugar, it’s still composed of glucose and fructose, and once it enters the bloodstream, it’s still going to spike your blood sugar levels and your insulin production.

But I’m okay with it for 7 reasons. Here’s why:

Muscovado sugar in a bowl with eggs & spice.

7 Reasons Why I’m Okay with Muscovado Sugar

  1. It’s good for Paleo baking. I like baking. It’s a creative outlet for me, and it’s emotionally warming. There’s something lovely about the house being filled with the scent of a cake or cookies fresh out of the oven. We like our treats as much as the next person and I believe that Paleo should never be about deprivation, but rather about substitution and moderation. We enjoy having a bar or biscuit in the tin, but baked goods are not the mainstay of our diet. We fill up on real, healthy and nutritious food.
  2. I don’t use much of it. If you glance through my recipes, you’ll notice that they rarely call for more than 1/3 cup of muscovado sugar. Our tastebuds have changed to the extent that anything more is just too sweet for us. 1/3 of a cup of sugar divided into, say, a cake of 12 portions, means just 1 teaspoon of muscovado per serving – not enough to cause an issue in a healthy individual.
  3. It tastes good. Because it’s unrefined, it has an intense flavour that hints at molasses and liquorice. For this reason, you don’t need much for baking.
  4. It’s cheap. Compared to other valid (which means, reasonably nutritious) sweeteners, Muscovado is gentle on the wallet. At least where we live, maple syryp and coconut sugar are ok occasionally, but they’d break our bank for biscuits.
  5. It’s not just empty calories. Just to run through those minerals again: Muscovado Sugar contains 44mg of Phosphorus, 85mg of Calcium, 23mg of Magnesium, 100mg of Potassium and 1.3mg of Iron for every 100 grams. That’s not bad for a little sweetness.
  6. It’s processed without chemicals. It’s essentially the juice of cane sugar which has been evaporated and then separated from the molasses through either a centrifuge, or through shearing.
  7. It’s ethically manufactured. You can buy Muscovado Sugar that has been produced by small to medium sized businesses who are aligned with Fair Trade practices. Look for the relevant logos.

All good reasons for having Muscovado Sugar in the pantry. Just don’t go overboard with it. Or any other kind of sweetener, for that matter, including fruit. Remember, our DNA hasn’t evolved to metabolize vast quantities of sugar in any form. Before agriculture and industrialisation, natural sugars came from a little fruit in summer, and a little honey when stumbled upon. It’s always worth remembering that the sweet taste is addictive.

Yes, sweeten your baking with a little Muscovado Sugar. Have your cake and eat it. But only after your Sugar Dragon is well under control.

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Read More about Sugar

The Problem with Sugar and Sweeteners, Natural and Non – Learn why it’s not so much the substance, but the taste that’s the problem.

Fructose: It’s Natural & Healthy, Right? – Actually, it’s not that simple, and it’s worth knowing about how it works.

Carbohydrates and the Sugar Burner Cycle – It’s a viscious circle!


Sugar Cane Photo by Victoria Priessnitz on Unsplash


Angelina Brazzale

Angelina Brazzale is the founding creative director of Empress and Sister. Like her chart ruler, Mercury, she travels between worlds. She has degrees in English Literature and in Fine Arts, Ceramics. She's a Primary Health Coach, having reversed autoimmune disease through the protocols of ancestral health. She spent over 10 years teaching yoga and meditation. She reads Tarot, writes and makes art, and is sensitive to the energy in crystals and trees. Visit her Page in the Empress and Sister Collective for information, products and services.

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