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Not All Sugars Are Equal

If you haven’t already heard, not all sugars are equal.

The best kinds of sugars come with company, in the form of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and fiber. Sugar from whole food sources like fruits, vegetables and dairy. We call these 'natural' sugars.

On the other hand, there are 'added' sugars. The types of sugars that we find added to processed and packaged foods have a much more negative impact, because they tend to be higher in calories but lower in nutrients, and a lot further away from their natural origins. 

Here’s a brief overview on the difference between ‘natural’ and ‘added’ sugars.

Added Sugars

Added sugars are processed or refined sugar forms that are added to foods and beverages during processing, preparation and/or before consumption. In other words, these sugars aren’t naturally found in these foods and these added sugars can take the form of many ingredients and are not always easily identifiable. One of the icky bits about added sugars, is that while they are sweet, they don’t have many nutrients, something we call empty calories. 

Here are some examples of added sugars:

  • Organic cane sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Caramel
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Cane juice
  • Cane syrup
  • Raw sugar
  • Malt syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Fruit purees
  • Fruit nectars
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Any ingredient with a suffix of –ose ‘sucrose, fructose’

Natural Sugars

Natural sugars are the naturally occurring sugars found in whole foods like fruits, dairy products, and starchy vegetables, as well as minimally processed foods like whole grain pasta, brown rice, cheese, and yogurt. Mother Nature typically bundles these sugars with other nutrients like fiber or protein that slow how quickly the sugars are digested.

Combined with all other nutrients, these natural sugars are absorbed more slowly, helping to prevent a rapid blood sugar spike and subsequent drop that can commonly lead to weight gain, diabetes, or insulin resistance.

Blog posts

Not All Sugars Are Equal

Not All Sugars Are Equal

If you haven’t already heard, not all sugars are equal. Here’s a brief overview on the difference between ‘natural’ and ‘added’ sugars.

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