Refined sugars vs. Carbohydrates. Are all sugars unhealthy?

To counter junk food, some doctors, nutritionists, media outlets and many others have managed to create a real phobia, a fear not only based on sugars, but also on carbohydrates in general. Nevertheless, care should be taken not to confuse everything.

Do not confuse carbohydrates

Behind the carbohydrates, it’s actually the sugars that are problematic. Sugars are labelled with several names that can hide what they truly are. There may be sucrose (another term for sugar), glucose syrup or evaporated cane syrup… Often, products also contain pure glucose, fructose, milk sugar (lactose) or maltose. All these sugars are refined industrial sugars, whether they come from milk or fruit.

The effects of these sugars on health are similar to those of the white sugar that you can find at home. However, refined sugars are considered by many to be harmful to the body. Some even consider them “poisonous”.

Refined sugar and carbohydrates – what’s the difference?

How can you tell the difference? Certainly not through colour. 90% of white sugar comes from beetroot and has not been refined, while brown sugar is refined from sugar cane, which owes its colour to an industrial process that whitens it.

Simple carbohydrates include glucose, fructose, and galactose, which can all form sucrose – in other words, table sugar, lactose or maltose. Complex carbohydrates include starch, glycogen and fibre.

A refined sugar is a sugar from which all its vitamins and minerals have been removed. It has no nutritional interest except that of bringing pure energy to your body, but only for a short period of time. Then the additional energy is quickly stored in your body.

Refined sugar = poison?

Refined sugar is now associated with more and more health issues: addictions, mental problems, deficiencies, obesity, memory problems, hypertension and heart disease. We will not detail everything here, as there are hundreds of articles on this subject — enough to keep you busy reading for a while.

The benefits of unrefined sugars?

Unrefined sugars have not undergone any industrial processing, which makes them less harmful to health. Some even have recognized benefits, such as:

  • Honey: Rich in B vitamins, trace elements, amino acids and mineral salts.
  • Maple syrup: Rich in iron, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.
  • Cane sugar: Rich in vitamins and minerals
  • Coconut sugar: Rich in vitamins and minerals, especially polyphenols, as well as potassium in large quantities.
  • Fructose: Greater sweetness and lasting effect of satiety.

Learn more.

This is why Fourmi Bionique favours these unrefined sugars in all of our recipes! We buy pure, organic, fair and/or local products, for which we always check for origin and quality.

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