Sugars are a simple form of carbohydrate, with glucose (a type of sugar, more on glucose below) being the primary source of energy to fuel your central nervous system, red blood cells and muscles during an intense workout. Therefore, the role of sugar within the body is essential to life, and forceful dietary depletion will eventually lead to health problems. But…
It helps to know the six different types of sugars so you know what you can consume freely, what to have sometimes and what to avoid. Just briefly:
Monosaccharides (mono meaning “one” saccharide meaning “sugar”)
Disaccharides (“two” monosaccharides)
See below for which sugars to eat and which may put your health at risk.
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If health issues are arising or you want to take on a preventative role I would suggest evaluating your sucrose (glucose + fructose) intake. This means reducing consumption of confectionary, pastries, processed muffins, cakes, biscuits and sugary drinks that are not beneficial to your body, and may contribute to tooth decay, non-communicable diseases, mood swings and low energy. As briefly mentioned about the fructose molecule, if consumed in excess within the diet can be converted to fat and overtime lead to weight gain.
If you’re thinking fructose is the devil and therefore you now should avoid fruit in case you get fat then the message is not clear. Fruit is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Try to consider fruit as a valuable source energy and nutrients, important for maintaining good health.
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Consume at least 1-2 serves of fruit per day in the form of:
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Swap the regular table sugar and high fructose corn syrup for sugars with higher nutritional value. Here are some excellent sugar alternatives.
Be creative in the kitchen and be assured you can easily still consume those “sometimes foods” when you become the baker ;). To get you started in the kitchen (maybe even this weekend?!), here’s my recipe for Gluten Free Macadamia Passion Biscuits where I’ve used passionfruit and organic coconut sugar as my healthy sugar substitutes. They’re absolutely delicious!!!
Do you have a question about sugar and healthy substitutes for me? Ask away via the comment section below.
P.S. Know someone who may find this information helpful? Be a sweet friend and share it with them now.
BSc. Associate Nutritionist and Wellness Advisor, Simone Nicholls is a mother and founder of gingernotes.com. Simone provides mindful health, nutrition & wellness services to women who seek a revolutionary vision to help them create and live inspiring, balanced lifestyle.
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