Is Sugar From Fruit Better For You Than Refined Sugar?

Natural sugar occurs naturally in fruits and certain other foods; while refined sugar is crystallized sugar that has gone through lots of processing.

Sugar is a type of carbohydrate, and you get 4 calories of energy per 1 gm of sugar. Carbohydrates break down into glucose and are used by the body. Simple carbohydrates decompose very quickly and create oscillations in the blood sugar level; complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, take a little longer to break down and do not cause spiking of the blood sugar level.

  • Refined Sugar: Refined sugar has undergone an extraction and purification process, converting the finished sugar into crystals which can be added to foods.
    Refined sugar is made from sugar cane and sugar beet. During the process of refining, the sugar is processed to the point where the nutrients which are present naturally in the raw foods get totally depleted. Refined sugar is used in a host of processed foods, as well as for cooking.
  • Natural Sugar: Natural sugar is present naturally in certain foods. Lactose is a natural sugar found in milk and fructose is a natural sugar found in fruits. They are also sugars which are manufactured naturally, not refined, such as honey, agave nectar and maple syrup.

Difference Between Refined Sugar And Natural Fruit Sugar

  • Experts say that sugar, either in the form of refined or natural should make up only half of the recommended everyday calorie allowance; which is 150 calories per day for males and 100 calories per day for females, about 9 and 6 teaspoons, respectively. When you exceed your daily sugar limit, it leads to obesity and other chronic ailments, and what’s more, it takes up space in your diet which needs to be apportioned to more nutrient-dense foods.
  • Whether you are consuming fruit or a cake, sugar is made up of – glucose and fructose. The composition as well as the molecular structure of a sugar molecule is the same, no matter where it comes from.
  • Fruits are usually 20 – 60 % fructose and the remaining glucose; and refined sugar is 50 % each. Our body processes each type, i.e. glucose and fructose differently. Fructose breaks down in the liver and does not rouse an insulin response. Glucose breaks down in the stomach and needs insulin released in to the bloodstream for it to be metabolized.
  • Do not run away with the impression that since the sugar composition is the same in fruit and cake, they are exchangeable. Fruits proffer you with loads of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and water, whilst cakes, candy and cookies are devoid of any nutrition. What’s more, fruits have lesser sugar by volume and provide you with a lot of fiber, which slows down digestion of glucose, and consequently, you won’t have the sharp oscillations in blood sugar which cakes and cookies cause. Also, the body will have more time to utilize the glucose as fuel before storing it as fat. Even dried fruits, which are packed with sugar, provide you with tons of nutrients and fiber.
  • By and large, people do not eat enough fruit, so don’t cut them out of your diet in an effort to restrict your sugar intake. Cut down on cookies and cake.