These days we are encouraged to look into every aspect of the food we consume. One such area is the debate on refined sugar vs natural sugar.
But what is the difference between refined sugar and natural sugar? And is natural sugar bad for you?
In this article, we’ll look into what the fuss about sugar is about, and what kind of impact the type of sugar you consume has on your health. Keep reading for everything you need to know about natural and refined sugar.
What Are the Different Types of Sugar?
There are many different forms of sugar that can be distinguished within this general category. Some sugars consist of fructose, others glucose, and even sucrose too! Many sugars, include refined sugar, are a combination of these.
As well as the white and brown sugars that most people are familiar with, there are also naturally occurring sugars in most foods, particularly in fruit. This is called fructose, while sugars occurring in milk and cheese are called lactose.
Finally, there are also sweetening agents such as Stevia. Sweeteners can be both natural and artificial, and while often calorie-free, they can have other negative impacts on your health.
How Are Different Sugars Made?
Natural sugars are formed organically in foods, so they aren’t “made” as such. We consume these every day by eating fruit, bread, and dairy products. There are also some foods that contain no sugar at all.
Meanwhile, refined sugar comes from sugar cane, and consists of sucrose. This is a combination of glucose and fructose. Refined sugar goes through additional processes such as extraction and chemical treatments. White sugar is more processed than brown sugars, such as muscovado or turbinado sugar.
Processed foods tend to have high refined sugar levels. Manufacturers often add corn syrup, which is high in fructose, to their products.
What Are the Consequences for Our Health?
When looking at natural sugar vs refined sugar, diabetes is a concern that is often raised. High levels of fresh fruit consumption, and therefore high levels of natural sugar and fructose, do not, however, lead to a higher risk of diabetes.
While fruit can contain high levels of natural sugar, this type of sugar does not negatively impact our health.
Meanwhile, refined sugars can be a cause for concern. High levels of sucrose in our diets are associated with obesity, cancer, and many more health problems.
Brown sugars that go through fewer industrial processes are considered healthier than white sugars which are the most refined.
Now You Know the Difference Between Refined Sugar vs Natural Sugar
We’ve now looked over the key differences between refined sugar vs natural sugar. As they differ greatly in how they are come about and in their health repercussions, this is an important topic to be aware of.
However, it’s worth remembering that anything in moderation which forms a part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle is not something to fret about.
If you enjoyed this article about the different types of sugar, make sure you read our other healthy living posts!