What is Natural Sugar?
Natural sugars are sugar that is naturally existing within foods, such as fruit as fructose and dairy products as lactose. These can be important to your diet because they contain essential nutrients that can help prevent disease.
Other foods that contain natural sugars are vegetables, honey, and your carbs, like sweet potatoes. These are all sugars that are contained in whole foods and consumed within that food.
This is different from refined sugar, which comes from sugar cane and sugar beets. The sugar found in these plants, sucrose, is extracted through processing.
This is the sugar that you would often use to bake with and is found in many of your favorite sweets.
Although this sugar is processed to remove it from its original state, it is still a considered natural sugar.
The third type of sugar is the artificial sugar that is manufactured by companies and added to processed food, such as high fructose corn syrup.
These are also the kinds of sweeteners you'll find on the table at your favorite restaurant: Splenda, Sweet 'n Low, and Equal.
Natural and artificial sugar comes in many different names and learning what they can make them easier to spot.
Is Natural Sugar Bad for You?
Natural sugar isn’t bad for you if you consume it correctly. In fact, it can even have some benefits. This is because of the type of food that natural sugars occur in.
The problem happens when you over consume these sugars that they begin to affect your health and cause problems.
A little bit of sugar is ok, and if you are going to consume something sweet, reach for food that is sweet with naturally occurring sugar. This is better than adding refined sugar or artificial sweeteners to your food. And always choose refined sugar over anything artificial.
As long as you limit your consumption, naturally occurring sugar can be a healthy alternative to reaching for a candy bar or piece of cake. Over consumption of any sugar can add calories to your diet and cause unwanted weight gain.
Natural Substitutes for Sugar
If you are looking to cut down your sugar intake then finding a good natural substitute is key. There are a few natural sweeteners that you can use without having to worry about the damaging health effects.
Here are the top natural sugar substitutes that you can use in place of refined or artificial sugar:
Stevia is a little newer to the market than more of these sweeteners that made the list. It’s gained a lot of popularity in the past few years and for good reason. This is a natural sweetener that is sweeter than sugar and is derived from the stevia plant.
It is a good alternative because it contains almost zero calories and may even be beneficial with some studies suggesting it can lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. That means you can sweeten your drinks or desserts without adding a single calorie and getting all the sugary flavor you want.
Stevia comes concentrated in drops that are very strong and are best used in drinks. This is a perfect way to sweeten coffee and tea. It’s also being made as a sugar replacer that can be used in baking which makes it convenient to make desserts with.
Monk Fruit Extract
You might have heard this new fruit making waves in the health world. A natural sweetener that comes from the Monk Fruit and is up to 200 times sweeter than sugar. This is a great alternative to sugar because it doesn’t impact your blood sugar levels and has zero calories.
While it’s a little more expensive than the other sweeteners, you also don’t need much of this to sweeten up what you’re adding it to. If you’re having trouble finding it at your store, you can check with online retailers as this gains popularity, it will become easier to find in your grocery aisle.
Coconut sugar is more like traditional sugar in appearance and has a golden brown color similar to brown sugar. The best way to buy coconut sugar is unprocessed and unrefined. This means it has not gone through all the stripping and bleaching processes that table sugar goes through to get the white color. It also means that it keeps its nutritional value!
This natural sweetener has a low glycemic impact which means unlike white table sugar, it doesn't spike your blood sugar through the roof when you have a serving. Plus because it retains its nutritional value, it is packed with iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, and antioxidants.
Who doesn’t love honey? This natural sweetener is often considered a superfood due to all of its benefits, including its ability to boost your immune system.
The only downside is that honey has more calories than sugar, but it takes less honey to achieve the same sweetness as sugar. Just limit your intake, stick to raw and unrefined organic honey, and you’ll have a healthy alternative.
Raw, unrefined and unfiltered organic honey means that the bees are not subjected to the harsh chemicals that could end up in the honey, and it keeps all of the amazing nutrition that comes from honey before it’s processed.
Raw honey contains all of the B-complex, A, C, D, E, and K vitamins. It also contains traces of magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, chlorine, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper, and manganese, making it a tiny spoon of powerful nutrition.
Daily Recommended Amount of Sugar
So how much sugar should you be consuming?
Too much sugar can be damaging to your health so knowing how much you should limit yourself to can make a significant impact, especially once you find out how much the average American is consuming.
Today, the average person consumes 82 grams, or 19.5 teaspoons, of sugar every day.
This is more than twice the recommended amount, which is 36 grams, or 9 teaspoons, for men and 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, for women.
Does Naturally Occurring Sugar Count Towards Recommended Daily Intake?
The simple answer is yes, naturally occurring sugar does count towards your daily recommended allowance. At the end of the day, sugar is sugar. The idea is to choose your sugar wisely.
Sugar is so widely available it is easy to over-consume, so when watching your sugar intake what you need to focus on is the foods we are eating with added sugars. So many companies add sugar to their food, so many times you are doubling up on your sugar intake with just one food.
This makes it really easy to hit your daily sugar limit.
When you are not consuming foods with added sugar and only food with naturally occurring sugar, reaching your daily sugar allowance isn’t as easy.
Most people do not consume an overabundance of fruit, and so the sugars that are naturally occurring in these isn’t the same as drinking soda or eating a candy bar. These all have added sugars, and you can quickly hit your daily sugar allowance with in one sitting.
The sugar that comes along with fruit will also include other nutrient and fiber, things that are essential for your health.
Can Natural Sugar Curb Your Sweet Tooth?
Yes, naturally occurring sugars can help you curb your sweet tooth and they are definitely the better option.
We all crave sugar, but knowing how bad it is for our health, it is usually one of the first things we want to get rid of when we start cleaning up our diet.
And consuming too much sugar can sabotage any goals you have and destroy the healthy eating habits that you are trying to build.
Next time you have a sweet tooth, reach for a piece of fruit. You can also reach for your Detox Organics, which is sweet enough to satisfy any sweet tooth.
How to Use Detox Organics to Defeat Your Sugar Cravings
There are several ways to use Detox Organics to get rid of your sugar cravings, and they are all pretty simple.
If you’re on the go or looking for something quick, simply mix some into some almond milk (or coconut if you prefer) and shake it up! You can also quickly throw some into your favorite yogurt for a sweet chocolate snack.
Another option is to visit our recipe page that is full of delicious desserts that are also healthy! This way you can see exactly what ingredients are in your desert. Plus, they’ll be healthy treats the whole family will love!
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