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Are ‘Pure’ Sugars Higher Than Refined White Sugar

natural sugar

I’ve at all times maintained that sugar is sugar. And regardless of which sugar you select, you need to simply select much less.

It’s no secret that we eat an excessive amount of sugar. The common American consumes round 77 grams of added sugar a day, which is round thrice the 25-36 grams a day that’s beneficial.

However what if you happen to don’t eat the ‘common American’ weight loss program? Is there room for sugar in an general healthful weight loss program? 

Must you be selecting what some contemplate to be ‘more healthy,’ ‘pure’ sugars like maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar, over plain white sugar?

Does the glycemic index of sugar actually matter? So many influencers speak concerning the significance of low GI sugars.

Can white sugar mess up your intestine micro organism to the purpose of providing you with irritation and unbalancing your hormones?

So many questions, and I’ve received solutions.

What’s sugar?

All sugar is comprised of some mixture of three completely different sugar molecules, in numerous ratios.



Galactose (Galactose is a monosaccharide that’s joined with glucose to make lactose. 

When somebody is lactose illiberal, they lack the enzyme that breaks down galactose.)

These single molecules are known as monosaccharides. 

The sugars we eat encompass disaccharides (two of those molecules collectively). 

(Starches, which we aren’t speaking about on this submit, are polysaccharides – greater than two of those molecules).

For instance, listed below are the chemical compositions of a few of the extra in style sugars. As you possibly can see, they’re all very, very related.

White sugar is 50% glucose and 50% fructose.

Maple syrup is  51.5% glucose and 49.5% fructose.

Excessive fructose corn syrup is 45% glucose and 55% fructose.

Agave nectar is 12% glucose and 88% fructose.

Brown sugar is 49.5% glucose and 49.5% fructose.

Honey is 44.5% glucose and 50.5% fructose.

Coconut sugar is round 80% sucrose, which breaks right down to round 40% glucose and 40% fructose. 

It’s fairly secure to say that we’re splitting hairs once we say that one sugar is healthier chemically than one other, since they’re all just about the identical chemically, and to our our bodies.

After we devour sugar – any sugar – it’s damaged down throughout digestion to monosaccharides. 

And when this occurs, sugars are all the identical to your physique. It doesn’t care if you happen to’ve consumed white sugar or maple syrup. It simply sees sugar molecules.

Excessive fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has not been shown to be any more ‘dangerous’ than other sugars. The animal studies on HFCS are done on mice who are overfed HFCS – not what anybody would suggest for people.

HFCS can be decrease in fructose than agave.

What’s the glycemic index?

Glycemic index is a quantity out of 100, indicating how rapidly a carbohydrate meals or ingredient is absorbed into the physique as glucose. The decrease the quantity, the extra secure your blood sugar must be after consuming this meals. 

But it surely’s essential to notice that when wanting on the GI of sweeteners, the quantity is calculated utilizing the ingredient by itself. Including fibre, fats, and protein to the sweetener impacts its fee of absorption, as a result of these vitamins gradual the sugar’s launch into the bloodstream.

So, whereas some folks make an enormous deal about how some sweeteners are decrease on the GI than others, this doesn’t matter all that a lot, as a result of no person eats plain sugar by the spoonful.

Positive, coconut sugar is 35, honey is 50, and desk sugar is 65. 

However except you’re consuming these components by themselves, and in giant portions, these numbers imply nearly nothing. Candy is nice, and the energy in sweeteners are related. 

Glycemic index may be useful for some issues, however to find out the relative healthfulness of meals, it’s defective. Some issues which are low on the glycemic index are peanut M&Ms (33), Snickers bars (41), and Pizza Hut supreme pizza (36). 

Conversely, meals like baked potatoes (85), and watermelon (72) are thought-about to be excessive GI. 

How about glycemic load? 

Glycemic load determines how rapidly a meals, in particular portion sizes, will increase blood sugar. The calculation takes glycemic index and obtainable carb (ie carbs mine fibre) content material of that meals under consideration.

As a result of bigger quantities of any sugar goes to have extra grams of carbohydrate, holding the portion measurement down will decrease the GL. 

What I’m making an attempt to inform you right here in a roundabout, difficult approach, is that sugar remains to be sugar, which means that whether or not you select a lower-GI model or not, if you happen to eat a ton of it, it’s nonetheless not an important concept. USE LESS. 

The glycemic index of a sugar doesn’t converse to its healthfulness or the impact it has on blood sugar, as soon as the sugar is mixed with different components.

Most significantly:

What’s the remainder of your weight loss program like?

How a lot sugar are you consuming?

Additionally: don’t let somebody inform you {that a} recipe is ‘sugar-free’ as a result of it has honey or maple syrup.

The sugar refining course of.

I do know it’s an enormous promoting level proper now to say how ‘pure’ and minimally processed a meals is, however the refining and processing of sugars aren’t as scary as some wellness bloggers need you to imagine.

To start with, let me say that almost all meals are processed in a roundabout way. Milk is pasteurized. Peanuts are floor for peanut butter. Almonds are ‘milked’ for almond milk. Simply because one thing is processed, doesn’t make it unhealthy.

Additionally: all sugar is ‘pure.’ Whether or not it’s honey, white sugar, brown sugar, or agave, all of them come from nature. Processing doesn’t change that. 

White sugar typically will get a foul rap as a result of it’s refined. Right here’s what that course of appears to be like like in each sugar cane and sugar beets, in a few infographics.

natural sugar 


natural sugar 


Opposite to in style perception, white sugar shouldn’t be bleached. Sugar is definitely white when the molasses is faraway from it.

There’s nothing scary concerning the refining means of sugar, and it’s positively not a legit purpose to imagine that white sugar is ‘worse’ for us in any approach than different varieties of sugar.

Vitamins in ‘pure’ sugar?

I hear this one loads, and the reality is that whereas some sugars have hint vitamins in them, you’re hopefully not consuming sufficient of those sugars that these hint vitamins add as much as something important. 

So yeah, the truth that maple syrup has a tiny little bit of potassium shouldn’t be a promoting level.

Sugar and intestine micro organism. 

Whereas it’s true that naturally occurring sugars in fruit and veggies include a facet of gut-friendly fibre, added sugars of any kind, in cheap quantities, don’t actually damage or assist intestine micro organism.

Positive, the Commonplace American Food regimen is stuffed with sugar, however no person is recommending you eat a weight loss program filled with sugar. The SAD has been linked to a proliferation of bad gut bacteria. However the sugar a part of that equation is simply that: a PART. We don’t know exactly how this affects us.

Folks like to blame sugar for all the pieces that’s fallacious with our well being, however the actuality of the scenario is that consuming some sugar has by no means been linked to poor well being. A decline in well being could also be multifactorial, together with weight loss program AND life-style elements. 

In truth, I’d argue that though we don’t want sugar to outlive, the pleasure that we derive from meals and improve our lives…and sugar might be part of that. 

Consuming an excessive amount of sugar, similar to consuming an excessive amount of of something, isn’t good. Simply don’t overdo it.

Sugar and hormone ‘steadiness.’

I lately had somewhat kerfuffle on Instagram over one other dietitian’s submit about hormones.

Her declare was that avoiding refined sugar will help steadiness your hormones.

Hormones are the darling of the integrative/useful set, however so is these peoples’ continual overreaching past what science has proven us up till now.

Her reasoning was this:

‘White sugar is excessive on the glycemic index. Because of this is causes blood sugar to rise rapidly…extra rapidly than low-glycemic sweeteners….A speedy elevation in blood sugar has been related to elevated irritation within the physique….This irritation and the ensuing results on our intestine micro organism have an effect on our estrogen ranges and may result in ‘unbalanced hormones’ and estrogen dominance.

The analysis doesn’t help this speculation. 

To start with, there is no such thing as a proof to counsel that the glycemic index of sugar has something to do with irritation in people. 

Second, there is no such thing as a proof to counsel that average quantities of any sugar harms intestine micro organism in people. 

(Should you be taking probiotics? Here’s what I think)

I turned to the consultants to see what they needed to say about these claims.

 Dr. Gabrielle Fundaro, CISSN,CHC, who earned her doctorate finding out the intestine microbiome, advised me this:

The intestine microbiome is a fancy ecosystem, and due to the quite a few variables and bidirectional interactions between microbial and human cells, no causative relationships have been established between the diet-microbiome interactions and human well being or illness. Moreover, dysbiosis itself shouldn’t be a solution, however a query: it describes a change within the microbiome–a inhabitants of organisms adapting to outlive.

And lastly, there is no such thing as a human proof to counsel that dysbiosis (a rise in dangerous intestine micro organism) can impression estrogen ranges and trigger hormone imbalances. 

Endocrinologist Disha Narang, MD agrees. 

These are solely theories which were general disproven. There are not any human cohort research suggesting a change in estrogen ranges based mostly on intestine micro organism.

And AGAIN: GI doesn’t make sense whenever you’re not consuming sugar by itself. And, you shouldn’t eat consuming a ton of sugar anyhow. What number of occasions am I going to say that? 

Rather a lot. So everybody studying this understands that that is the primary level!


Reducing added sugar out of your weight loss program, selecting the lowest-GI sugars, shopping for solely ‘pure’ sugars…all of that is pointless. JUST EAT LESS.

The minute variations between several types of sugars aren’t going to make or break your well being; it’s what you’re consuming general that issues. 

There’s numerous noise on the market about sugars, hormones, the intestine, and a lot extra, by people who find themselves leaping forward of the science with a purpose to promote one thing. 

Sadly, a few of these folks must be extra evidence-based than they’re…I suppose there’s a number of in each career.

Is sugar addictive? Here’s my take.

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