Which Sugar is healthy?
Sugar refers to only carbohydrates consisting of one or more carbohydrate units such as sucrose, glucose, and fructose in nutrition. Sugar has a bad reputation for being a highly processed product, but there are healthier versions of it. As much as we love sugar, too much sugar can make us put those extra calories and shove us towards severe health ailments. Thanks to more awareness and new researches, which shows plenty of evidence on how a high sugar diet can come with some very damaging health risks. Despite a large variety of sugars, all sugars are the same nutritionally with minor differences. It is important to make healthier choices when it comes to sugar.
How sugar affects your health
- There is a high amount of added sugar in drinks, sodas, snacks, sweets, cakes, etc. which results in weight gain. This type of sugar can cause an increase in blood sugar, increases the risk of insulin resistance, which leads to developing type 2 diabetes.
- Sugar may also cause many liver diseases, as well as increase triglyceride levels, which may contribute to cardiovascular and heart disease.
- It also causes high blood pressure; reduces good cholesterol, inflammation, and obesity.
- Eating lots of sweets, chocolates or candy can decay your teeth. Bacteria that causes cavity loves to eat sugar that lingers in your teeth.
- If you have diabetes, consuming too much sugar can damage your kidney. When the blood sugar level reaches a certain amount, the kidney lets excess sugar in your urine. If not controlled, diabetes can damage the kidneys and can lead to kidney failure.
- Excessive sugars also damage your skin and make your skin age faster. Sugar attaches to proteins and creates harmful molecules. These molecules damage collagen and elastin in your skin.
Types of sugar
It is 99.9 percentage sucrose, the most refined multi-purpose sugar. White sugar made from sugar cane. It is also known as a table or granulated sugar.
it has the same composition as white sugar, but it is smaller and dissolves quickly than white sugar.
it is a lump of white sugar, ground to a fine powder. It is used in glazes and frosting because it dissolves quickly. It helps in garnishing purposes.
it is derived from sugar cane, and it is golden in color and has larger sugar crystals. It maintains a very light caramel flavor due to its light processing.
Brown sugar contains 95 percentage sucrose and 5 percentage molasses, which adds flavor and moistness. It is available in both light brown and dark brown variants.
List of healthy sugar
It is a sugar-free and caloric free sugar, made from the leaves of the stevia plant. Several sweet compounds are there in stevia leaves. It does not affect blood sugar, and it is 300 times sweeter than sugar so that you can use much less. A study also showed that it helps in lowering blood pressure.
Honey is an anti-microbial and anti-bacterial property. Raw honey also contains many beneficial nutrients, like Vitamin B and iron. It also acts as an immune booster and cures a cough or sore throat. Honey is more of an actual food than sugar.
Maple syrup comes with the benefit like manganese, which is essential for energy production and antioxidant defences. It also has lots of zinc, which improves immune health. It affects your blood sugar level less than white sugar.
Coconut sugar is made from the sap of the tree and is less processed. It is then dried in the sun, which gives it a natural brownish colour. It has a low glycemic index and fructose. It has a neutral flavour and works well for baking.
Agave also has a low glycemic index and a pretty neutral flavour. It is 1.5 times sweeter than sugar. It mixes well with tequila.
Like stevia, monk fruit is a natural, calorie-free sweetener. It has zero glycemic indexes, and it is 100 times sweeter than white sugar. It has antioxidant which supports the respiratory system, digestive system, and immune system.
The bottom Line
Now you know which sugar to avoid and add in your diet to maintain a healthy body. But despite their different colours and flavours, the nutrition of these sugars is almost the same. So, at the end of the day, sugar is sugar and should be consumed less.
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