A trace element, chromium is essential in producing a substance called glucose tolerance factor (GTF) which is  important in the utilization of insulin, a hormone that stabilizes blood sugar levels. The mineral is also involved in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. Eating refined sugar can cause depletion of body chromium as sugar lacks sufficient amounts of the mineral for its own digestion. The chromium content of refined sugar is 0.02 parts per million (ppm) whereas the  by-product, molasses, has 0.2 ppm; sugar cane juice has approximately 0.1 ppm.