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:
So, in conclusion, it is important to know the nutritional differences between foods with added sugars and natural sugars.
-Daniel C. and Ried D.