Bad vs. Better Sugars

infographic of natural sweeteners. 1tsp of cane sugar equals 1 tsp of coconut sugar, 1 tsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp wile honey, 1/2 tsp agave nectar.

All sugars are not made equally! Consuming too much processed sugars, also known as refined sugars, can dangerously affect your health. They can increase your risk of weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and many other medical conditions. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the added refined sugars that are in their favorite foods today.

“Bad” Sugars

Refined sugars are “bad” sugars that have gone through a chemical process to create the final product. The most used and consumed refined sugars, all of which are damaging to your insulin levels, are: white cane sugar, brown sugar, cane juice, rice syrup, and high fructose corn syrup. Because sugar is a staple ingredient in processed foods, you’re likely to consume a high amount without even knowing it. The problem with high refined sugar consumption is it can create deficiencies of valuable nutrients that your body needs to operate. Storage pools of minerals like magnesium, calcium, as well as vitamins C and D may be absorbed by simple carbohydrates, like white cane sugar, to be metabolized as fuel.

“Better” Sugars

Choosing to eat more all-natural sweeteners can actually help you, not hurt you. Here are a list of natural sweeteners you should start using today.

  1. Wild honey

    You’ll benefit from the antioxidant boost found in wild honey, helping you fight off free radicals.

  2. Maple syrup

    Maple syrup contains minerals like zinc, potassium, and iron that you can’t get from refined sugars.

  3. Agave Nectar

    Nectar from the agave plant contains a low glycemic index, which means your insulin levels won’t skyrocket.

  4. Raw coconut sugar

    Nutrients like iron, copper, and phosphorus are found in raw coconut sugar and can help keep you energized.

Become smarter about your sugar consumption by following this easy guide. Read your food labels and check the ingredient lists. That’s one of the best ways to keep from eating “bad” sugars mistakenly. When cooking at home, try using these better sugar substitutes. Don’t forget--the best sugars you can consume are those that are the most natural.  

Shenelle Ramsay