How many times have you heard, “Sugar is sugar – there is no difference in the way it affects your body” This is not only a classic argument that the big sugar industry uses but it also attempts to bring all forms of sugar to one level playing field. Letting this argument go unexamined is highly dangerous to all consumers as it makes the deadly recipe of highly processed sugar and additives seem as though they are having the same effect on our body as raw honey or organic dates.

Read on for the Sweet Freedom approach to learning why we choose certain sugars and stay away from others. This breakdown will help you think critically next time someone presents you with the latest fad that all sugar is created equal.

  • Always check the source

There seems to be a new study out each week that claims that highly processed white granular sugar has no statistically significant different effect on your blood sugar than other natural forms of sugar. It is extremely important to think critically about ANY scientific study that is serving up the backing for the latest food trend. If it sounds too good to be true, it is probably because the industry that is going to benefit, is financially backing the study that was conducted.

  • Always come back to nature

Always come back to what nature would have intended. Nature provides us with fruit during certain seasons and it makes it semi-difficult for us to harvest that fruit. As well, the consequence for overconsumption of some fruits can give you some foul smelling gas – this is nature telling us to slow down. Even before the overconsumption piece, nature gives our body the nutrients in the form of these fruits other than just their sugars that tell our bodies that they are being satiated so you don’t feel the need to overeat.

  • Be mindful of the processes behind the sugar even if it is a natural form
    • Try these natural sugars while also being mindful of where they come from:
      • Fruit sugar in the form of the whole food is coming to you as it was plucked from the tree
      • Dates – Medjool dates are extremely popular right now but it is necessary to be mindful that they are not harvested as they are sold, they are boiled and then dried which is why they taste so sweet. These are a great form of sugar to consume in moderation as they provide nutrients and fiber along with their sugar
      • Maple Syrup – Contrary to popular belief, maple syrup does not come straight from the tree looking as it does in the bottle. It is much lighter in color when it is harvested and then is cooked down to reveal the sweetness that we enjoy so much
      • Coconut Palm Sugar – has a low Glycemic Index and is harvested by making a cut into the flower of the coconut ball, the liquid is extracted and then heated until the water evaporates until you’re left with the sugar granules
      • Honey – other than fruit is the only type of sugar that comes to you as-is in it’s natural form. It is high in nutrients as well but in the middle of a bee crisis, you need to be mindful of where your raw honey is coming from and the environmental impact it is having on our planet.
    • Avoid these added sugars & see how their processes match up to the processes of the sugars above(just to name a few):
      • High Fructose Corn Syrup – corn starch is extracted from milled corn and then a chemical compound yielded from mercury and chlorine is used to start an enzymatic process that eventually turns some of the corn sugar into fructose through chemical manipulation.
      • Sucrose – often extracted from sugarcane or sugar beet and highly processed and bleached to become what we know as white granular sugar. The process to make it look white and crystalline is achieved through industrial processes that strip all vitamins and minerals from the substance.
      • Glucose – often extracted from milk sugar, corn sugars & cane sugar using a hydrolyzation process that requires steaming it at an extremely high pressure. Once the compound is isolated, it is added into foods for extra sweetness.