There are natural recurring sugars and refined or processed sugars. Natural sugars play an important role in our diet and provide nutrients that keep your body healthy and help prevent disease. It’s when you start to put in refined or processed sugars and overdo natural sugars that you will run into trouble.
Natural sugars are found in fruit and dairy products. Refined sugars come from sugar cane or sugar beets that are processed. You will see this type of sugar referred to as “sucrose” You will also see fructose corn syrup added to foods and beverages. Low-fat foods will have added sugar to make those foods taste better.
Most of the processed foods we eat add calories and sugar with little nutritional value. In contrast, fruit and unsweetened milk have vitamins and minerals. Milk also has protein and fruit has fiber, both of which keep you feeling full longer.
Also, when your body metabolizes naturally occurring sugar it is different than when it breaks down refined sugars. The body will break down refined sugar rapidly, causing insulin and blood sugar levels to spike. Because refined sugar is digested rapidly, you won’t feel full after you’re done eating. Alternatively, with naturally occurring sugar you won’t get sugar spikes. It will provide you longer-term energy. Additionally, the fiber in fruit will make you feel full.
So next time that you see a piece of fruit, or a bag full of candy. Select wisely. I always go for the fruit.