"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Are some varieties of sugar healthier than others?

Most people devour quite a lot of sugars of their eating regimen from quite a lot of foods and beverages. High sugar consumption is linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. But whether some sugars are healthier (or worse) than others is an issue of interest to many individuals.

Sugar Basics

Sugar provides the energy our cells must survive. Sugar is a variety of carbohydrate, a macronutrient that gives energy (in the shape of calories) from the foods and drinks we devour. Carbohydrates are classified into two subtypes of sugar: monosaccharides, or “simple sugars” (consisting of 1 molecule), and disaccharides (two molecules). Monosaccharides include glucose, fructose and galactose. Major disaccharides include sucrose (one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule), lactose (one glucose molecule and one galactose molecule), and maltose (two glucose molecules).

Fructose, glucose, and sucrose occur naturally in fruits and a few vegetables, while lactose is present in dairy and maltose is present in sprouted grains. Fructose and glucose occur naturally in honey in addition to in regular table sugar.

Added in comparison with natural sugars.

An increasingly essential distinction between sugars which might be relevant to health is whether or not they occur naturally in foods equivalent to fruits, vegetables, and dairy, or whether or not they have added sugars (manufacturing, processing, or preparation). added to foods and beverages during

Sweetened beverages are the biggest source of added sugar within the eating regimen, followed by sweets and ready-to-eat cereals equivalent to cereals. Consuming added sugar, especially from beverages, is linked to weight gain and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart problems.

Natural and added sugars are metabolized in the identical way in our bodies. But for most individuals, consuming natural sugars in foods like fruit isn't related to negative health effects, since the sugar content is modest and “packaged” with fiber and other healthy nutrients. On the opposite hand, our bodies don't need, or profit from, eating extra sugar.

Are all added sugars created equal?

Added sugars come from quite a lot of sources and go by many alternative names, yet they’re all sources of additional calories and are metabolized the identical way by the body. There is a typical misconception that some added sugars like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are unhealthy, while others like agave nectar (from the succulent plant) are healthy.

The fact is that almost all added sugars contain various proportions of glucose and fructose. For example, sucrose (common table sugar) is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. The commonest type of HFCS (produced from corn starch through industrial processing) comprises 45% glucose and 55% fructose. And some varieties of agave nectar contain 90% fructose and 10% glucose.

Whether added sugar has roughly fructose than glucose has little impact on health. Some varieties of added sugar – for instance honey – can also contain micronutrients or other biological compounds. But on the subject of metabolic health, these traits are of little profit.

In short, it's best to limit all sources of added sugar to really useful intake levels. For most individuals, one variety of sugar is just not higher than one other.