Is Your Sugar Intake Ruining Your Health?
Some types of sugars are healthier than others.
There’s a lot of confusion out there about sugar. Women looking to lose weight always ask us weight loss coaches, “What types of sugar are healthiest for me?” The simple answer might shock you. While there are many different kinds of sugar used in foods today, they are all pretty unhealthy.
You should limit your total sugar intake if you want to be healthier.
The Different Types Of Sugars: Which Are OK For You And Which Aren’t?
Sugar is often categorized by crystal size. In addition to the size of the sugar crystals, each plant that produces sugar has its own characteristics. Furthermore, the refining method used to produce commercial sugar can be used to categorize it.
Each type of sugar has a different purpose. But, the nutritional value of all sugars is similar. Now that we know there are different types of sugars it is time to find out which are okay for you and which should be avoided completely.
The first category is monosaccharides. Monosaccharides include fructose, galactose, glucose. Single molecule sugars is the definition of monosaccharides.
The second category is disaccharides. Disaccharides include lactose, maltose, sucrose. These are double sugar molecules. If you have ever read a nutrition label, you might have seen lactose, maltose and sucrose. And, you might have wondered what they do to your health.
While disaccharides are found in natural, unprocessed foods, that does not mean you can eat them in unlimited amounts.
Fructose is the third category of sugar types. It is one of the healthier sugars, because your body requires it. And, fructose is the most common sugar found in fruits and vegetables. But, it is still sugar.
A word of caution, if you read a product label and see words ending in “ose,” know that that is a type of sugar. It is not uncommon for food manufacturers to add “ose” to an artificial sugar in an attempt to make the ingredients list seem healthier.
White Granulated Sugar
The sugar you are probably most familiar with is white granulated sugar. Of all the types of sugars, white granulated is the most refined.
Also known as “white sugar” or “regular sugar,” it is used in items such as baked goods and soft drinks. White granulated sugar is also sprinkled on top of foods and stirred into beverages. White sugar is white because it has all the naturally present molasses stripped out of it.
On the contrary, brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product. With a distinctive brown color, molasses is still present in brown sugar. Brown sugar has slightly fewer calories than white sugar. And, the molasses gives in brown sugar provides minerals that aren’t found in white sugar. However, brown sugar used to be more of a “whole” sugar than it is today. So, don’t be fooled into thinking brown sugar a healthy alternative to white sugar.
Overall, sugars have very few healthy benefits. And, they can create problems like obesity and unhealthy blood/sugar mixtures.
An awesome way to replace sugar is to use a natural sweetener, such as Stevia. Natural sweeteners are healthier than sugar because they have fewer calories. The only issue is with natural sweeteners, though, is that you might be tempted to eat more of the sweetened foods thinking the calorie count is low. Mistakenly, you can end up eating more than you would if the craving were satisfied with normal sugar.
Be sure to use moderation to guide you in all of your eating. Again, all sugar should be limited and eaten in moderation… even sugar from fruit!
Sugar from Beets
Here is a fun fact about me… I grew up in a tiny town in Canada where the sugar plant was the largest factory. The town was known for its sugar beets (a common source of sugar-making), and my mom even sang in a women’s choir CALLED “The Sugar Beats!” Because my grandpa worked in the plant, our family definitely enjoyed more than our fair share of sugar, and it continues to be a craving I fight to this day!!!
Sugar acts like a drug in the brain. That is right. It causes serotonin to spike which creates a feeling that is addictive. Scary, right? Lord knows, it is really hard to break a sugar addiction by yourself. That is why sugar cravings are so difficult when you are dieting or trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
That’s why it’s so important to have a support system when you’re trying to lose weight by curving your sugar intake. The best thing to do is get your very own LadyBoss weight loss coach.
What Is Cane Sugar And Is It Healthier than Other Types?
Cane sugar is any sugar that comes from sugar cane. About ⅔ of the sugar in the world is cane sugar. Cane sugar includes: regular table sugar, granulated white sugar, refined white sugar, and organic sugar cane. The main difference between these sugars is how they are refined and processed. Whether you are chomping down on an organic sugar cane or licking a Tootsie Pop, you are still taking in sugar, so keep this in mind!
What Is Turbinado Sugar And Is It Healthier than Cane Sugar?
Turbinado sugar is partially refined sugar with larger-sized crystals that retains some of the original molasses, giving it a subtle caramel flavor and brown color. It’s made from sugarcane — a non-genetically modified crop, some of which is organically grown. Sometimes, turbinado sugar is called “raw sugar”… a marketing term implying that it’s minimally processed. However, the sugar is not really “raw.” It is stick boiled and thickened during processing.
Turbinado sugar costs about triple the price of regular sugar. It has the same calories and carbs as white sugar, with minimal traces of minerals, making it just as unhealthy as white sugar.
What Is Demerara Sugar And Is It Healthier Than White Sugar?
Demerara cane sugar is a type of large grain cane sugar, golden brown color and subtle molasses flavor. It is known for its crunchy texture. While it is less processed than regular white cane sugar and has trace vitamins and minerals, it still comes from sucrose and has the same effect on the body. Only slightly healthier than regular sugar (with the same amount of calories), demerara sugar should be used sparingly.
What Is Granulated Sugar?
Granulated sugar is also known as white granulated sugar or “regular” sugar. It is the type of sugar most commonly used in baking. Granulated sugar is sometimes also called granulated sugar caster.
With fine crystals which don’t cake together, granulated sugar allowing for easy mixing. It dissolves easily in drinks and is one of the most popular types of sugars because of this. Sometimes it’s easy to go overboard with this type of sugar, though, so make sure you measure it out carefully and don’t use it often.
Granulated sugar is just as bad for you as all the other forms of sugar.
What Is Caster Sugar?
Caster sugar is one of the types of sugar that is ground to a consistency between granulated and powdered sugar in coarseness.
In America, caster sugar is often called superfine sugar, baker’s sugar, or bar sugar. You can use caster sugar in baking. You may have heard of India Tree Superfine sugar. This is a popular caster sugar specially formulated for the baking trade.
Caster sugar is simply regular white sugar that has been very finely ground, so the nutritional value is the same and it is not any healthier than normal sugar.
What Is Confectioner’s Sugar?
If you’re a big fan of Belgian waffles (like I am), you have probably seen lots of confectioner’s sugar in your life. This is also called homemade powdered sugar or icing sugar.
The perfect powdered sugar recipe is quite simple…
First, it’s best done in a high-powered blender of your choice. It really won’t fluff up as much in a food processor, so make it with a blender. Add one cup of your granulated sugar of choice and one tablespoon (optional) of your choice starch. Blend on high for 30 seconds…and there you have it. Homemade powdered sugar. This is the only powdered sugar recipe you need if you absolutely must have this occasional topping.
Remember, though, confectioner’s sugar is to be used minimally and is as unhealthy as all the other types of sugars mentioned here!
What Is Pearl Sugar?
Pearl sugar is a form of specialty sugar that is especially popular in Europe. It is also called nib sugar, Belgian pearl sugar, and Swedish pearl sugar, depending where you are.
You will see many DIY pearl sugar recipes on the internet because this is a common ingredient if you want to make Belgian sugar waffles. This sugar is made of large, round particles that stay intact even after baking. It is a product of refined white sugar and it is very coarse and hard.
The nutritional value is the same as traditional white sugar, unfortunately. Use it in moderation.
Types of Sugars Synopsis
There are various different types of sugar out there, each with different purposes and processing methods.
While it is typically believed that “bad sugars” are any of those not found in fruit, any sugar is bad if consumed in large quantities.
Healthy sugars are ideally fruit sugars consumed in moderation, but even those can spike your glucose and have negative effects on the body if you overdo it. It is best to avoid unhealthy sugars, such as those that are heavily processed, if you can.
Moderating your sugar intake will make you healthier, leaner, and less likely to experience frequent sugar cravings, which can be as strong as any other addiction. What types of sugars you consume is not relevant. You should moderate all sugar intake.
For help with your nutrition and meal planning, make sure to get the FREE LadyBoss® Pocket Personal Trainer App today, and get on the road to achieving your health and weightloss goals!