Know your Sugars

Sugar has a bad rep for causing weight gain and diabetes, but it is still one of the most commonly used condiments people eat. It can be confusing when you go up to a counter to add sugar to your coffee or tea, many restaurants and cafes have at least 2 or 3 sugar choices. It can give you a headache just thinking about it. Everyone knows less is better when it comes to sugar, but if you’re going to sweeten your beverage or food you should at least know what you are consuming.

Types of Carbs

There are many different types of sugary ingredients you can use to sweeten up your drink or food. Some people pick the one they believe is a healthier choice and others picking the one with a preferred taste. Now remember sugar isn’t all that bad, it is a form of carbohydrate, which your body needs for energy and normal body function. The problem is how much and what type of sugar we are consuming.

There are different types of carbs; there are complex carbs(starches and fibre) and simple carbs (table sugar).Sugar being the least healthy because it does not deliver as much if any additional nutrients.

Sugar is in everything we eat

People probably don’t even realize how much sugar they consume. You may be surprised to know that most foods naturally contain a lot of sugar. There are many types of non-additive sugars including: fruit sugar (glucose and fructose), milk (lactose), table sugar (sucrose), honey (maltose), alcohol, brown sugar which is really just white sugar with added molasses… and the list goes on.

Check the labels!

I cannot stress this enough; when you’re at the grocery store make sure you turn that box around and look at that nutritional fact box. It’s so important to understand what is in the food you are eating and to educate yourself on comparing products to find out which is the better choice. Something as small as a 12-ounce can of cola contains nearly ten teaspoons of sugar! Another thing to keep in mind is that sugar can hide behind many food labels marked as brown or raw sugar instead of white. It is important to understand that all though these sugars may look healthy and are processed differently they are still no different than white granulated sugar with added molasses.

The Bittersweet Truth

Don’t fall into the false belief that sugars like raw, brown, honey, etc. are healthy for you and you can consume as you please. Yes, in small doses they can add nutrients and energy but at the end of the day they are all being processed in your body as sugar. Some people even believe that by choosing an all natural “organic” sugar they are being health concourse. Yes, you may be consuming fewer chemicals if that’s what you’re going for but organic or not, it’s still sugar.

Things you need to consider is whether you are diabetic or have a high blood sugar which could lead to diabetes. Diabetics should not consume sugars like sucrose which are a disaccharides, your body needs insulin to break these molecules down. This is why sugars like Splenda and sweet n low are so popular because they replace the taste of regular table sugar (sucrose).

Keep in mind that even if you made an effort to reduce your daily sugar intake you are still going to be consuming a good amount of sugar but they will be healthier sugars as opposed to processed added ones. Be smart and stay healthy by understanding what you are putting into your body and the effects they will have on your health and mood.

Your Health Nut,

Nikky

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