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Is Black Strap Molasses Healthy?

Black strap molasses, a dark, thick syrup, is a type of molasses made in the process of converting sugar cane into white granulated sugar. This product imparts a bittersweet flavor commonly used in baking, although it has other uses. Black strap molasses is high in sugar, but it contains a range of nutrients that makes it a relatively healthy addition to your diet.

Black strap molasses contains 60 calories per 1-tablespoon serving. Approximately 86 percent of these calories come from carbohydrates --nutrients that supply energy and protect the function of your central nervous system. One serving of this type of molasses provides you with 1 gram of protein. Your body can use this protein to support new cell growth, maintain healthy tissue and help your red blood cells function properly.

Consume a serving of black strap molasses, and you will get 23 percent of the potassium you need each day. Potassium in this variety of molasses keeps your heart and muscles working properly. Black strap molasses also serve as a good source of magnesium, a mineral critical for health bones; a serving contains 15 percent of the daily recommended intake of magnesium. Potassium aids in healthy nerve function -- it allows your nerve cells to send small electrical signals needed for communication -- and also controls your blood pressure, while magnesium supports muscle function.

If you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease or anemia, consuming black strap molasses may help. Evidence published in the August 2004 issue of the “Southern Medical Journal” correlates eating black strap molasses with increased iron levels that can ease anemia symptoms, including ulcerative colitis and other bowel problems.

Because it is made from sugar, it should not come as a surprise that black strap molasses has high sugar content. Each serving of black strap molasses contains 12 grams of sugar, and it can put your dental health at risk if eaten as part of a high sugar diet, as well as cause weight gain. Limit your consumption of sugar to 25.2 to 37.8 grams per day. Since just one serving of black strap molasses provides up to almost half of this daily limit, you should consume it in moderation.

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.