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Cane Sugar, Beet Sugar, and Corn Syrup: The Differences and Health Issues of Each

Thursday, June 22nd 2023 10:00am 7 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Sugar is an essential component of our daily diet, used in various food products and beverages. Cane sugar, beet sugar, and corn syrup are the three most common types of sweeteners used in the food industry. All three are derived from different sources, have different chemical compositions, and are used differently in various food products. This article discusses the differences between cane sugar, beet sugar, and corn syrup, including their health benefits and drawbacks.

Cane sugar

Cane sugar is derived from sugarcane plants, which grow in tropical regions of the world. The process of making cane sugar involves extracting juice from the sugarcane and then refining it into a crystalline form. Cane sugar is the most commonly used sweetener in the food industry due to its availability and affordability.


One of the benefits of cane sugar is that it is a natural sweetener, meaning it is not chemically processed. Cane sugar also has a low glycemic index (GI), which means it does not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. Additionally, cane sugar is rich in antioxidants and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which are beneficial to overall health.


The main drawback of cane sugar is that it is high in calories and can contribute to weight gain and other health problems. Excessive consumption of cane sugar has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. It is important to consume cane sugar in moderation and to be aware of the amount of sugar in food products.

Beet sugar

Beet sugar is derived from sugar beets, which are grown in temperate climates. The process of making beet sugar involves slicing and boiling the beets to extract the juice, which is then refined into a crystalline form. Beet sugar is the second most commonly used sweetener in the food industry after cane sugar.

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