There are many food items that we consume in our day to day life which have sugar present in them. Like sweets, fruits, juices, tea, coffee, and other such food items and beverages. When we consume sweets or beverages like coke or cold coffee, etc., we are told that the sugar present in it is not good for our health. But at the same time when we consume different types of fruits, we are told that it is good for our health, even when the fruits also are sweet. Have you ever thought about why it is being done? It is being done because of the type of sugar or sucrose present in these food items. There are two types of sugar, that is good sugar and bad sugar. Many of you might not be aware of the good sugar and the bad sugar, so here we will help you with the two.
Sugar and Carbohydrates
First of all, we all need to understand that any form of sugar is carbohydrate. Even our food items do have fiber and starch, and they all are also made of many sugar molecules. When we consume them, the carbohydrates are broken into a simple form of sugar during the digestion process. This sugar is then absorbed as glucose in our bloodstream. They work as the main fuel or energy for our body. The starch and the sugar present in our food items get digest quickly in comparison to other things. When they are absorbed in the bloodstream, they increase the level of blood glucose in our body. These sugar items which increase the glucose level in our blood suddenly, are said to be the Bad Sugars. And those which do not spike the glucose level suddenly are said to be the Good Sugars. Some of the sugars are made of only 1 or 2 sugar molecules like fructose, lactose, and sucrose. Whereas, the starch and fiber, are made of more than a hundred molecules of sugar. That is why they are also termed as complex carbohydrates.
There are both added sugar as well as natural sugar food items. The piece of cake which you ate, or the candy which you had, or the cold coffee which you had, have added sugar present in them. Whereas the fruits which you eat, the natural fruit juices which you consume, have natural sugar present in them.
Natural Sugar and Added Sugar
To understand the difference between good sugar and bad sugar, we also need to understand the difference between natural sugar and added sugar. We have just mentioned above a few food items which have natural sugar in them and which have added sugar in them. It’s a simple rule, that the sugar which is present in the natural food items or the unprocessed food items like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, etc. are said to be good sugar food items, and these food items are healthier also. As they contain natural sugar in them.
However, the food items which are processed and have added sugar in them, are counted in the bad sugar food items. Even the sugar which we are adding in the coffee or tea is also counted in bad sugars. The sausages which we buy from the market, flavored milk, ready to eat meals, carbonated cold drinks, packaged fruit juices, diet and energy drinks, etc. have added sugar in them. And they all come in the category of bad sugar food items. We all know that these food items are not healthy for us, and so does the sugar present in them.
Things that make good sugar good and bad sugar bad
There is not just one thing but there are many things that make good sugar good and bad sugar bad. We have already read above that good sugar is the natural sugar that is present in any food item. So, this kind of sugar does not make us addicted to it. But as we said above the bad sugar is the added sugar, and we all know that we become addictive to those food items which have added sugar in them. Be it the chocolate cake, any sweets, coffee, or the other beverages. And all these food items are unhealthy and this is one thing that makes good sugar good and bad sugar bad.
Another thing is the calorie count. Have you ever counted the calories in your food items that you eat? If yes, you would have noticed that 1 apple which you consume as it is has fewer calories, then the packed apple juice which you drink. You can take any food item, which has natural sugar present in it and can compare its calories with the food items with added sugar. You will realize that natural sugar food items have fewer calories. Even if you drink coconut water or coconut milk, it has fewer calories than the cold drinks, chocolate shakes, or flavored milk which you have. This again makes good sugar good and bad sugar bad.
Why bad sugar is not good for us?
No, we are not going to say that they are bad sugar that is why they are not good for us. But you need to understand that the sugar which we consume is converted into the energy, as we have explained above that how it breaks down. So, sugar from natural food sources does not affect our blood level a lot. But when we consume added sugar food items, sometimes we consume an excess of sugar which is not converted into energy. Because our body at times has enough energy, and then that sugar is converted into fat later on. This fat is not at all healthy for us, and it makes us obese. It can also cause many other health-related problems. This is why bad sugar is not good for us or our health.
How much sugar one should consume in a day?
We all eat some of the other food items which have good sugar or natural sugar present in them. But remember, excess of anything is wrong, so we will suggest you that do not eat too many fruits especially the ones which have more sugar content in them, like mango, watermelon, etc. When it comes to the consumption of added sugar, it has been researched, that one should limit their added sugar or bad sugar intake. For women, it is recommended to have around 24 grams of added sugar in a day, which is around 6 teaspoons. For men, it is recommended to have around 36 grams of added sugar in a day, which is around 9 teaspoons.
Now you know the difference between good sugar and bad sugar. So, we hope that you will intake the sugar accordingly. Remember, adding sugar in your food items will only add flavor, and it will not add any nutritional value. So, only add a limited amount of sugar instead of adding an excess of sugar.