There are two types of sugars available for consumption. These are simple sugar and complex sugar. They also go by another name, added sugar and naturally occurring sugar. Today’s processed foods are loaded with simple sugar. Candy bars, potato chips, cereals, some canned vegetables, fruit juices, fruit drink, and many other edible treats all contain simple sugar. The American Heart Association recommends that we limit the amount of added or simple sugar we consume. They recommend a maximum that simple sugar should make up no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance.
Here Are Some Simple Sugar Definitions.
Naturally Occurring Sugar – These are sugars that occur naturally in foods and drinks. They also have complex carbohydrates s well. These foods include grains, starchy vegetables and fruits. Juices that are made from freshly pressed or squeezed fruit will also contain naturally occurring sugars.
Added Sugars – These are the sugars and/or sweeteners that are added to foods and beverages during processing or preparation. Added sugar is usually of the simple sugar variety. Too much consumption of simple sugar causes the pancreas to be over worked. The pancreas produces insulin, which helps to process the sugar we eat.
Sugar Free – Many people believe that they are truly eating healthy when they go the “sugar free” route. This is sadly just not true. For a food to be considered sugar free, it doesn’t mean that it has zero sugar. It means that it has less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving. So if you eat too much sugar free foods in one meal, you may well get several grams of sugar without knowing it.
Reduced Sugar or Less Sugar – This is another category that mislead people into thinking they are eating healthy. Reduced sugar must have at least 25 percent less sugar per serving than standard serving sizes. Again, eating too much “reduced sugar” foods and drinks in a single meal can add many grams of sugar to you overall diet.
No Added Sugar or Without Added Sugar – Most people believe that these foods have no sugar. This is not true. The food or beverage that is labeled “no added sugar” means no additional sugar has been added during processing. There is usually sugar naturally in the food or drink. So if you are trying to limit or reduce your sugar intake, be mindful of this fact.
Knowledge is truly power. Knowing the meaning of the different sugar terms can help you make wise eating and cooking choices. Reading the nutrition labels will tell you how many grams of sugar are in a particular food or drink. However, the label doesn’t usually tell you if that sugar is naturally occurring or added simple sugar. There is a simple rule of thumb to remember. Anything that is processed, such as boxed or canned foods and drinks, will contain simple sugar. Fresh fruits and vegetables will have naturally occurring sugar. Eating well is about knowing what is in the foods that we eat. The more knowledge you have, the better you eating choice can be. Don’t just eat, Eat Well.