The choices of sugars available today are very wide-ranging, to the point it’s kind of became ambiguous.
It has become very uneasy to identify the natural sugars from the processed ones. How can we know for sure that our choice of sweetener is what is suitable for our bodies? How can we know we’re getting the daily required amount of sugar to keep us healthy daily?
What Are Natural Sugars and Why Do We Need Them
Natural sugars are naturally occurring in natural unprocessed foods. As long as sweet food is not man-made, then it is directly considered naturally sweet. Even though they are still sugars, natural sugars are considered to be the healthiest kind of sugars available.
Here’s Where Natural Sugars Are to Be Found
Natural Fruits and Vegetables
Natural Fruits contain fructose or fruit sugar. Fructose is a compound that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. Canned fruits and vegetables along with premade juices and soups do not contain the natural sugars raw fruits and vegetables contain.
Milk and Dairy Products
How healthy milk can be is still a debatable topic, and the same goes for whether is it considered to be processed or not. Once the milk has been pasteurized and homogenized it still contains lactose which in this case is the Natural Sugar. Yogurt and other dairy products have probably added sugars to them on top of the already present lactose.
What Are Added Sugars and How Do They Differ from Refined Sugars?
Added sugars are what is added to flavor the food. All added sugars are originally derivatives of natural ingredients.
Refined sugars are basically the classic “table sugar” or “white sugar” we are all familiar with. This sugar is made by extracting and processing the natural sugars we previously mentioned.
This process renders the sugar we’re commonly used to less nutritious than how it was when in its natural raw form.
The most common type of processed sugar available today is high-fructose corn syrup since it is the cheapest in the market.
So, by now we should all know that when we read “sugar” or “natural sugar” in the list of ingredients of any food we’re buying we can directly know it is added sugar.
Here’s a Little Detailed List of Each Sugar and Its Derivative
Glucose is the most common and basic form of sugar. It is found in various foods we consume daily. Since glucose is present in our blood, our body breaks it down after we consume it through food; and converts it into energy.
Fruit sugar or fructose is present in fruits (as given by the name) and veggies. It is considered to be sweeter than regular sugar. When we consume fructose, our body transforms it into glucose through the liver, which then is converted into energy as well.
Lactose is a complex sugar as it consists of two compounds: Glucose and Galactose. Lactose is mainly present in dairy products.
This sugar comes from sugar cane, it also is considered a complex sugar since it is composed of two molecules: Glucose and Fructose.
The list could go on with more chemical compounds that are used as sweeteners to artificial sweeteners and their side effects.
So basically, this is all the information we need to be aware of when dealing with sugar. To know how to calculate daily sugar intake based on your daily caloric intake click here
Share this article with anyone you know needs to be more aware of their diet, or even if they already do to increase their awareness.