Let me just make this plain and intelligible:
This article is a battle between two natural sugars: palm sugar vs Jaggery — putting almost everything they have into consideration to know, which is more of a healthier option for you.
Who knows? Your most preferred might turn out to be your least liked.
No doubt both palm sugar and jaggery tastes incredibly well and are packed with all the essential nutrients. But we have to be sure. Besides, these sugar products are similar. Similar in terms of color, taste, usage, and whatnot.
But hey, they aren’t IDENTICAL. So definitely, there MUST be differences. So join me, and let’s unravel the two most confusing staple culinary ingredients together in just 2 minutes.
What is Palm Sugar?
Palm sugar is a natural sweetener obtained from the sap in the flower buds of a coconut palm tree.
This mild caramel flavor sugar is quite a rock star in Southeast Asian and African cooking. This includes rich curries, rice dishes, beverages, desserts, as well as candy.
Related Post: Palm Sugar Vs Coconut Sugar
What is Jaggery?
Simply put, Jaggery is an unrefined natural sweetener made in Asia and Africa.
It is a type of sugar made of sugarcane with palm sap without removing the nutritious molasses.
And it can vary from golden brown to dark brown and are readily available in solid, liquid, and powder form.
They are ideal for desserts or drinks.
Is it Good to Eat Jaggery Daily?
Yes, consuming Jaggery daily is super healthy.
What many don’t realize is that more than just the flavor, Jaggery offers immense health benefits.
Jaggery is an unrefined form of sugar that contains the natural goodness of minerals and vitamins sapped from sugarcane.
And according to Ayurveda, eating Jaggery daily, especially after meals, improves digestion due to its Ushna (hot) property.
Among other numerous benefits are:
- They produce heat as well as instant energy for your body.
- Promotes weight loss by preventing retention of water in the body due to the presence of potassium in it.
- It prevents constipation due to its laxative property and activates digestive enzymes.
However, the saying “excessive of everything is bad” also applies here.
It is advisable not to consume excessive Jaggery as it may upset your stomach and aggravate certain health problems. (more on that later)
Palm Sugar Vs Jaggery: Key Differences
1. Nutrition Information for Jaggery
100 grams which is half a cup of Jaggery, may contain:
- Calories: 38. 3
- Sucrose: 65–85 grams.
- Fructose and glucose: 10–15 grams.
- Protein: 0.4 grams.
- Fat: 0.1 grams.
- Magnesium: 70-90 mg or 20% of the RDI.
- Iron: 11 mg or 61% of the RDI.
- Manganese: 0.2–0.5 mg or 10–20% of the RDI.
- Potassium: 1050 mg or 30% of the RDI.
Mind you, this 100-gram (3.5-oz) serving is much higher for you to consume in one sitting.
You should probably be consuming about a tablespoon (20 grams) or teaspoon (7 grams).
On top of that, Jaggery sugar also incorporates a considerable amount of B vitamins and minerals, including phosphorus, calcium, zinc, and copper.
Related Post: Palm Sugar Vs Cane Sugar
2. Nutrition Information of Palm sugar
One tablespoon of palm sugar contains:
- Calories: 54
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 15 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 15 grams
Palm sugar is a good source of:
3. Glycemic index level
Jaggery’s glycemic index is very high, up to 84.4. Therefore, diabetics are not advised to eat Jaggery.
Moreover, it is a norm that diabetic patients should watch or cut down their intake of sweet foods as well as desserts, as it all sums up to cause the blood sugar to be high.
However, ongoing research suggests palm sugar for diabetes is a healthier alternative to Jaggery and regular sugar because it has a very low glycemic index score of 35.
Also, I want you to take note of their calorie density.
Palm sugar seems to have more of it, and remember consuming more calories than you burn may lead to overweight or obesity –increasing your risk for cancer and other chronic health problems.
And for asthmatic patients?
Due to Jaggery’s cleansing action in the lungs and respiratory tract, it helps ease breathing, so YES, it might help in asthma.
Also to people who are frequently exposed to dust and dirt may find Jaggery helpful as it aids to keep their air passages healthy.
4. Taste and versatility
In terms of versatility, palm sugar captures the upper hand, swapping Jaggery.
Among natural sweeteners, palm sugar is an option that can be used in almost any recipe.
The deep, rich flavor that provides that distinctive taste makes it excellent for flavoring beverages, curries, rice dishes, desserts, and candies.
Jaggery is also useful for bread, sweets, cakes, and other baking goods and desserts. But not as much in curries and rice dishes.
Interestingly, both palm and jaggery sugar are similar in taste.
While Palm sugar has a caramel-like taste with a distinct palm flavor that is light and sweet; Jaggery tastes sweeter and like a cross between spicy molasses and buttery caramel.
Well, when it comes to taste, it’s a matter of personal preference. But since Jaggery is sweeter than palm, you should use less of it.
In granulated form, palm sugar looks like brown sugar without being so sticky. It also looks quite like turbinado or demerara sugar, but it’s not as shiny or crystal-y.
As said before, Jaggery looks from light golden to dark brown. It is also important to note that the color of this sweetener plays a crucial role in identifying its purity.
Related Post: Best Palm Sugar Substitutes
Palm sugar vs Jaggery: Who Wins?
If you’ve never missed a word on this page, you will understand that both sugars are essentially healthy.
However, since it all boils down to personal preferences and availability of the product, well, I will let you declare the victor.
But I highly recommend you consume either of these sweeteners in moderation if you wish to follow a healthy lifestyle.