Over the years sugar has gone under fire for its many ill effects brought about by overconsumption than what our body needs daily. Did you know that without naturally occurring sugars, your body would cease to function properly?
We mentioned “Naturally Occurring Sugars” such as those found in whole foods which contain numerous health-promoting beneﬁts (like ﬁber, vitamins, and minerals) that are really good for you and make valuable additions to your diet, because, it’s when we start ADDING extra sugar to our food and drinks that it becomes a problem.
Sugar goes by many names. This makes it super easy for it to hide. Manufacturers of processed foods especially add sugar are to food during processing to enhance flavor, texture, shelf life, or other properties.
We want to help you discriminate between naturally occurring sugars and added sugars so you can make more informed choices when purchasing food items.
There are a few basic TYPES of sugar you should know about.
Glucose – This is the kind of sugar that’s in your bloodstream after your digestive system breaks down your food. It’s the purest form of sugar – and it’s what fuels your body with energy.
It also occurs naturally in some foods.
Fructose – This is a natural form of sugar is commonly found in fruits. However, it has to be processed by your liver to become usable. For the most part, our livers are designed to handle the amount of naturally occurring fructose that is found in fresh, whole foods.
But eating too much fructose (more on that later!) can increase the likelihood your body will store it and lead to a cascade of potential problems.
Lactose – This is a naturally occurring sugar that’s found in plain (unsweetened) dairy products.
These next two categories of sugars tend to fall into the “added sugar” category, and they are the main focus of your Sugar Detox Challenge this week:
Sucrose – This is a combo of 50% glucose and 50% fructose.
This is table sugar, plus you’ll ﬁnd it in a lot of packaged foods.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – This is a manufactured form of sugar that is similar in makeup to table sugar or sucrose … except it contains a little more fructose, at 55%.
Your body metabolizes fructose differently than glucose, and consuming too much fructose over time has been shown to contribute to health problems, from overloading your liver and weight gain to diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.
Plus, your body gets no nutritional beneﬁt from those “empty” calories.
Here’s a list of some of the common aliases that sugar uses on your food labels. Go through your pantry and eliminate items with these ingredients, and avoid them during your detox.
Manufacturers are always coming up with new terms, so be on the lookout!
Barley malt syrup
Cane juice crystals
Coconut palm sugar
Dehydrated cane juice
Evaporated cane juice
Free-ﬂowing brown sugars
Fruit juice concentrate
HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup)
WHAT ABOUT ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS?
Studies show these can make your cravings for sweets even worse … and some have been linked with potential health issues and digestive upsets.
Common artiﬁcial sweeteners – aspartame, saccharin, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), and sucralose.
Common sugar alcohols – sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, xylitol, erythritol, isomalt, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates.
For the complete list of sugar aliases, Download your Sugar Detox Challenge Guide Here