Where To Find Naturally Occurring Sugars
Natural sugars are found in foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods contain sugar in the form of fructose or glucose, and they provide a quick burst of energy that can be helpful if you are trying to lose weight. Its important to eat fruits and vegetables in moderation because they also contain other nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins.
Which Foods Have Carbohydrates
Common foods with carbohydrates include:
- Grains, such as bread, noodles, pasta, crackers, cereals, and rice
- Fruits, such as apples, bananas, berries, mangoes, melons, and oranges
- Dairy products, such as milk and yogurt
- Legumes, including dried beans, lentils, and peas
- Snack foods and sweets, such as cakes, cookies, candy, and other desserts
- Juices, regular sodas, fruit drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks that contain sugar
- Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn, and peas
Some foods don’t have a lot of carbohydrates, such as meat, fish, poultry, some types of cheese, nuts, and oils.
What Is Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates is a broad term that is used for particular biomolecules that are formed by the combination of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen.
However, it must be noted that carbohydrates such as uronic acids, and fucose do not follow this chemical structure and are yet included in the category of this nutrient.
Meanwhile, many chemicals that conform to this structure are not classified as carbohydrates.
Regardless, carbohydrates are always polysaccharides. This means that they are made by the combination of two or more monosaccharides.
Sometimes, some of these monosaccharides are modified. Due to this, they can replace entire groups of other monosaccharides at once.
Examples of these include deoxyribose and chitin.
These nutrients play a primary role in the metabolism of human beings. Therefore, they are essential for survival.
It is used by the body as an energy source and also in the process of biosynthesis. In many animals, glycogen serves the same purpose whereas starch serves the same purpose in plants.
Most nutritionists across the world divide carbohydrates into categories of simple and complex. However, in reality, the exact distinction between these two groups is very obscure.
This causes a lot of confusion among those who are not familiar with the concept.
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What Are Net Carbs
Time to familiarize yourself with food labels!
You have probably looked at a food label before and the carb content is often split between total carbohydrates, net carbohydrates, and fiber.
Net carbs refer to the number of carbohydrates in food minus the fiber. Due to fiber not raising blood sugar levels, it is taken out of this calculation to determine net carbs.
Some fad diets require counting net carbs as part of a weight loss plan, though this isnt known to be the best method of tracking food intake for fat loss.
Total carbohydrates then refer to the whole carbohydrates content of a food, including fiber and sugars.
Fiber content would simply refer to the fiber contained in the food, not including any other type of carbohydrate.
The bottom line here is that carbohydrates are not bad for you. Both simple and complex have a place in the diet. Though, this doesnt stop people from believing that carbs and sugar are the bad guys!
Lets take a closer look at why we shouldnt be cutting carbs out of our diet.
Why Are Complex Carbs Healthy
The 20152020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating grains, at least half of which should be complex carbs. Whole grains, like brown rice, oatmeal, and whole-grain breads and cereals, are the way to go. Diets rich in whole grains protect against diabetes and heart disease. And complex carbs:
- Break down more slowly in the body: Whole grains contain all three parts of the grain , whereas refined grains are mainly just the endosperm. Whole grains give your body more to break down, so digestion is slower. When carbs enter the body more slowly, it’s easier for your body to regulate them.
- Are high in fiber: High-fiber foods are filling and, therefore, discourage overeating. Plus, when combined with plenty of fluid, they help move food through the digestive system to prevent constipation and may protect against gut cancers.
- Provide vitamins and minerals: Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, magnesium, and iron.
Most school-age kids should eat four to six “ounce equivalents” from the grain group each day, at least half of which should come from whole grains. An “ounce equivalent” is like a serving 1 slice of bread 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal or a half cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta, or hot cereal.
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Stay Away From Processed Foods
Processed foods really are the worst thing for you. Yes, theyre easy to consume and very tasty, but if you are concerned about your health, this is an area thats important to pay attention to.
Foods with processed sugar come in many forms, such as cereals, yogurts , and pastries. Even some processed meats have sugar-rich sauces on them.
If youd like to cut down on sugar, simply avoid foods that are overly processed. This will definitely lower your sugar intake each day.
Examples Of Sugar Alcohols Include:
- Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysates
Heres what you need to know:
Because sugar alcohols are harder for the body to digest, the effect on blood sugar levels is less than sugar. Sugar alcohols have about half the amount of calories compared with sugar and other types of carbohydrates. When counting carbohydrates for products made with sugar alcohols, subtract half of the grams of sugar alcohol listed on the food label from the total grams of carbohydrate.
Remember that because sugar alcohols are harder for your body to digest, eating too many sugar alcohols may cause digestive complaints like gas, cramping and diarrhea. So while it is safe to eat products with sugar alcohols, it is best to limit the amount.
Now lets practice counting carbohydrates using the sample food label shown here:
- Locate the total carbohydrate in one serving. You will see that the total carbohydrate is 29 grams.
- The amount of sugar alcohol is 18 grams per serving.
- Calculate half the grams of sugar alcohol .
- Subtract only half of the grams of sugar alcohol from the total carbohydrate Count this product as 20 grams of carbohydrate .
View a printer-friendly Guide to Sweeteners.
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Dont Just Cut Carbs From Your Diet
Carbohydrates, along with fats and protein, are three essential macronutrients that the body needs to function.
Carbohydrates are the human bodys main source of energy, yet, they are also blamed for the rise in obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. But there are distinct differences between the different carbohydrates we consume.
In fact, its processed and refined carbs which have given all carbohydrates a bad reputation. Refined carbs and processed foods with high amounts of added sugar have had all their fiber and essential nutrients taken away.
Therefore, they can be broken down into glucose and released quickly into the bloodstream. The quick release means there is a spike in blood sugar levels, and you may even feel hungry again a short while after consuming them.
Carbohydrates are a broad category of macronutrients. Rather than just eliminating all of them from your diet, think about both the quality and quantity of the carbohydrates you consume.
There is no doubt that cutting or reducing added sugar from the diet is highly beneficial, but the same cannot be said for the fiber and nutrients some complex carbohydrates provide, like fiber, polyphenols, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Equally, replacing carbohydrates with other macronutrients, such as protein or fats, can negatively impact the function of your brain .
More Tips For Making Healthy Carb Choices
The following resources and tools can help you discern good carbs from bad carbs.
- Turn to tech. Specifically, try Figwee for a visual approach to food tracking. Type in a food and select the photo that most closely resembles what youre eating. Itll tell you the foods carb content so you can keep track.
- Get food-label savvy. Visit the USDA site for an in-depth explainer on how to read food labels.
- Learn to make substitutions. Check out this website from Harvard Health Publishing for ways to substitute good carbs for bad ones.
- Bookmark handy websites. For example, consider this page from the NIH your secret weapon for figuring out the serving size and carbohydrate content of different food groups, including veggies, fruits, and protein.
- Brush up on your general carb knowledge. Quiz yourself on your carb knowledge through the UCSF site.
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What Should You Do To Stay Healthy
Now you know that you cannot eliminate carbohydrates and sugars from your diet. So here are a few suggestions for you:
- Avoid added sugars and simple carbohydrates as much as possible.
- Make sure that you do some exercise regularly so that even if you have consumed simple carbs and processed sugar, you can burn up the excess.
- Eat fresh fruits , whole grains, dairy products and nuts regularly.
- Learn to deal with stress to avoid stress-eating.
- Improve your quality of sleep.
- Steer clear of junk foods, excess alcohol and smoking.
Dont let diet fads call the shots. Your needs are unique to your body, sex, age and geographic location. Be wise and mindful of your diet and lifestyle choices and your health will naturally improve itself.
The Difference Between Carbohydrates And Sugar
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate. Carbohydrate is a macronutrient present in a vast range of foods. There are many different carbohydrates the major types are outlined below.
Sugars are considered simple carbohydrates they include fructose found naturally in fruit and lactose in milk. There are also refined sugars such a table sugar and glucose syrup which are added to prepared food either at home or during commercial production. Sugar tastes sweet to the palate and triggers the brains reward system making it highly desired. Most sugars are rapidly absorbed by the body and quickly boost energy levels and mood.
Starches are complex carbohydrates they are found in root vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, grains like wheat and rice and, in legumes. It follows that wheat products like conventional bread and pasta are high in carbohydrate. Unlike sugar, starches do not taste sweet when eaten but when digested they are broken down into sugar and absorbed so their effect is to raise blood sugar just as sugars do. Depending on how starches are prepared and eaten, starches can also quite rapidly increase blood sugar. However, when consumed with dietary fat e.g. with cheese or avocado, this fat can slow the absorption of sugars arising from the digestion of starch.
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Which Is Worse For Your Health Sugar Or Carbs
There is one question that puzzles us as much as the which came first the egg or the hen question. This one is linked to health. You guessed right! If you are conscious about your health, we bet you may have googled this question as well. Let us put this musing to rest, once and for all and get to the bottom of the conundrum.
Are All Carbs Created Equal
This blog is written in conjunction with Wyndham Bonett and Lee Weber, FSU medical students.
Rice, pasta, fruits and vegetables. These foods are all carbohydrates but not all carbs are created equal.
Youve probably heard the terms good carbs and bad carbs. Well, some forms of carbohydrates are better for you than others. Heres what you should know:
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Carbohydrates Vs Sugar: Nutrition Labels Debunked
What you want to look for on food labels is the TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES.
Look for the grams not the percentage. And remember that everything on the label is reflective of the portion size listed on the label .
Fiber is not really digested, passing through the digestive system to help keep things moving and feed gut bacteria, therefore, the available carbs left for absorption is referred to as net carbs.
You calculate net carbs by subtracting the amount of fiber: total carbs minus fiber = net carbs.
What Foods Do Not Have Sugar Or Carbohydrates
Zucchini, chard, watercress, lettuce, asparagus, eggplant, broccoli, carrot, radicchio, chayote, wild cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, turnip, cucumber, albemosco, radish, cabbage, pumpkin, tomato Avocado, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, cherries, plums, avocados, coconuts, lemons.
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Which Is More Fattening Bananas Or Rice
The nutritional reality is, for example, that bananas or ripe plantains have 116 and 137 calories per 100g and 31.2 and 36.3 grams of carbohydrates respectively, if we compare these data with rice and that for every 100 grams of rice we consumed 109 calories and only 24.1 grams of carbohydrates, we would realize that changing the
Heres What You Should Know About Sugars
What are sugars? Simply put, sugars are the simplest form of carbohydrates. Monosaccharides and Disaccharides are the two categories of sugars.
- Monosaccharides glucose, galactose and fructose.
- Disaccharides sucrose, maltose, lactose and trehalose.
Monosaccharides and Disaccharides can be found in nature . They are produced during photosynthesis. Sugars can also be extracted from the said natural products and used as an additive.
That is why sugars can also be categorized into:
- Added/processed sugars
The composition of both is exactly the same. When you eat plant products, you are consuming sugar, the same sugar that you add to desserts, the ones that are present in candies, ice-creams and fruit juices. Your body is blind to the source of the sugars. When monosaccharides and disaccharides enter the body, they are broken down into the simplest form of sugar-glucose. This glucose is used by your body as energy to carry out all its functions.
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Similarities Between Carbs And Sugar
- Carbs and sugar are two compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
- Their three types of basic units are glucose, fructose, and galactose.
- Different combinations of these monomers give rise to different types of carbs and sugars.
- Besides, they serve as one of the three types of macronutrients which provide energy to the body. Therefore, both carbs and sugars are important components of the diet.
How Can I Find Healthy Options
It isn’t always easy to tell which foods are good choices and which aren’t. The Nutrition Facts on food labels can help.
To figure out carbohydrates, look for these three numbers:
Although carbohydrates have just 4 calories per gram, the high sugar content in snack foods means the calories can add up quickly, and these “empty calories” usually have few other nutrients.
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Do You Know The Difference Between Carbs & Sugars
Diabetics know to avoid sugar but are also told to watch their carbs. What does this mean?
What is the difference between carbs and sugars? Are there certain carbs and sugars that are better for you than others?
Lets investigate the difference between the two, as well as, the effects they have on the body and blood sugar.
Whether you consume a food that contains refined sugar, or a food that is a simple carbohydrate, the body receives both in the same way. The pancreas releases insulin in order to move the sugar from the bloodstream into the cells where it can be used for energy.
If there is not a sufficient amount of insulin available, or if the bodys cells are resistant to insulin, the excess sugar remains in the bloodstream. High blood sugar occurs when the level of glucose in the blood rises above the normal range.
Eating foods that are high in sugar or simple carbohydrates will raise blood sugar. Also, eating a larger portion, or eating higher calorie foods can negatively affect blood sugar.
High blood sugar can cause you to feel tired, thirsty, and make frequent trips to the restroom. These symptoms can develop within hours or days. If blood sugar remains high for an extended period of time it can damage the heart, the brain, blood vessels and nerves. It could even lead to coma or death.
All of these are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream, causing blood sugar to spike.
The following simple carbohydrates should be avoided:
What Is The Difference Between Sugar & Carbs On Food Labels
When you are grocery shopping, selecting the right food by reading food labels can be a long and confusing process. The nutrition facts panel provides a great deal of information about the nutritional value of different foods, but understanding it can be challenging. The first important feature to be aware of when looking at the nutrition facts is the serving size. Located at the top of the table, the serving size indicated on the package may be different from the serving size you usually consume, so you may need to do some math to find out how much you will be eating.
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