The best and worst natural sugars - Food for the Brain

The best and worst natural sugars

Now that sugar is in the naughty corner, along with fructose, the most predominant sugar in the fruit kingdom, what are the best natural alternatives, given that the best of all is to eat less sweet foods and, ideally add no sweeteners, right?

Not necessarily. There are lots of ‘natural’ foods that claim ‘no added’ sugar using very high-sugar foods such as dates and raisins, which have an extremely high glycemic load (GL) – which is what you want to avoid if you’re concerned about your weight or developing diabetes or heart disease.

A glass of carrot juice will raise a diabetic’s blood sugar level, and yours, by more than a spoonful of sugar. Sure, it has more nutrients than white sugar, but it’s still going to have a big impact on your blood sugar level.

The same point needs to be made about fructose. Recent reports claim that all fructose turns into fat in the liver, and none gets converted to glucose which is our cell’s favourite fuel. In case you didn’t know, white sugar (sucrose) is one unit of glucose and one unit of fructose. It is the conversion of fructose to glucose that makes it ‘slow-releasing’. A better term would be ‘slow converting’. Now, if you overload the system with fructose’ some does convert straight into fat, raising blood fat levels called triglycerides. But if you don’t have that much, or slow down its release from fruits by eating the whole fruit containing fibres, or eating fruit more slowly and in reasonable amounts, fructose does convert to glucose.

So, fructose isn’t ‘bad’ per se, just in excess.

So, now that we’ve ‘warmed up’ which natural sweeteners are best and why?

Read the Reports The Best and Worst ‘Natural’ Sugars and How Much Sugar is Too Much? in your Library.