Pure Sugar vs Added Sugar: The Key Variations


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By now you’ve most likely heard that consuming much less sugar could be helpful to your well being.

However enjoyable truth: There are completely different sorts of sugars on the market! Two varieties, 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 normally comprise sugar.

Right here’s a deeper dive into the distinction between the 2 sugars, and the way you should use this data to higher 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, similar to 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 an analogous 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 throughout the manufacturing course of.

What’s the Distinction Between Pure and Added Sugars?

Right here’s the stunning half about sugar: “There isn’t any chemical distinction between pure and added sugar,” explains Dr. Robert Lustig, MD, MSL, who’s primarily based in San Francisco. “They’re product of 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 method.

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.

However, added sugar doesn’t supply these advantages and, when consumed in extra, does extra hurt than good.

Is Sugar in Fruit Dangerous for You?

You don’t should be involved about sugar in fruit. Once you eat naturally occurring sugar in complete fruits and greens, it comes with the advantages of fiber.

“Once you devour (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.

Nonetheless, “while 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 Dangerous for You?

“Consuming too many meals with added sugars is solely a waste of your each day caloric consumption,” says Michele Promaulayko, writer of Sugar Free 3.

And worse than losing your energy, you is also damaging your short- and long-term well being.

“The low-grade irritation your physique could expertise while you overconsume added sugars can put it underneath 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 perform as gatekeeper.”

What meals comprise added sugar?

There are some stunning meals that comprise added sugar. “Most consumers assume they solely have to look out for added sugars in candy meals, similar to cookies and truffles,” Promaulayko says.

“Nonetheless, 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 you want to do is learn the ingredient record of your meals. If the record incorporates sugar or any of it’s different names, then it’s a meals with added sugar.


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