The Difference Between Natural and Added Sugar

in , by The Red Beet, September 27, 2022

When we talk about sugar, it's important to understand the difference between natural and added sugar. 

Natural sugar is found in fruits and vegetables, whereas added sugar is what you'll find in processed foods like candy, cookies, and cake. Both kinds of sugar can have an impact on your weight, but they affect your body in different ways. Let's take a closer look.

How natural sugar affects weight?

Natural sugar is metabolized differently than added sugar. When you eat fruit, for example, the fiber slows down the release of sugar into your bloodstream. 

This means that your blood sugar level doesn't spike as much as it would if you ate something with added sugar. As a result, your insulin levels don't have to work as hard to bring down your blood sugar levels, and you're less likely to store fat.

Now let’s see how added sugar affects weight.

In contrast, when you eat something with added sugar, the sugar is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream, and your blood sugar level spikes. 

This causes your body to produce more insulin to bring down your blood sugar levels. If your cells don't need immediate energy, the excess insulin will cause the sugar to be stored as fat. Over time, this can lead to weight gain. 

Weight gain occurs when you consume more calories than you burn. When it comes to sugar, if you eat or drink more sugary foods and beverages than your body needs, the excess calories are stored as fat. 

Over time, these stored sugary fats can lead to weight gain and obesity. In addition to weight gain, consuming too much sugar can also lead to other health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

As opposed to that, you might lose weight if you take less sugar than your body requires. This is because your body will start breaking down stored glycogen (sugar) for energy, which can lead to water loss and a decrease in body weight. 

However, this type of weight loss is usually temporary and will quickly be gained back once you start eating or drinking sugary foods again. 

Your body tries to keep your blood sugar level within a narrow range. When it goes too high, insulin works overtime to bring the level down. 

Your body is compelled to store the sugar if your cells don't require it right away. Some of it can be kept in the form of glycogen in your muscles and liver. However, these storage closets are small, so any extra gets converted and stored in the fat cells, which are the long-term, easily expandable storage units of our bodies.

So, what's the bottom line? When it comes to weight gain, natural sugar is better for you than added sugar. However, that doesn't mean that you should go overboard on natural sugars either. 

Consuming too many calories from any source—natural or added—can still lead to weight gain. The best way to avoid this is to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables along with lean protein and whole grains.

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