Sugar in all of its forms is said to a simple carbohydrate. This is an element which the body will be converting into glucose and it is needed for releasing energy.
However this kind of energy comes at a price. While also depending on the kind of sugar you are consuming, it can have an effect on the body. It also impacts your overall health in various ways.
In this article, I want to talk about and highlight the difference between these sugar types as well as know how you can actually substitute the bad kind with a range of options, natural that is.
The fact is all of us like to consume something which is sweet. This is because it comes naturally to us. However in doing so, we are to be careful that we are not harming our body more than we are doing good.
Let’s get into the details of it now:
So when talking about sugar, know that even in its simplest form, sugar is something which is advisable to be consumed on a regular basis. It impacts your overall health and it depends on the kind you eat- be it natural or refined.
In this article, we will be talking about both kinds- natural and refined. As well as the differences between the two. And ways in which you can adapt a good replacement by choosing naturally occurring sugars.
Two Main Types of Sugar
You now already know that there are mainly two kinds. The natural sugar is the one which you will find in its purest form in fruits as fructose. It is also available in dairy products in the form of lactose like in your milk and cheese.
Did you know that it is important to understand how natural sugar has an important role to play when it comes to certain issues and diseases like cancer. This is because it will be providing you essential nutrients. And these help in keeping the body completely healthy and also prevents certain diseases.
Now let’s talk about refined sugars. This is the kind that comes from sugar cane or even sugar beets. This is actually processed to extract from the sugar. It is actually found in sucrose, it is actually coming from a combination of glucose and fructose.
This kind of sugar is available in white and brown sugars which will sweeten different desserts like cakes, cookies, coffee, cream and even fruit.
In many of those cases of store-bought desserts which consist of high-fructose corn syrup, as well as to different elements like crackers, yogurts, tomato sauce as well as salad dressing.
Did you know that most of the processed foods we also eat also have added calories and sugar which comes with low nutritional values. In contrast, this fruit and unsweetened milk also have different kinds of vitamins and minerals. Did you know that milk and fiber also has plenty of fiber which helps to make you feel fuller for longer.
What Role Does Metabolism Play?
When it comes to how body is metabolizing the sugar that you find in fruit and milk is how it differs from the way your body is metabolizing the refined sugar which you will find in processed foods. How the body breaks down refined sugar is different from how it happens for natural sugars. In fact when refined sugar breaks quickly, it actually shoots up the insulin and blood sugar levels. They will skyrocket.
This is because refined sugar gets digested faster as composed to natural sugar. You will notice how the fiber you find in fruits actually slows down the metabolism. And this fruit aims to make you feel fuller for longer hours.
However when this sugar moves through a stomach, and it will reach your small intestine, it will be the same and does not matter the source on how and from where did it come from.
Did you know the fact on how much sugar is in the blood will determine how much your body will be using this sugar. If you have a lot of sugar in your system already, the sugar you have taken in will be used in some form, be it in the form of fat or glycogen.
This storage form of glucose is what will be used like energy very quickly.
What Does Too Much Sugar Actually Mean?
Now I want to talk about how sugar impacts your health. For years, various studies have been done which prove how the high amounts of refined and added sugars cause problems and concerns in your health and diet. Here we are essentially talking about the sugar levels in not just sweets and sodas but anything in your diet.
It is known that the high levels of sugar relate to having immense weight gain as well as higher chances of developing obesity.
It also leads to high increase in blood sugar which will also increase the risks of you suffering from insulin resistance. In some cases, if this is not controlled, it can also cause you to suffer from type 2 diabetes.
How Sugar Appears on Products:
Now let’s talk about how you will see sugar appearing on products that you buy. It actually goes with a lot of different names. So when we look at the nutrition labels, this is what we will usually see:
- brown sugar
- corn sweetener
- corn syrup
- rice syrup
- fructose sweetener
- barley malt
- rice syrup
- pancake syrup
- invert sugar
This is pretty much how sugar works. When you are looking into added sugar, you can see how many of these elements are either ending with ‘ose’ or we use syrup or malt.
So now you have a fair idea of how sugar is actually one of the leading elements which causes and impacts your health in a negative way.
However there are still ways in which you can consider on taking some natural substitutes for sugar. This not only protects your health but also helps you to make the right decisions.
Let’s look into some of the best options you can opt for:
Natural Substitutes to Choose Instead of Sugar
For a long time, added sugar is considered as one the most controversial ingredients which people are consuming on a regular basis.
It comes with and associates with serious diseases. The problem is that many people don’t even know how so many things have sugar in them. They are consuming it without having the actual knowledge of it.
But the good news is- you can actually sweeten foods without you having to add any sugar to it. Here’s looking into various healthy alternatives you can choose form.
Sugar is something which can actually interfere with hormones. This will actually impact your metabolism. It also will lead to you having an increase in insulin as well as high fat storage.
Check out some of the leading alternatives which are known to be really good in making a difference:
This is a natural sweetener. Which get extracted from the leaves of South American shrub.
It is a plant-based sweetener and it contains zero calories. It is actually up to zero calories. But interestingly, it is even 350 times more sweeter than you find in sugar.
Stevia is a good option as it is known to lower your blood pressure as well as your blood sugar as well.
Monk Fruit Sweetener
This is basically what you get when you extract it from a monk fruit which is actually a strong and round fruit. This is a very good alternative and it contains zero calories. It is also 100 to 250 times sweeter than sugar.
It also has natural sugars like fructose and glucose, but when you can make it sweeter with antioxidants.
The way it works is that in the method of processing, you will have the mogrosides separated to make some fresh juice. This will be removing the fructose as well as glucose.
There are so many natural sweeteners you can use which are really good and a better option as opposed to sugar. This includes naturals like coconut sugar, honey, as well as molasses and even maple syrup.
This is something which you will be extracting from the sap of coconut palm. And it is different from coconut oil. It is really good and nutritious as it contains different nutrients which includes zinc, iron, calcium and even antioxidants.
Who doesn’t love honey? This warm and thick, golden liquid comes from bees. It also consists of an abundance of vitamins and minerals. You will notice it also has fructose which makes it one of the best options out there. This would also protect your teeth from bad breath.
Learn more about Artificial Sweeteners here.
This pretty much like honey, is also a thick sugary liquid which you get from maple trees. It also contains elements like calcium, potassium as well as iron and zinc.
It also contains antioxidants and is a great option instead of sugar. However this too should be considered and taken in moderation.
Remember, your diet is in your control. You can opt for natural sugars for a better health as it not only tastes better but is also making your health more sound.