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Natural vs Refined Sugar

What is Sugar?

Sugar has a bittersweet reputation when it comes to health. There are 2 different types of sugar and they affect your body and health in very different ways. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that the body converts to glucose and uses for energy. However, natural sugar and refined sugar have different properties and health consequences.

Natural sugars are found in fruit & vegetables (fructose) and in dairy products like milk (lactose). These sources have nutrients, minerals and antioxidants which are essential in keeping the body healthy. Natural sugar is digested slower and therefore helps you feel full for longer. Consuming whole foods that contain natural sugar in moderation is okay.

Refined sugar (sucrose) on the other hand comes from sugar cane, which is processed to extract the sugar. The body reacts differently to refined sugar, breaking it down much quicker, causing insulin and blood sugar levels to increase. Since it is broken down quicker, you are also less likely to feel full and will therefore eat more of it. Refined sugar has been associated with a rise in obesity rates.

Consuming too much sugar

Problems arise when you consume too much refined sugar. The National Cancer Institute found that the average male consumes a massive 24 teaspoons of sugar per day. Studies have shown that people that got 20% of their calories from sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease (JAMA Internal Medicine).

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes blood glucose to become too high. It is a lifelong condition that can affect your everyday life. A number of studies have found that people who regularly drink sugary drinks have a 25% greater risk of type 2 diabetes. Just 1 sugary drink per day is enough to increase your risk by 13%.

Refined sugar has also been linked with various types of cancer. Eating too much sugar increases the risk of obesity and diabetes, which in turn increase the risk of cancer. Also, sugar has been directly related to increasing the risk of oesophageal cancer.

Tips to reduce your refined sugar intake

  • Water, water, water: Fizzy drinks and sports drinks, have around 44% added sugar and add no other nutritional value. Limiting these drinks and replacing them as much as you can with water can improve your overall health.

  • Limit processed snacks: These snacks are full of added sugar. Instead, try to replace these with fruit, vegetables or mixed nuts (or some healthy low sugar Club Rozalie granola!)

Club Rozalie Products

All our products contain low, natural sugar. We have replaced any potential processed products with natural healthy products like dates, to keep your favourite granola as tasty as possible! All of our products have nutritional values clearly stated on the packaging to inform you of all the ingredients used; because we have nothing to hide!

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