Natural Versus Added Sugars

Believe it or not, even fruits and vegetables have sugar.

However, this sugar is called natural sugar, and it is not very bad for you.  Added sugars provide added/empty calories with no nutritional value. This is why doctors warn against too much added sugar.

Both natural sugars and added sugars form simple carbohydrates. However, foods with natural sugar also contain complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. These components of healthy foods makes taking the sugar in worth it. The balance of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and sugar makes “healthy foods” healthy.

Foods with complex carbohydrates and natural sugar retain nutrients, such as dietary fiber, that are stripped from simple carbohydrates.

Foods with complex carbohydrates also provide vitamins and minerals.  Complex carbohydrates are found in whole wheat bread, brown rice, carrots, corn, and potatoes.

These carbohydrates are essential to our body and are broken down into glucose slower than simple carbohydrates, which means they provide longer lasting energy.

Added sugars can be found in desserts, soda, and sports drinks.  Some common words for added sugar are sucrose, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, and fruit concentrate.

You can learn more about natural and added sugars as well as simple and complex carbohydrates by checking out these links:

Natural Sugars

Added Sugars

Complex and Simple Carbohydrates

So, in conclusion, it is important to know the nutritional differences between foods with added sugars and natural sugars.


-Daniel C. and Ried D.

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  1. Vicki Schrader

    Hi Daniel,
    I was about to respond to Mr. Ferriter’s post and ask you all how other syrups such as a pure, natural maple syrup compare to Hungry Jack Lite. (It has even more sugar, but as you point out, there are nutritional benefits to at least consider. See though you might want to look further still). I love that you address this question right here. Your entry is short and sweet, well-organized and comprehensive. Thanks for sharing your findings.

  2. krystin wingfield

    i love this site! My Grandfather had diabetes.
    i really love the fact that i can have a say in sugary foods.

  3. Lynda Van Winkle

    I LOVE this blog! I especially like how you’ve outlined the differences between natural and added sugar. I’m going to share this site with all of the Anchorage School District health teachers. Keep up the awesome work!

    • Shery

      the truth is most of us are here because we want to loose that belly fat and look sexy again. with so many diets and magezinas you would think everyone would be fit and healthy, but its the opposite. check out this video it shows you true steps you can take at home to get rid of that extra fat ->

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  6. Harka

    I’m on this as well. About 2-3 weeks in, down 8 lbs. I’m frustrated bescuae i’m not losing more right now but i definitely feel like my body is changing and you’re right about the cravings they’re gone. I feel bad going into my cheat meal once a week but i thoroughly enjoy it then leave it behind me. The best source for success stories is the mens health website. Click on the discussions link and find the Abs Diet section within you’ll find a ton of stories there.

  7. john e

    I’m on board. I’ve allowed an extra 10 pounds to accumulate in the last year. I’m starting to exercise again but also, controlling my diet. Your post about sugar in spaghetti sauce was eye-opening. Thanks.

    Mind if I post some of your materials, with attribution, onto my health for old people (like me) blog? A Black Belt at 50

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  9. Natural vs. added sugars

    Q: How is “natural sugar” worse than “added sugar”?
    A: “Natural sugar” is sneakier because of where it hides! (Sugar-free fresh fruit, anyone?)

    • William Ferriter

      Natural sugar is fine because of the other benefits, such as vitamins and minerals, found alongside it. Also, the energy provided lasts much longer than with added sugar. Hope this helps! -Daniel C.

  10. Kimberly Alostath

    Thank you for providing this wonderful website! It is written so clearly and in simple terms that make the information accessible to everyone. May I have permission to share your site on my instagram and twitter accounts and use it to work with our students in Kuwait? Keep up the good work!

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  14. French teacher

    What a great blog–bravo! I wonder if you have compared American sugar consumption with other countries. It might be interesting to see what that looks like around the world.

    • William Ferriter

      Thank you for checking out our blog, and no we haven’t compared multiple countries sugar consumptions. Although it would make a great post! We will try to get that information published as soon as we can! Thanks for the idea! -Ried D.

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