I'm going to answer this question very simply. Sugar is derived from the juice of sugar cane and sugar beets. Once extracted, the sugar cane or sugar beet juice is processed extensively to produce a white, granulated substance. At each stage of the refinement process, impurities, along with nutrients, are removed. Nearly all of the nutrients are removed during the initial stages. Brown sugar is made by adding molasses to the already completely refined white sugar.
It is important to realize that all of these different types of sugar that are now available for purchase, such as Turbinado, Florida's Crystals, Evaporated Cane Juice, and the notoriously deceptive "Raw" Sugar, have actually already gone through many of the stages of the refinement process. The decolorization stage happens almost toward the end of the process, therefore these types of sugar ARE NOT healthy and do not contain nutrients.
Truly raw sugar (Rapadura or the very dark brown Sucanat) is produced in the initial stages of white sugar’s manufacturing process. Rapadura is coarse and very dark brown in color. It contains all of the nutrients present in the original sugar cane, therefore it has the ability to nourish and satiate. Due to the raw nature of this sugar, it is absorbed much more slowly into the blood stream.
Bananas have more sugar than other fruits, that will be true of other fruits and vegetables as well. Carrots and beets have more sugar than lettuce and cabbage. Does that mean that we shouldn't eat them? Of course not, it just means that they have more sugar in them. If you want more info about the health benefits of bananas, you can listen to my 5-minute podcast by clicking on http://www.processedfreeliving.com/podcastShows.htm.
All sugars raise blood sugar levels, including honey and even an apple. The rate at which it does so depends on how it is eaten and in what form. Honey, like sugar, can be commerically refined, and it is best eaten in a raw, organic form. Raw honey is solid, not liquid.
What we SHOULD NOT be eating much of is ADDED sugar. Sugars that are part of a food already, like fruits and vegetables, exist within the framework of that food, with a host of fibers, enzymes, and phytonutrients that work synergystically with each other to help nourish the body and digest the carbohydrates.
As a nation, we need to stop adding sugar to our food and learn to be satisfied with the way nature intended us to eat naturally occurring sugars--as an integral, un-isolated, part of a whole.