Sugar vs. Sugar

Let’s be honest before anyone knew about being healthy and what being healthy means the first thing we learned was that “sugar Is bad for you”.Wether It’s your next door neighbor telling you It will make you fat or your grandma telling you that It will rot your teeth. Sugar and how It’s “bad” for us It one of our most taught lessons. Most of us don’t have emergency preparedness kits for when disaster strikes (or even a flashlight sometimes), but there’s certainly an emergency stash of chocolate somewhere In the house. Because you never know when a sugar emergency will strike, right?

Sugar has been linked to dental corrosion, diabetes, and even cancer. But Ironically our body relies on sugar. Carbohydrates supply the much-needed energy for vital body functions. Are there different types of gas? Are there different types of food? Then there are different types of sugar. Today I will talk about Sugar vs. Sugar.

What Is Sugar?

Well, the term “sugar” refers to a crystalline substance that is made In a manufacturing facility and packaged for sale In a grocery store.  Sugar Is often bleached white or sold as a brown crystalline substance. Technically speaking, the term “sugar” has only one true meaning.  Sugar = sucrose. 

Sucrose

Sucrose Is a molecule composed of 2 monosaccharides called glucose and fructose.  When joined together, glucose and fructose form sucrose, what we call “table sugar.”  

Glucose/Carbohydrate

Glucose Is also known as “simple” sugar. Glucose can be found In all foods that contain some type of carbohydrate. Glucose can be found In mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, etc. Glucose Is vital to life and Is In every single living molecule. It Is also produced by your body and easily broken down by every cell in your body.

Carbohydrate: What Is a carbohydrate you may ask?  Carbohydrates are long chains of monosaccharide molecules that can be hundreds to thousands of monosaccharide units In length.  As opposed to sucrose, which Is only 2 monosaccharides long, long chain carbohydrates take longer to digest than sucrose. As far as carbohydrates are concerned, the longer the chain, the more nutritious It becomes.  If carbohydrates were a necklace, each bead In the necklace would have the identity of a monosaccharide molecule.  Some are glucose, some are fructose, some are xylose, some are galactose, some are ribose etc.

Fructose

Fructose Is considered a “simple” sugar or better known as fruit sugar.  because of Its main source Is fruits (and also honey). Fructose Is a bit harder to break down, as only your liver breaks down significant portions of It.

Refined Sugar Or Processed Sugar

Processed Sugar: Processed sugars are natural sugars that are modified, combined and processed by us to make something with regular flavor and texture, such as white sugar.

Sucrose – combines (half) glucose and (half) fructose to become a “complex” sugar. Typically It’s extracted from sugar-beet plans or sugar cane to make your typical “table sugar”.

Other Types  High fructose corn syrup, agave syrup, molasses etc.

Difference:   The main difference between natural and processed sugars Is how each one delivers glucose and fructose. For example, fruits are not just fructose In different shapes. They also contain a pile of nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Whereas your typical table sugar doesn’t. Having this full package allows to your body to slow down the absorption of fructose. It’s also much harder to overdose on fructose In 10 apples, compared to drinking 10 apples worth of fruit juice as you’ll feel fuller with the former. When you pour too much gas In your car, It spills over and out of the gas tank. When your body gets overloaded with fruit sugar, the liver can’t use It all and It gets stored as fat. Over time, this can have serious implications for your health.

Does Fruit Contain Sugar?

People simply avoid eating any type of fruit because fruit contains sugar and carbs. The misinterpretation of their nutritional value. Fruits contain some simple sugars like fructose and glucose, however, they also contain longer chain carbohydrates that take longer to digest and absorb.  These carbohydrates come pre-packaged with 5 essential nutrients that are absolutely required for optimal digestion, absorption, and transport. These 5 nutrients are often reduced or eliminated In FAKE carbohydrates like bread, pasta, cereal, and artificial sweeteners, resulting In abnormal metabolism and blood sugar spikes. One reason why fruits are fantastic health-promoters Is due to the presence of a host of beneficial plant compounds that aid In the digestive process.  Unlike refined “sugars,” the carbohydrates in fruit are accompanied by these co-passengers, that confer a host of beneficial effects, Including: (Vitamins~ Minerals ~Fiber~ Water~ Antioxidants)

Why do these vitamins and minerals aid In nutrient metabolism?  The vitamins and minerals assist In thousands of cellular chemical reactions, fiber Is food for your large Intestine and helps slow the rate of carbohydrate absorption, and antioxidants protect against oxidative damage and premature aging In every tissue, Including your muscle, liver, heart, and brain.

Incorrect Statement

Fruit contains sugar. 

Correct Statement

Fruits contain some sugar but also longer-chain carbohydrates which Is good for overall health.

Incorrect Statement #2

In the late 80’s fruit was considered a great food option to achieve optimal health. Do you remember The Atkins Diet revolution? The Atkins Diet took the world by storm and everyone was avoiding carbohydrates like It was the plague under the assumption that “excess carbs turn Into fat.”  It turns out that Atkins was only partially right, In that excess carbs do turn into fat…In most mammals but NOT In humans. The process of converting carbohydrates Into fat is referred to as de novo lipogenesis (DNL).

Correct Statement #2

As for glucose, your body loves It and digests It with ease. However, unlike fructose, glucose affects your blood sugar levels. Too much glucose and your body send out a distress signal and your pancreas may overproduce insulin and actually cause low sugar levels. This Is why after eating a lot of candy or sugar, you typically crash. Having too little glucose Is not good either, as you are depriving the natural processes within your body of the energy It needs.

Processed sugars combine these two and typically leave your body overwhelmed as most people fail to maintain the recommended levels. Just how much sugar do we eat? In 1822, the average American consumed 45 grams of sugar every five days. Today, that’s equal to one can of soda. And today, Americans consume 765 grams of sugar every five days. Why Is that? Sugar Is In almost every single processed food. The recommended amount Is 36.5 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women.

Final Thoughts

Just like anything that Is bad for you It Is okay to consume In moderation maybe once every other week or so. If you need more cheat days with your beloved sweets than maybe consider doing the 3-1-2-1 Diet. So while we’d like to say “natural sugars” are better than “processed sugars”, It’s not that simple. Fructose can be just as harmful by Itself as It Is when It’s combined Into sucrose. What matters is intake, how much your body actually uses It and In what form It’s delivered. It’s fair to say that too much of fructose, glucose or sucrose will result in health Issues. It’s best to avoid added sugars and forms of sugars like high fructose corn syrup and agave syrup. They deliver vast amounts of fructose and glucose at once and don’t specify what ratio of glucose to fructose they use. To get the fuel that your body needs It’s best to get the purest and most simple form of carbohydrates and get It from fruits and vegetables. Not only It will prevent you overdosing on sugar but It will also deliver some other much-needed nutrients.

Thank You!

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