By now you’ve most likely heard that consuming much less sugar will be useful to your well being.
However enjoyable reality: There are totally different sorts of sugars on the market! Two sorts, to be precise. There’s pure sugar and added sugar.
“Our brains want sugar to outlive — pure sugar,” says Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN.
However your mind and physique can do with out added sugar, which is put into meals that don’t often comprise sugar.
Right here’s a deeper dive into the distinction between the 2 sugars, and the way you should utilize this data to raised your consuming habits.
What Are Pure and Added Sugars?
- Pure sugars are present in meals from the beginning. They seem in meals like fruits, some greens, and dairy.
- Added sugars should not native to meals, and are added to reinforce taste.
Even when sugar comes from a seemingly wholesome supply, reminiscent of honey or agave, it’s thought of an added sugar if it wasn’t within the meals to start with.
Whereas it’s true that these substances could have nominally extra dietary worth than straight-up processed sugar, they’re nonetheless missing in fiber and due to this fact have the same influence.
For instance, a serving of plain nonfat Greek yogurt has virtually 5 grams of naturally occurring sugar. That is sugar that’s within the yogurt from the get-go.
However a serving of sweetened vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt has 14 grams of sugar, a few of which was added through the manufacturing course of.
What’s the Distinction Between Pure and Added Sugars?
Right here’s the stunning half about sugar: “There is no such thing as a chemical distinction between pure and added sugar,” explains Dr. Robert Lustig, MD, MSL, who’s based mostly in San Francisco. “They’re made from the identical molecules — glucose and fructose.” There’s additionally lactose, which is in dairy merchandise.
Technically, your physique can’t inform the distinction between pure sugar and added sugar.
Which means a scoop of desk sugar, a squeeze of agave, and the lactose in that Greek yogurt is processed in your physique the identical means.
Sugar is sugar, regardless of what identify it has.
However there is a distinction within the meals that comprise these sugars.
Meals with pure sugars include different wholesome elements, like fiber and vitamins, that provide your physique well-rounded vitamin and assist your physique course of sugar in a more healthy style.
Alternatively, added sugar doesn’t provide these advantages and, when consumed in extra, does extra hurt than good.
Is Sugar in Fruit Unhealthy for You?
You don’t have to be involved about sugar in fruit. Once you eat naturally occurring sugar in entire fruits and greens, it comes with the advantages of fiber.
“Once you eat (soluble) fiber, it varieties a gel in your gut that creates a barrier to decelerate the absorption of fructose, which protects your liver,” Lustig explains.
Nevertheless, “once you eat added sugar with out fiber, you’re flooding your liver,” says Lustig.
Once you overwhelm the liver with fructose, it turns the surplus quantities into fats, he provides.
Is Added Sugar Unhealthy for You?
“Consuming too many meals with added sugars is solely a waste of your every day caloric consumption,” says Michele Promaulayko, creator of Sugar Free 3.
And worse than losing your energy, you may be damaging your short- and long-term well being.
“The low-grade irritation your physique could expertise once you overconsume added sugars can put it below stress and result in poor well being,” she says. “By eliminating added sugars out of your weight-reduction plan, your intestine can higher carry out its important operate as gatekeeper.”
What meals comprise added sugar?
There are some stunning meals that comprise added sugar. “Most consumers assume they solely must look out for added sugars in candy meals, reminiscent of cookies and muffins,” Promaulayko says.
“Nevertheless, added sugar, refined carbs, and synthetic sweeteners are additionally current in lots of main manufacturers of pasta sauce, bread, granola bars, yogurt, ketchup, salad dressings, and extra.”
As a way to keep away from consuming added sugar, all that you must do is learn the ingredient checklist of your meals. If the checklist accommodates sugar or any of it’s different names, then it’s a meals with added sugar.