When it comes to good sugars for the body, focus on natural sources that provide essential nutrients along with their sweetness.
Natural Sugars occur naturally in whole foods and come with additional nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
Milk Sugar is the lactose is the natural sugar present in milk and dairy products. Milk provides calcium, vitamin D, protein, and other nutrients that contribute to bone health and overall nutrition.
Fruits contain natural sugars like fructose, which includes vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Dietary fibre slows down sugar absorption and offers many health benefits. Apples, bananas, berries, oranges, and mangoes are just a few fruits, that offer a delicious dose of natural sugars.
Honey is a natural sweetener produced by bees. It contains various sugars, including glucose, fructose and trace amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Remember, honey should be consumed in moderation due to its high sugar content.
Maple syrup, derived from the sap of maple trees, is a natural sweetener that offers a distinct flavour. While it contains sucrose (a combination of glucose and fructose), it also provides small amounts of manganese and zinc.
Coconut sugar, made from the sap of coconut palm trees, is a low glycaemic index sweetener. It contains small amounts of minerals such as iron, zinc, and potassium.
Molasses is a byproduct of sugar production and contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It offers a rich, robust flavour and is often used in baking and cooking.
It’s worth noting that while these natural sugars can be part of a balanced diet, they should still be consumed in moderation to maintain overall health and prevent excessive sugar intake.
Benefits of Eating Good Sugars
This typically refer to natural sugars found in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. These can benefit your health in several ways when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet:
Foods containing natural sugars often come with a range of essential nutrients such as vitamins (e.g., vitamin C, folate), minerals (e.g., potassium, calcium), and dietary fibre. These nutrients support overall health and well-being.
Sustained Energy in Good Sugars
Natural sugars are often accompanied by fibre, which helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This can provide a steady and sustained source of energy without the rapid spikes and crashes associated with added sugars.
Dietary fibre found in many foods with natural sugars promotes healthy digestion. It can help prevent constipation and support a balanced gut microbiome.
Consuming fruits and vegetables rich in natural glucose has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Potassium, found in many fruits, can help regulate blood pressure.
These foods are typically low in calorie density and high in water content, which can help with satiety and weight management when part of a balanced diet.
Many foods with natural glucose are rich in antioxidants, which can help combat free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the body. This can contribute to overall health and potentially reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Improved Skin Health
Certain fructose found in fruits, such as vitamin C, can support collagen production, leading to healthier and more youthful-looking skin.
Fruits and vegetables often have a high-water content, helping to keep you hydrated.
Consuming whole foods may help satisfy sweet cravings without leading to the addictive cycle associated with added sugar.
Whole foods with natural sugars tend to have a lower glycaemic index, meaning they have a milder effect on blood sugar levels compared to foods with added sugars.
It’s important to note that while natural sugars have benefits, portion control is still essential. Consuming large quantities of even natural sugars can contribute to excess calorie intake. Additionally, the health benefits of natural sugars are best realized when they are part of a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods.
On the other hand, added sugars to food and beverages during processing, do not offer the same health benefits and can have negative effects on health when consumed in excess. It’s advisable to limit added sugar intake to maintain overall health and well-being.