Is sugar a carbohydrate
The use of sugar carbohydrates in our daily diet is increasingly coming into attack from medical practitioners. Consumption of excess carbohydrates in the form of sugars maybe the cause of high incidence of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes among individuals. Children are particularly vulnerable when they consume products high in sugar carbohydrate content such as soda pops, colas, and sweet baked goods.
Is sugar a carbohydrate? Before we understand the relation between sugar and carbohydrates, let us answer the basic question: Is sugar a carbohydrate?
Consider this: one serving (one teaspoon of sugar consists of five grams of carbohydrates). Carbohydrates in sugar may differ depending on the form of sugar consumed. One teaspoon of brown sugar consists of the same amount of carbohydrates as white sugar. However, the amount of carbohydrates increases as you consume concentrated forms of sugar such as sugar syrup, honey, molasses, high fructose corn syrup, or processed chocolate syrup.
So, does this mean that sugar carbohydrates are plain bad for us? Should you completely ban sugar from your diet?
Good versus bad sugar. Carbohydrates are one the three main food group varieties that are essential for our body’s nutrition and development. Carbohydrates replenish energy to our body and aid our growth process. The human body converts carbohydrates into simple sugars transported via the blood stream. The insulin produced by the pancreas helps the sugar move from the blood stream into the cells. The cells break down the sugar to create energy. Sugar carbohydrates come in two major forms: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates commonly found in simple sugars, white or refined flour, and white rice break down easily and cause a sudden rise in sugar levels. This is what causes heart diseases and diabetes. However, remember that some fruits and dairy products also contain simple carbohydrates that are good for your body. Besides, they also contain nutritious fiber and vitamins. Another disadvantage of simple carbohydrates, especially in the form of baked goods and colas is that they do not fill you up. Not only are you still hungry, simple carbohydrates from junk food are essentially empty calories. They do not provide you with any nutrients.
To avoid excessive consumption of simple sugars, start by avoiding snacks that do not provide you with essential nutrition. Instead, try to satisfy your hunger with low fat yogurt, nuts and seeds, and whole grain granola bars. Restrict the intake of added sugars in the form of desserts. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, take time to break down and are slowly absorbed into the blood stream. Whole grains, brown rice, wheat pasta, low fat diary, and carbohydrates found in vegetables and fruits are all examples of complex carbohydrates that are good for your health. Including more vegetables and fruits as part of your daily diet will provide you with the necessary amount of complex carbohydrates. Experts recommend that at least fifty percent of your calories should come from carbohydrates.
When you check for carbohydrates on food labels determine the amount of total carbohydrates per serving. Also, check for dietary fiber and other essential nutrients. Learn to distinguish between natural sugars and added sugars. They do not list them separately on the food container. Watch out for labels that read added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Sweet enhancers like fructose, syrup, corn syrup, or molasses contain simple carbohydrates.
Work towards making sugars and carbohydrates part of a healthy diet. Regular exercise and a well-balanced diet will help to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. Stick to good carb choices and eliminate the need to add simple sugars to your diet.