Lately, we’ve been receiving numerous questions about added sugar versus natural sugars and which ones are considered “good.” After careful consideration, we’ve come up with a simple rule of thumb: “If you have to add sugar to your meal, it’s not a good sugar.” While this may seem easier said than done, let’s delve into the topic and shed some light on natural, processed, and chemically altered sugars.

Imagine this scenario: would you prepare a mouthwatering steak and sprinkle it with protein powder? Or toss a vibrant salad and top it with dehydrated vegetables and protein powder instead of a fresh piece of fish or meat? The answer is most likely a resounding “no.” So why do we feel compelled to add processed sugar to almost every meal? The answer lies in the realm of sugar addiction, a topic that deserves its own dedicated discussion. For now, let’s focus on the essential information I’d like to share with you about natural and processed sugars.

When it comes to choosing sugars, opt for natural alternatives rather than processed ones. Natural sugars are those that can be reasonably harvested by you or a local farmer. They are less likely to be genetically modified and tend to be devoid of added chemicals and processed agents that can wreak havoc on your health. Here’s a handy chart to help you identify some naturally occurring sugars:

Sugar TypeNaturalMaintains Minerals and/or NutrientsGlycemic Index Rating
Maple SyrupYesYes54
Local HoneyYesYes50-75
Stevia LeafYesYesLess than 1
Coconut Palm SugarYesYes35

On the other hand, it’s important to steer clear of highly processed sugars. These sugars have undergone cooking, bleaching, and other treatments that strip them of their natural state and valuable nutrients. Here are a few examples of processed sugars to avoid:

Sugar TypeNaturalMaintains Minerals and/or NutrientsGlycemic Index Rating
White table sugarNoNo65
Corn SyrupNoNo100

Lastly, let’s address artificial sweeteners. It’s crucial to understand that artificial sweeteners are toxic to our bodies. While they may provide a sweet taste without the added calories, their potential health risks outweigh any perceived benefits. It’s best to avoid additional sugars in meals and beverages altogether.

The next time you find yourself reaching for that sugar bowl, pause and reflect on why you’re doing it. Is it truly necessary to enhance the flavor of your already delicious food? More often than not, the answer is no. By increasing our awareness of the different types of sugar and their effects on our health, we can make informed decisions and avoid the negative consequences associated with excessive sugar consumption.

Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to making healthy choices. By opting for natural sugars and reducing our reliance on processed and chemically altered sugars, we can improve our overall well-being and enjoy a balanced approach to nutrition.