Is Sugar Vegan?

Sugar is in almost every food that you can find in a store, and even savory products often contain a certain amount of sugar. But if you are eating a plant based diet, can you eat sugar? But most question that you say: Is Sugar Vegan? Yes, sugar is usually vegan with a few exceptions.

Is Sugar Vegan

In this article, we look at what makes sugar vegan or not, and how you can find out whether your diet.

Different Types Of Sugar

There is a large variety of sugar, and when we talk about vegan sugar, then we mostly speak of refined sugar rather than table sugar. Refined sugar is usually used in baking, and it is available in powdered form as well as white and brown sugar.

Generally, refined sugar comes from two sources: sugar beets and sugarcane.

Beet Sugar

Thanks to the way it is processed, you will find that beet sugar is always vegan because it doesn’t need the same amount of processing as sugar made from sugarcane.

Sugarcane Sugar

This is very different with sugar made from sugarcane. Processing can vary widely and refined cane sugar is not always vegan.

What Makes Sugar Not Vegan?

The best way to understand why refined sugar is not always vegan is by looking at the way it is processed. Let’s look at the way caned sugar is made. First, the sugar cane stalks need to be crushed. This helps to separate the pulp from the juice.

The juice is then processed and put through a filter. It is also bleached with the help of bone char. Bone char creates this vibrant white color that we associate with white sugar.

Considered a natural carbon, bone char is commonly used throughout the sugar industry. It helps to decolorize the sugar making it brilliantly white.

The problem with bone char is that it is made from the bones of cattle. It is typically produced in the Middle East and Asia, and then sold across the world.

While coconut sugar and beet sugar are never processed with bone charcoal, sugar made from sugarcane often requires bone char to be used.

It’s worthwhile pointing out here that sugar does not actually contain bone char but the bone char is used during the production process of sugar.

This means that most vegans would not eat refined sugar where bone char is used to make the sugar.


Luckily, not all sugars are made in this way and there are some great vegan sugars that are better for the environment.

How To Tell If Your Sugar Is Vegan

Now that you know that refined sugar isn’t always processed in a vegan-friendly way, how do you find out if your sugar is vegan?

If your favorite sugar is made from beets, then you don’t have to worry. All beet sugars are vegan, and they have almost exactly the same texture and taste as cane sugar.

However, if your sugar is not made with sugar beets or coconut, then you will have to look more closely at the packaging.

Many vegan sugar brands are proud of their plant-based production, so they will state that it is vegan. Saying this, many brands are not certified vegan which means they are not allowed to advertise this on their packaging.

Some important words to look out for when looking for a vegan sugar are:

    • Unrefined

    • Organic

    • Raw

    • Natural

If any of these words are used on the label, then the sugar has been been filtered with bone char and it is definitely vegan.

The filtering process for these sugars is much more organic and works in a slightly different way to the normal bone char method.

Vegan cane sugar juice is boiled and then spun in a giant centrifuge. Then, it is dried into small sugar crystals.

While this organic practice means that your sugar doesn’t look as white, it is fully vegan.

Is Brown Sugar Vegan?

Brown sugar is typically not vegan because sugar manufacturers just add molasses to white sugar which has been filtered with bone char. This applies to brown refined sugar, as well as confectioner’s sugar and fructose.

Vegan Sugar Alternatives

Vegan Sugar Alternatives

As not all sugars are vegan, it can be easier to avoid any of the confusing labels by just using a its substitute. Here are some of the best sugar and sweetener alternatives.

Date Sugar

Dates are not just delicious but date sugar also makes for a great sugar replacement. You can substitute date sugar with a 1:1 ratio.


But you can also use dates themselves as a sweet alternative. Simply make a date paste by turning the dates into a purée.

This will create a thick paste, and one cup of date paste is enough to replace a full cup of sugar.

Maple Syrup

Syrup is also super sweet, so you can use it to replace your brown or white sugar. Just use ¾ of a cup of maple syrup to replace one cup of sugar.

Coconut Sugar

Coconut has become a firm favorite with many vegans already, thanks to the availability of coconut milk.

You can easily replace your sugar with coconut sugar with a 1:1 ratio.


Stevia isn’t new on the sweetener market but it has been undervalued so far. 

The best thing about stevia is that it is super sweet, so you only need half a teaspoon of stevia to replace one cup of sugar.

Agave Nectar

You only need ⅔ cup of natural agave nectar to replace one cup of white or brown sugar.

Monk Fruit

Sweet monk fruit is often found in baking, so you can use just one teaspoon of monk fruit sweetener to replace one cup of sugar.

Is Sugar Vegan?

If you are looking to switch to a vegan diet, you might be wondering if sugar is vegan food. Sugar is a sweetener and can be made from many sources. This includes refined cane sugar, brown sugar, and powdered sugar.

Brown sugar

The question of whether or not brown sugar is vegan is often hotly debated. Many people believe that it is not, but there are plenty of brands that are vegan friendly. Regardless of whether or not you think brown sugar is vegan, you may want to consider some of the facts about the product before buying it.

Brown sugar is a form of refined white sugar mixed with molasses. It can be used to replace ordinary white sugar in baked goods.

Brown sugar is produced from a combination of cane sugar and molasses. In addition, it contains some iron and potassium. Unlike other sweeteners, it is not acidic. This makes it safe to use by those with milk allergies.

Some of the types of sugar that are not vegan are white sugar, coconut palm sugar, and beet sugar. But the only sugar that is known to be completely vegan is confectioners’ sugar.

One way to find out if a brand of sugar is vegan is to look for a certified logo. These labels are meant to ensure that the sugar is free of animal products.

Powdered sugar

Powdered sugar is a type of white sugar that has been processed to create a fine powder. It can be used in many recipes.

A good amount of powdered sugar is used for frosting, and icing. It comes in a variety of sizes and types. In fact, there are several brands of powdered sugar that are vegan and certified organic.

However, it is important to know which ones are vegan and which ones are not. There are brands that use bone char, and other substances that may contain animal products.

Most refined cane sugar does not meet the criteria to be considered vegan. But there are also some sugars that can be used as vegan substitutes.

Some of these include coconut sugar, maple syrup, malt syrup, and agave nectar. Many of these can be found in the store.

If you want to make your own powdered sugar, there are many recipes that will help. It can be made with a food processor or a blender. This will make the process fast and easy.

Refined cane sugar

If you’re a vegan, you might be wondering what’s in refined cane sugar. You can definitely have this in your favorite treats, but it’s not something you should be eating in its raw form.

Cane sugar is produced from a number of different ingredients. It can be sourced from fruits, vegetables, or even grains. Depending on the source, you may find a variety of flavors and colors.

While many people consider all sugar to be vegan, it depends on the kind of sugar you’re looking at. Some kinds of sugar, like molasses, are vegan.

While not all refined cane sugar is vegan, you can find a number of brands that are. However, it’s important to check the label on your package carefully.

Many of these companies use bone char to refine their sugar. During the process, the animal bones of dead animals are heated and charred to remove impurities and turn the sugar into a clear white. This is not something most vegans would eat, though.

Sugar made from sugar beets

If you’re vegan, you’re likely wondering if sugar made from sugar beets is vegan. The answer is yes. But it is a little different than cane sugar. In fact, most beet sugar isn’t refined.

Typically, the sugar we eat is made from sugar cane, a bamboo-like plant that grows in a tropical climate. It’s harvested early in the winter. Sugar beets can be grown in multiple climates, including the United States and Russia. However, most beets are genetically modified.

Although sugar made from sugar beets is considered vegan, the production process isn’t the same as cane sugar. For instance, beets don’t require the carbon filtering of cane. This means that if you’re a vegan, it might be difficult to find a refined cane sugar that you can enjoy.

Another issue is that bone char is used in the sugar making process. Bone char is a type of natural carbon that’s made from charred animal bones. Some brands of cane sugar are processed without using bone char, though.

Final Thoughts

Only beet sugar is always vegan but may not be suitable for a diet. It’s best to avoid any refined sugars that don’t use the words organic, raw or natural on their label.


You can also choose a vegan sugar alternative which is guaranteed to be plant-based.

We have another article about Bread that is really vegan or not. please read it.


Clara Howie
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