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Everything you need to know about different types of sugars

What is sugar, and how does it function in the body?

Simply put, sugar is a form of carbohydrate and consists of molecules of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. When carbohydrates are consumed, they break down into glucose. This serves as the preferred source of energy for cells throughout the human body, including the brain and central nervous system.

What are the different types of sugar?

Carbohydrates come in two main forms: simple and complex. The difference between them lies in how quickly they are digested and absorbed, determined by their chemical structure. Complex carbohydrates consist of three or more sugar molecules, while simple carbohydrates consist of one sugar molecule (monosaccharides) or two (disaccharides).

The four most common forms of simple sugars are:

Glucose
Fructose (known as fruit sugar)
Sucrose (known as table sugar)
Lactose (known as milk sugar)

Glucose and Fructose – what is the difference?

Consuming fructose, found in fruits, vegetables, and honey – unlike other sugars – does not cause a sudden rise and fall in blood glucose levels, making it considered an ingredient with a low glycemic index. This makes it recommended for individuals with diabetes, and using fructose as a sweetener can reduce calorie intake since a smaller amount can be used for the same taste.

There is another difference between glucose and fructose – how they are processed in our bodies. While the body uses glucose as an energy source, giving a feeling of satiety and stopping hunger, fructose goes to the liver, promoting the production of fatty acids without reducing hunger and, in fact, increasing the need for food. This applies to fructose in processed foods, such as high-fructose corn syrup, not to fructose in fruit.

In this context, fructose is linked to health problems of the “modern” era, including:

Obesity
Increase in abdominal fat
Increase in blood fat levels
Increase in the risk of cardiovascular diseases
Development of insulin resistance
Fruits with the highest fructose content are apples and pears, followed by bananas, strawberries, and oranges. While corn fructose syrups have 55-90 grams of fructose per 100 grams of syrup, apples and pears contain only 5.9 grams and 6.2 grams of fructose per 100 grams, respectively. This means that to consume 100 grams of fructose, you would need to eat more than 20 apples, resulting in 500 calories in the form of fructose.

In other words, when fructose is in its natural form, not in processed foods, it does not cause the diseases attributed to it by many studies. Therefore, there is no need to consider stopping the consumption of fruits, which, besides fructose, contain many vitamins and minerals suitable for our bodies. Instead, attention should be paid to sugar intake from processed foods, such as sodas, as they are the main culprits for many health problems.

For this reason, Juicefast has created a range of 100% natural cold-pressed juices that do not contain added sugars, preservatives, or artificial additives. Our juices use the natural sweetness of fruits and vegetables to provide delicious and refreshing drinks. Using HPP technology, we ensure that all our juices retain their nutritional value. Each bottle of Juicefast juice is prepared from 1.5 kilograms of fresh fruits and vegetables without additives and can be used as a detox program for 3 to 7 days or as a dietary supplement for daily nutrition.

Difference between added sugar and natural sugar:

When we think of sugar, we think of sweets and large cans of soft drinks. The type of sugar in sweets and most sweet drinks is known as added sugar. As you would expect, this form of sugar is added to food and drinks to enhance flavor, color, texture, and shelf life. In fact, this type of sugar adds calories but not specific nutritional value, which is why it is often called empty calories.

Small amounts of added sugar will not affect your health, but its consumption is often much higher than you realize. Excessive consumption of added sugar can lead to chronic spikes in blood sugar levels, resulting in weight gain and an increased risk of several chronic diseases.

However, not all sugars added to food. Natural sugars are naturally found in foods such as fruits and milk. Although sugar itself does not provide many benefits, it comes as part of a complete package of nutrients with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Foods with natural sugars are usually rich in nutrients and also high in fiber, providing many benefits to the body. But some foods containing natural sugar may also have hidden added sugar.

Different names for added sugar:
Added sugars are not always so clear and are often disguised on ingredient lists under names that may not be familiar to you. Some examples of hidden sources of added sugar include:

Agave nectar
Barley malt syrup
Dehydrated cane juice
Molasses
Rice syrup
Sucrose

Controlling sugar intake:

To control sugar intake, always check the nutrition labels on the food products you buy. If you see any of the above names for added sugar, think twice before putting it in your shopping basket.

If you are looking for a healthy alternative, Juicefast offers a range of tasty and nutritionally balanced juices and meals designed to support your health and nutritional needs.

Always be aware of what you are putting into your body and choose healthy alternatives when possible.

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