Is All Sugar The Same?

Is all sugar created equal? Often times, especially in the low carb or keto community we hear that sugar is sugar regardless of the source but unfortunately (or fortunately) it's not that black and white. As with all aspects of nutrition, there isn't a blanket statement that says sugar in all forms is bad or good. 

There are two main types of sugar: natural and processed. Natural sugar includes fruit, raw honey, maple syrup, molasses and coconut sugar and processed sugar is your high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and plain old refined white sugar. 

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Firstly, let's look at what generally happens when we consume a substance our body identifies as sugar. Through digestion in the small intestine, enzymes break down sugar into glucose which is then released into our bloodstream. Our pancreas is responsible for pumping out insulin to control this blood sugar. Knowing that high blood sugar levels can be fatal, it then sends it off to your cells (or your butt) for storage.

In the short-term all of this stored energy (aka sugar) is likely to result in fat gain. However the long-term effects of excessive sugar consumption will eventually cause your cells to become resistant to insulin (again, stubborn body fat) or even result in diabetes. It's interesting to mention that your liver metabolises sugar the same way it does alcohol, by converting this dietary carbohydrate into fat. 

High amounts of processed sugar and artificial sweetener tends to be found in highly refined or processed foods. When we consume these foods, we are not only consuming excessive quantities of nutrient-poor sugar but also the franken-food junk (colours, numbers and words we cannot pronounce) that it's packaged with. This highly refined and processed sugar causes a different metabolic cascade of events and insulin response to when we consume a piece of fruit, for example.

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Natural sugars have the benefit of coming packaged as nature intended. There are minerals, anti-oxidants, nutrients, vitamins and, in the case of fruit, fibre. Fibre actually assists to slow the absorption of the sugar into our blood stream allowing our body more time to manage the effects. 

Ideally, limiting added sugars is a great idea for your health in general. Removing processed sugars has been linked to lowering the risk of metabolic diseases like heart disease, hypertension, PCOS, dementia, type 2 diabetes and fatty liver syndrome. 

We value our health and yours so you'll never find any highly processed sugars in any of our products. Our sweetener of choice is locally sourced raw honey that has amazing antibacterial and antifungal properties and is a great source of antioxidants. Raw honey contains up to 22 amino acids, 27 minerals & 5000 enzymes. 

If you are a bit of a sugar junkie and would like some tactics to help manage that we really love the I QUIT SUGAR program for an easy to follow 8 week quit sugar plan.