Natural vs Added Sugar Difference & 5 Types of Natural Sugar Alternative: You all have been hearing or reading about the negative effects of sugar on health. Too much sugar in the diet can make way for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, etc. Sugar is something that most of us like and finds difficult to cut out of our diet. When on diet we end up craving more desserts, ice cream, cakes, chocolates, etc. How can you stay away from the food we like? There are two types of sugar. They are natural sugars and added sugars. What is the difference between natural sugars and added sugars? let us see more about sugar in this article.
Natural vs Added Sugar: What’s the Difference? Two Sides Same Coin? Natural sugars are of two types. They are fructose and lactose. Fructose gives sweetness to fruits and some vegetables. While lactose adds some sweetness to milk and dairy products. Even unsweetened milk or plain yoghurt contains some sugar in it. But these are good sugar as they come along with other nutrients.
The added sugar can be natural sugar or processed sugar. The added sugar is the sugar added during the process of cooking or production. Added sugar contributes to extra unnecessary carbohydrates and calories without providing any other nutrients. Which type of sugar do you think is better?
When natural sugars are eaten, it takes time to digest as the other contents like fibre, a protein present in the food slow down the digestion. Thus the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream takes time. Thus the difference between Natural vs Added Sugar can make an interesting and important factor to be learned.
While added sugars are consumed you can see a rise in blood sugar levels within one-two hours, as the added sugar gets digested and absorbed faster into the bloodstream. When the blood glucose levels increase, Our pancreas secretes more insulin than necessary. An increase in insulin levels can cause health issues like weight gain, heart issues. Too much blood glucose level can cause diabetes. To stay healthy choose natural sugars over added sugar.
According to the American heart association, Normal adult men should limit sugar consumption to 9 teaspoons per day and women to 6 teaspoons per day. Eating sugar-loaded food occasionally may not cause any problems but eating sugar-loaded food regularly can invite diseases in the future. You have to keep a watch on your sugar intake. Most of us might not notice or check the labels before buying packed food or beverages. Identifying the source of sugar is important to cut down the unnecessary sugar from the diet. Let us see more about Natural vs Added Sugar in this article.
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Natural sugars vs Added sugar – Different Types
Whenever we discuss Natural vs Added Sugar, honey is the most preferred natural alternative. Raw honey retains its beneficial properties like antioxidants and other nutrients as it is strained just before it is bottled. Regular honey might have lost its beneficial properties as it undergoes various processes before it is bottled. Raw honey has many health benefits: it has anti-oxidant properties, Nutritions, Anti-bacterial properties, Wound healing, Helps relieve cough, Might treat diarrhoea as well. Consume Raw honey only if you are not allergic to bee pollen.
Date puree is a better option than table sugar or regular honey. It contains nutrients and carbohydrates. Date paste is flavour-rich, tasty, healthy, and cost-effective. A date has a lower glycemic index when compared to table sugar. The puree is made out of deseeded date and a little bit of water. dates puree can be added as a sweetener to cakes, smoothies, cereals, etc.
Coconut sugar is almost sweet like brown sugar, with a slight caramel taste. It has a lower glycemic index. It contains minerals and anti-oxidants. Coconut sugars are not refined. They contain less fructose. The inulin present in coconut sugar is a slow-dissolving fibre. This does not let blood sugar spike suddenly. Coconut sugar is a safer option for people with diabetes.
Over ripped bananas with a few tablespoons of water when blended becomes a banana puree. Bananas are an excellent source of fibres and potassium. Next time instead of throwing away the over ripped bananas, you can make good use of them in various recipes. Over ripped bananas can help reduce at least two tablespoons of sugar while cooking. Bananas also add unique flavour to the recipe. Banana puree can be used in baking, smoothies, yoghurt, etc.
Here are a few lists of added sugars that you have to keep checking on:
- Brown sugar
- cane sugar
- corn syrup
- Fruit juice concentrates
- maple syrup
- regular honey
Not just these, there are many more you will find on the labels of packed food. These added sugars are just carbohydrates without any additional nutrients. Most with a high glycemic index. Moreover, Natural vs Added Sugar is easily highlighted in most packaged foods. It is always better to have a look at it, before buying it.
Added sugars are present in baked food, Jellies, ice cream, flavoured yoghurt, sports drinks, coffee drinks, fruit juices, flavoured breakfast cereals, canned fruits, chocolate spreads, ketchup, salad cream, sweet and sour sauces, Alcoholic drinks, etc.
Conclusion – Natural vs Added Sugar
The blood sugar drops faster after consuming added sugar. This is called a sugar crash. This makes you even more hungry and you crave more food. When this happens you may end up eating more than needed. This will lead to weight gain. When natural sugars are consumed they take time to digest. You may feel tummy full and there is no need to eat more. Plus when natural sugars are consumed you are not just taking in the carbohydrates but also there are other nutrients you get from Natural sugar. This makes Natural sugar a healthy choice.
Points to consider – Natural vs Added Sugar
- When it comes to choosing sodas, caffeinated drinks, switch to plain sodas, sugarless coffee.
- Choose 100 % fruit pulp juice without added sugar in it.
- Try to avoid Regular use of ketchup, spreads, dips, sweet and sour sauce, etc.
- Go for plain breakfast cereals, plain yoghurt instead of flavoured ones.
- Cutting down carbohydrates doesn’t mean giving up on desserts forever(doesn’t apply to a diabetic person). You may try healthier desserts by using natural sugars in them.