What are Natural Sugars

As mentioned in my first post, there are a different type of sugars; natural sugar, refined sugar, chemical sugar, and alcohol sugar. While refined sugar and some types of chemical sugar are bad for our organism, natural sugar and alcohol sugars are healthier alternatives.

Today we’re going to have a look at natural sugars; what they are, are they healthy, and how much we should be consuming.

Natural sugars are sugars that occur naturally in food. This makes sense as that’s what the name suggests. Fruit in particular is high in natural sugar, fruits such as bananas, cherries, and mangos are relatively high in fructose. Lactose in milk is also a sugar, when in doubt about whether or not certain foods contain sugar keep in mind that if an ingredient ends in “ose” this means it is a type of sugar.

While both fruit and milk have nutritional value, and are healthier than refined sugars, they still need to be consumed in moderation. Honey, and vegan alternatives such as maple syrup, date syrup, and agave nectar are also classed as natural sugars. However, these are recommended in low doses, while adding maple syrup to coffee is better than using table sugar, you’re still adding more sugar to your diet by using it.

With the “superfood” trends that have gained popularity in the past couple of years, coconut sugar is a popular ingredient as it is made from the sap of the coconut palm tree. Refined sugars have no nutritional value, and like other natural sugars such as fructose and lactose, coconut sugar has some nutritional benefits, with small amounts of zinc, iron, potassium, and found it in.

Coconut sugar also has a lower glycemic index than table sugar. When it comes to baking, coconut sugar has been a popular replacement for table sugar due to the fact that it has a very similar look and texture to brown sugar.

Stevia is a natural sugar that should be approached with caution. At a first glance, stevia looks like a miracle food as it is sweeter than table sugar but contains zero calories. As it’s made from the leaves of the stevia plant it is considered to be a natural sugar, however, the largest brands who manufacture this sugar are really producing “stevia blends”, rather than pure stevia sugar. This is because sugars such as dextrose, and maltodextrin are added in the production process. Although it’s not a refined sugar, stevia is more processed than it’s natural sugar counterparts such as coconut sugar and honey.

And as major drawback is that it cannot be use for cooking as above 50 degrees Celcius, it changes the taste becoming bitter.

It’s important to keep in mind that the American Health Association recommends that men consume less than 150 calories of sugar a day, which is approximately 37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons. Women are advised to consume less than 100 calories of sugar a day, which averages 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of sugar. Whether or not the sugar you consume is refined or natural, it’s advised to try to follow these guidelines and add as little sugar to your diet as possible.