The Thing About Natural and Refined Sugars...

Numerous unhealthy beverages and foods we are exposed to today are considered by many as delicious, convenient and affordable. The thing is, what is tasty, easy and cheap today could very likely cost you a fortune in the future if it leads to health problems.


This blog post will look at sugar which is a simple carbohydrate that is broken down and used for energy. Sugar can be found in fruit, but sugar is also used to create baked goods and it is added to more foods and beverages than you may know. Knowing more about different types of sugars and their effects could help you make better nutrition choices.


Types of Sugar

Monosaccharides is the name for simple sugars which include glucose (dextrose), fructose and galactose.


Disaccharides consist of two simple sugars combined, ‘double sugar’. Examples include sucrose (table sugar) that contains glucose and fructose, maltose from malted grain and lactose from milk.


Polysaccharides are longer chains of sugars. Examples include starch, glycogen and cellulose (composed of glucose).


Glycerol and sugar alcohols are not sugars. They are chemical substances with a sweet taste.

Diet food substitutes for sugar include aspartame and sucralose, a chlorinated derivative of sucrose.


What is Natural Sugar?

There are different types of natural sugars. Fructose comes from fruit. It contains water, fibre, antioxidants, nutrients and minerals. Lactose (milk sugar) is found in milk and cheese.


Glucose, found in fresh fruits and honey, also called "blood sugar", is created when your body breaks down carbohydrates (sugars and starches). Glucose and fat are the body’s preferred sources of fuel (energy).


Benefits: Fructose contains disease-fighting phytonutrients that can be beneficial to health.


Risks: Overconsumption of some types of natural sugar, including fructose and sucrose (table sugar), can lead to or cause obesity, diabetes and other health complications.


What is Refined Sugar?

In most cases glucose and fructose make up refined (processed) sugars known as sucrose. Sugar cane and sugar beets need to be processed to extract this type of sugar. Many foods and drinks contain chemically produced sugar (for example, high fructose corn syrup).

Benefits: Apart from providing energy the body can use, there are no benefits.


Downside: It has no fibre and health-promoting nutrients. It is simply ‘empty’ calories.

: Overconsumption can contribute to inflammation, disease, weight gain and obesity.


Food for Thought

Think about unhealthy foods you could reduce or eliminate from your diet and look at food labels before adding it to your shopping cart. Healthy changes and choices could prolong your life, improve quality of life and even boost fertility.


PLUS: Junk food may be as harmful to your body as a disease, according to a new study by Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz and Dr. Anette Christ from the Institute for Innate Immunity of the University of Bonn in Germany.


Talk to your healthcare practitioner about balanced nutrition and recommendations for sustainable lifestyle improvements.



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