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Home / Tips and Tricks / Is every sugar the same? The difference between good and bad sugar

Is every sugar the same? The difference between good and bad sugar



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Angela Lang / CNET

Without a doubt Zucker has the worst reputation in the field of wellness and nutrition, possibly according to GMOs. The United States Department of Disease Prevention and the World Health Organization say that you shouldn't get more than 1

0% of your daily calories from added sugar a day – and even better, add up to 25 grams of added sugar (or six teaspoons) ) limit. But is it really fair to label all sugars as the same? And what counts as an added sugar?

Some people will tell you that sugar is sugar no matter what – while others argue that some forms of sugar are better and I dare say healthier than others. However, when you look at the research, there is no evidence that diets with naturally occurring sugar are harmful to your health.

The following is Jayne Williams, a certified nutritionist and graduate student in clinical nutrition, to highlight the different types of sugar and how they affect your health.

The Different Types of Sugar Explained

Added Sugar is any type of sugar that you (or a manufacturer) add to foods – be it coconut sugar, cane sugar, maple syrup, honey or agave nectar. However, this is the time when the actual gray area of ​​the sugar debate appears, since each of these sugars differs in terms of its manufacture or manufacture.

When it comes to sugar in food, there are a few important factors to consider: when sugar is added and the sugar comes from a natural source or is contained in a whole food. For example, fruit is a whole, natural food and contains sugar in its natural form. It also contains a variety of other vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

The World Health Organization states in its guidelines that the 10% limit does not refer to sugar, which is naturally contained in foods such as fruit or milk when it relates to suggestions for sugar intake. The first thing to distinguish is the addition of sugar over the naturally occurring type.

"I like to divide sugar into three categories: natural, modified natural sugar and artificial sugar. Then we can differentiate between what can have additional benefits and what can actually cause problems in our body," says Williams.

Natural sugar

Foods that naturally contain sugar are not the same as processed foods with added sugar. Foods that contain natural sugar are likely to contain less sugar than processed snacks and benefit from vitamins, minerals or fiber, for example. Added sugars such as corn syrup with a high fructose content are often more processed forms of sugar.

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That being said, every sugar affects your body by increasing your blood sugar and insulin hormones when you consume it. However, it is likely that the foods you eat that contain sugar naturally contain far less than processed foods and also contain fiber, vitamins and minerals.

"Natural sugar, like the sugar that is contained in whole foods like fruits, is definitely part of a healthy diet for most people. While fruits contain a small amount of fructose, which is sugar, the total Nutritional value of a piece Whole fruits with all the vitamins, fiber and nutrients are worth being included in a healthy diet, "says Williams. Naturally occurring fructose in fruits is tied to fiber, which slows down the rate at which your body absorbs this sugar.

Fructose should not be confused with corn syrup with a high fructose content. "Fructose is much sweeter than glucose, so it's most commonly used as a sweetener in processed foods. This type of fructose is actually made and we know it as high fructose corn syrup. This type of chemically produced fructose is far from its extremely distant one Relatives to fructose when it is made into a syrup, "says Williams. Modified natural sugars “/>

Honey, although natural, is still a form of sugar.


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"Modified natural sugars are those that come from a natural source, but require a light & modern intervention to get to your table. Coconut sugar, raw honey, and pure organic maple syrup all contain some additional minerals and vitamins, but they are still sugar and can affect your blood sugar level more than naturally occurring whole foods, "Williams says.

Processed or "counterfeit" sugars

Processed sugars lack nutritional or health benefits because they are processed and vitamins and minerals are removed.

"Counterfeit sugars are the types of sugar that have been modified in the laboratory and contain a high proportion of fructose, making your liver very difficult to process," says Williams. "Household sugar in any form (cane, white) falls into this category, as does agave nectar. Although it is low glycemic, it contains high amounts of fructose, which makes it extremely difficult for your liver to process, especially if you include it in your daily diet . "

The bottom line

Sugar, which is found in whole, unprocessed foods, is likely to contain other useful nutrients that will help offset the negative effects it can have on your body. If you add sugar like honey to your food, it's best to keep it under 6 teaspoons a day.

Be careful with apparently "healthy" packaged or prepared foods, snacks, and beverages such as smoothies. These can also have added sugar. Stay away from artificial sweeteners and other highly processed forms of sugar such as corn syrup with a high level of fructose for optimal health.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have any questions about an illness or health goals.


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