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Know your Sugars!

3 TYPES OF SUGAR

On a daily basis, even without realizing, sugar is in our everyday foods. During breakfast, it can be found in your freshly squeezed orange juice and morning coffee latte. During lunch, it’s in your to-go nutrition bar or favorite condiments. As for dinner, it can be in your teriyaki bowl or pasta. In almost every non-whole foods and beverages, sugar is used.  What type of sugar are you consuming: Natural Sugar, Refined Sugar, and Artificial Sugar? 

WHAT IS NATURAL SUGAR?

Natural Sugar is sugar that is naturally found in whole, unprocessed foods such as fruit (fructose) and in dairy products (lactose).The body tend to digest natural sugar in a slower rate and can make consumers feel full for a longer period of time and it also helps keeps metabolism stable. Here are some examples of foods containing natural sugars: apples, cheese, tomatoes. Out of all the sugar types, Natural sugar is the healthiest and most recommended form of sugar. 

WHAT IS REFINED SUGAR?

Refined Sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets. They come in many forms like white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup and etc. Out of Out of all the sugars, refined sugar is the most often used by food manufactures today. Refined sugars are added into almost anything possible. They are in beverages, sauces, packaged food, dessert and much more. The body tend to break down refined sugar rapidly, which causes insulin and blood sugar levels to spike up and provides the consumer temporary energy boost. And because of the quick digestion of this type of sugar, consumers do not feel as full regardless of the amount consumed. Over consumption of refined sugar can cause gas, bloating, tiredness and it has been linked to the rise of obesity rate and is highly associated with higher risks of cancer.  Examples of foods with refined sugar: ketchup, ice cream, chocolate, soda, pasta sauce and much more. 

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL SUGAR?

Artificial Sugar or Synthetic Sugar is a sugar substitute that provides a sweet taste like that of refined sugar but provide little to no energy to the consumer, making it a calorie free or low-calorie sweetener. Here is some example of artificial sugar: Stevia, Splenda, Equal and etc.  Many believe that artificial sweeteners might increase appetite and promote weight gain because no matter how much is consumed, consumers do not feel full. It is also believed that over consumption of artificial sugars may lead to cancer. Like refined sugar, artificial is also widely used by food manufacturers today. Foods that claim they are zero calorie or sugar free or less sugar tend to contain artificial sugar. Here are some examples of foods that uses artificial sugar: nutrition bars, flavored carbonated water, “diet” versions of food and etc.  Out of all the 3 sugars above, the healthiest form of sugar to intake would be Natural Sugar.  Try to consume foods that contain natural sugar and be careful with the foods containing refined and artificial sugars. Be sure to check the ingredient list and nutrition chart to make sure of the amount of sugar you intake.