Are All Sugars Equal?

2013-07-25 12.05.01
We all know we need sugar to survive but most of us don't give much thought to the vast array of sugars that are out there. We get our sugars mainly from fruits and vegetables and also processed foods like cakes, biscuits and chocolate bars.Our bodies run on glucose by breaking down carbohydrates to create APT for energy. The liver is the bodies processing unit for sugars. If sugars are consumed in liquid form or in high sugar foods like cakes or chocolate bars thus can put a high load on the liver. This in turn causes an increase in uric acid causing inflammation, gout and increased blood pressure. Over time this can also create a fatty liver which is the main cause of insulin resistance leading to diabetes. Sugars in fruit or vegetables are far better because the fibre content helps slow the load on the liver. Therefore high sugar foods or sports drinks should be limited to when exercising when those sugars will be used very quickly by the body.
The recommended intake of sugars should be 10% of daily calorie intake so roughly 50g for someone consuming 2000 calories. Limiting carbohydrates is an effective way of reducing sugar intake and helping to lose body fat. A big problem with this method is increased hunger. The University of Sydney, Australia performed a satiety test to find foods that satisfied hunger the best. The most satisfying foids were boiled potatoes, raw fruits, fish and lean meat. The worst were croissants, doughnuts, chocolate bars and peanuts.

I have compiled a list of commonly found sugars and where possible the GI for those sugars. The GI of glucose is given the value of 100 and all sugars are measured against this. So a food with a GI of 95 is almost as pure as glucose. A food with a GI of 20 on the other hand won't raise blood sugar much at all.

2013-07-25 12.05.39
Ose = sugar
Itol = sugar alcohol

Agave 11
Aspartame 0
Barley Malt Syrup 42
Beet Sugar
Brown Sugar
Cane Syrup 43
Coconut Palm 35
Confectioners Sugar
Corn Syrup 75
Date Sugar
Dextrose 100
Fructose 12-25
Fruit Juice Concentrate
Glucose 100
Glucose Syrup
Granulated White Sugar 80
High Fructose Corn Syrup 87
High Maltose Corn Syrup
Honey 32-87
Invert Sugar 60
Lactose 46
Maltodextrin 110
Maltose 105
Maple Syrup 54
Molasses 55
Rice Syrup 25
Saccharin 0
Stevia <1
Sucralose 0
Sucrose 58-65
Erythritol 1
Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysates 35
Isomalt 2
Lactitol 3
Mannitol 2
Sorbitol 4
Xylitol 12
Turbinado 65

The main factors to consider with sugars are.
1. Avoid fruit juice and fizzy drinks
2. Stay away from processed foods as they can contain added sweetners.
3. Try and get your sugars through the day from fruits and vegetables
4. Limit sports drinks to when exercising
5. Try and limit sugars to a GI of 50 or less to limit the load on the liver and reduce a high insulin response.
6. Last but not least try and reduce cakes and chocolate bars.

Thanks for reading and keep up the great running.