Jaggery VS Brown Sugar – Which Is Healthier? Know The Difference


White sugar might be bad for health, but what about the brown sugar? What is the difference between brown sugar and jaggery? What are the molasses? Is the brown sugar better than the jaggery? While we look these things, we will look at nutritional values of these items so that one can make informed decision and have a healthy lifestyle.

The benefits of and brown sugar and organic jaggery are a whole different game altogether because of the absence of different harmful chemical compounds.

Difference between jaggery and brown sugar

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1. Manufacturing process

The most important difference between brown sugar and jaggery is the way the two sweeteners are processed and manufactured. Brown sugar is often made by adding refined sugar and controlled amounts of molasses.  Molasses in brown sugar provides it a flavor and color similar to that of coffee. This kind of sugar is also used to prepare dense cake, cookie dough, as well as barbecue sauce.

Jaggery is prepared by sugarcane juices or palm sap. Sugarcane juice is converted into a very thick brown paste and then set in moulds to harden. The jaggery is browner in color and has loads of flavors as it is unrefined. Predominant flavors of jaggery are mainly earthy, fruity, caramel, and slight note of smoke.

2. Nutritional value

Another major difference between brown sugar and jaggery is their nutritional value. Though the two ingredients have almost same calorie value, the jaggery has a high amount of iron as well as other essential minerals. Also, the mineral content of jaggery makes it healthier for most of the people aiming to reduce the empty calorie from the brown or the white sugar.

Some people can also argue that molasses in the brown sugar makes it a good source of some minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, as well as magnesium. But, those minerals are found in almost insignificant amount, providing little real benefits. In spite of that, the brown sugar is comparatively good than white sugar as the white sugar does not contain any minerals and have sulfur that is harmful to human body and is still sometimes used during refining process.

3. Sweetness

Another main difference between the brown sugar and jaggery is their levels of sweetness. Jaggery has a reputation of being a very healthy sugar, is comparatively less sweet than the brown sugar. As it is quite rich in minerals, the jaggery’s taste is different from the brown sugar. This is why when one substitute the brown sugar with jaggery, they need to add little more of this to attain same levels of sweetness.

Can you use jaggery as a substitute for brown sugar?

Jaggery has been recognized as a healthy sugar, this is why most people use it as a brown sugar substitute. The reality is that all the sugar is nutritionally same and none of them are healthy. If you want to consume jaggery in the place of brown sugar, you should use it more to have the same sweetness.

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When using the brown sugar instead of the jaggery, you need to use less of it in order to avoid making the dish too sweet. Jaggery is available in block forms, so you need to grate it slightly so that it can be used in most of the recipes which require the regular brown sugar crystal. Increase the amount sugar in dish when using the jaggery as the brown sugar substitute.

As jaggery‘s basic flavor is caramel undertone, the brown sugar could stand in effectively. Use one-third less brown sugars if you wish to use it as the jaggery substitute.


If you want to have a healthy lifestyle, the most important step is to cut in the sugar intake. Regardless of the fact that you are consuming the white or brown sugar, these are empty calories that cause more harm than good. This is why jaggery is considered as a healthier choice because it is relatively less sweet and often has more nutritional values. The biggest difference between the jaggery and brown sugar lie in their nutritional value and their taste. Though both jaggery and the brown sugar have molasses, the brown sugar contains a little amount of mineral and vitamin and has high glycaemic index.

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