Nutritionally-rich Carbohydrates vs Refined Sugar
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are two main problems with consuming too much sugar: it adds up quickly to a
lot of calories consumed and it contains very little nutritional value. People
who replace nutritionally-rich carbohydrates (grains, beans, potatoes,
vegetables, etc.) with refined sugar are getting poor nutrition. And those who
eat foods high in sugar are likely to gain weight from the extra calories, as
well as sugars propensity to be easily converted to fat (by raising
The calories and total grams of carbohydrates from
foods high in sugar add up more quickly than those from potatoes, beans, rice,
veggies, and other carbohydrates because:
- Sugar is a very concentrated source of
carbohydrate - so it's easier to eat more calories.
- Sugar has a very pleasant taste - it
is easily overeaten out of enjoyment and often used for comfort.
- Sugar keeps bad company. Many foods
high in sugar are also high in fats, such as pastries, cookies, ice cream, and
- Sugar is often consumed as beverages -
sodas, juices, punch, etc. A large soda can contain more than 300 calories
important to recognize that all caloric sweeteners including fructose, honey,
and many others are sugars too. The sugar amount may or may not be revealed in
a food products ingredient list. But if you look at the ingredients, and one of
the many forms of sugar is the first ingredient, you'll know that this is the
primary substance in that product and thus does not provide a good source of
nutrition. Also, be on the look out for several different forms of sugar listed
separately, such as cornstarch, sucrose, and high-fructose corn syrup.
Also note that even though sugar is the main ingredient of the product, it may
not appear first or even second on the ingredient label. Rather it may be
included several times throughout the list in different forms. The following is
a list of other forms of sugars that you should be aware of when reading
labels: brown sugar, confectioners sugar, corn sweeteners, turbinado, raw or
white sugar, molasses, maple sugar, maltose, levulose, lactose, invert sugar,
honey, high-fructose corn syrup, granulated sugar, fructose, galactose,
glucose, and dextrose.
A diet lower in sugars and higher in complex
carbohydrates, fiber, and protein is almost always lower in fat, lower in
calories, higher in energy, and higher in vitamins and minerals. These factors,
working together, contribute to a lower rate of obesity, cardiovascular
disease, diabetes, cancer, and tooth decay.
Its okay to eat sugar as a
treat, but do so in moderation.
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