Know Your Sugar Better!
We came up with this topic because it is the basic step to start the healthy journey which is the new year resolution of most of the people! To understand this interesting and informative blog, we would like our readers to go through the previous blog.
In this blog, we will try to make you understand, what type of sugars are there and how it reacts with our blood sugar level. We often think that if we are not adding that crystal white stuff in our food or drink then we are doing well with our sugar intake, though there are so many forms of sugar out there! We believe that the type of sugar we consume is the basic choice to take a step towards healthy living.
There are various types of sugar that comes from different sources. Let’s discuss about the simple carbohydrates and see how each of them effects our body.
Glucose – known by other names like corn sugar, grape sugar and dextrose. Our body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, either to be used immediately or stored as glycogen in the muscle or liver cells for later use. After the energy stored is sufficient in the body, then the excess glucose is stored as fat. Need for glucose increases during pregnancy and at the time of lactation. Glucose is indispensable for maintaining muscle activity.
Fructose – also known as the fruit sugar because it is found naturally in fruits. It is also known as laevulose because it is broken down in the liver and does not require insulin for metabolic activities. Fructose is twice as sweet as sucrose (considered as the table sugar) with similar calorific value as glucose. Found in fruits, honey and in most of the root vegetables. Also used in various beverages such as fruit flavoured and soft drinks. But if you consume fructose in the excess amount it may lead to many health problems.
Sucrose – the basic table sugar, cane sugar or beet sugar. Easily broken down into fructose and glucose with the help of enzyme beta - fructosidase. White sugar, brown sugar and maple syrup are mostly made up of sucrose.
Best kind of sugar to consume!
As we know our body converts carbohydrates into glucose, which is the main source of energy in our body. Carbohydrates are in two forms – Simple and Complex.
Different kinds of sugar flooding in the market such as white sugar, brown sugar, jaggery, coconut sugar and many more! Any type of sugar, when taken in excess amount, can lead to numerous health problems. We should limit our sugar intake regardless of which sugar we eat.
Simple carbohydrates are the main problem because they are easily digested as they do not require further breakdown and lead to rapid rise in blood sugar level where as complex carbs take time to break down into simple carbs first and then get assimilated into blood, thereby giving a slower and more uniform rise in blood sugar levels (as discussed in our previous blog on Glycemic Index) – hence are much more desirable. For e.g., refined sugar does not have minerals, vitamins and fiber and have little or no nutritional value apart from the calories in it. Complex carbohydrates are made up of two or more units of sugar molecules linked to each other through glycosidic bonds and contain vitamins, minerals and fiber which takes more time to digest and does not increase blood sugar level quickly. It’s suggested to always check the label for total added sugar (per ml) before consuming any packaged product.
Here is the list of some common forms of sweeteners from BEST to WORST –
1. It’s a natural substitute
2. It’s sugar-free with no calories made from the stevia plant
3. Doesn’t raise blood sugar level and also helps in weight loss.
1. Even blend of fructose and glucose
2. Contains anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties.
3. High in calories and carbs.
Pure Maple Syrup
1. Contains about 2/3 sucrose
2. Contains some important antioxidants and minerals
1. Mostly sucrose
2. Made of the sap of coconut trees and gone through less processing.
3. Contains trace amounts of minerals like magnesium, potassium and inulin, a prebiotic fiber.
Raw Cane Sugar
1. All sucrose
2. Extracted from the sugarcane plant and is not refined
3. Less processed than table sugar
1. All sucrose
2. Some molasses leftover from refining and is added back to the sugar after processing which gives it darker colour and minor amount of trace nutrients.
1. All sucrose
2. Made from sugar cane or sugar beets
3. Offers mildest flavour
4. Melts and blends easily and is ideal for baking
Shop for different kinds of sugar from Jagsfresh and stay fit! But always remember that sugar is sugar and should always take in moderation.
We hope this blog would help you to choose your kind of sugar and also to be consistent with your healthy resolution!
Happy New Year 😊
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