Top 5 Healthy Sugars That Actually Harm Your Health
‘Sugar’ is one dreaded food ingredient in the health and fitness world. There is a lot of awareness about its harmful effects these days. Most people are shifting to the natural sweetener-stevia! The harmful effects of sugar are not just the empty calories but its negative effect on metabolism. Sugar has high amounts of fructose, a simple sugar that is devastating for your metabolism. When consumed in excess it causes high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, fat build up in the liver and abdomen, insulin resistance and a lot more in a matter of just 10 weeks.
Added sugar and also high fructose corn syrup is known to be the main players behind leading killers such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer.
The market is flooded with ‘healthy’ sweeteners that are just as bad as normal white sugar. In certain cases they are even worse!
Let us have a look at them!
1) Agave Nectar
The natural health community recognizes Agave nectar or Agave syrup as a popular sweetener. It is called healthy because it has a low GI (glycemic index) when compared to sugar. However, the harmful effects of white sugar has less to do with GI and more to do with the huge amounts of fructose. Agave nectar has a high fructose content.
Fructose when consumed in high amounts can lead to insulin resistance, in which there is chronic elevation in blood sugar and insulin. Blood sugar hike for a short while is not bad but having it high all the time is the perfect recipe for doom!
Normal sugar is 50 percent fructose whereas Agave is 70-90 percent fructose. This makes Agave worst than regular sugar.
2) Raw organic cane sugar
Many health products say that they have added raw, organic cane sugar to their stuff. Don’t let its name mislead you, ‘raw organic cane sugar’ is just sugar. Though it may be processed differently, its chemical composition is exactly like regular sugar. On top of that, your body will not be able to make out the difference. It will just break sugar down into glucose and fructose in the digestive tract and will affect your metabolism the way sugar does.
Raw, organic cane sugar is an identical twin of regular sugar.
3) Brown sugar
When sugar is made, the by-product obtained are molasses. After the refining and processing of sugar, small amounts of molasses are added back, giving it a brown colour. This sugar is called brown sugar. Molasses are 50% sugar but they also have some amounts of minerals. Simply put, brown sugar is a regular diluted sugar which is slightly less unhealthy than concentrated sugar. The little amount of minerals don’t make up for the negative effects of the sugar present in it.
Coconut sugar is obtained from the sap of the coconut plant. The way coconut sugar is manufactured is quite natural as it involves the extraction of sugary fluids and then allows the water to get evaporated. Coconut sugar has a small amount of fibre and a few nutrients; it is also has a low GI than white sugar.
However, GI is just a small issue when it comes to the harmful effects of sugar. It is fructose that is a real problem! Coconut sugar is actually quite high in fructose. It has fructose content which is between 35 to 45 percent.
Having smaller amounts of fructose in comparison to regular sugar and a little bit of nutrients with fibre makes coconut sugar less unhealthy than white sugar. But less unhealthy doesn’t make it healthy!
Honey has antioxidants along with vitamins and minerals in trace amounts. It is about 80% sugar. Studies have compared honey and plain sugar and found that it is slightly less harmful to the metabolism. Just like coconut sugar, honey is less bad than normal sugar. But being less bad does not make it good.
Don’t think that honey is a harmless sweetener and it won’t help in weight loss.
The bottom line
All the sugar that you ingest gets broken down into glucose and fructose and reaches the liver. The liver doesn’t bother is the sugar is organic or not!
Hope this post has been useful!
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