The Sucrose Debate: Natural Vs. Added
February 4, 2015•9 min
Do natural sugars pose the same threat to your health as added sugars?If you haven't noticed lately, there's a serious health epidemic happening in your world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, more than 78.6 million U.S adults are obese, and 29.1 million Americans have diabetes.Consuming added sugar on a regular basis can cause some serious health issues, and potentially lead you to an early grave. The thing is, added sugar is in EVERYTHING. But, unfortunately, you might be one of the millions of people who don't realize how much added sugar you're actually consuming. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), on average, Americans are consuming 156 pounds of added sugar each year. This is a 39 percent increase since the 1950s.Most of your calories actually might be coming from sugar. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men consume on average 335 kcals of added sugar per day, and women consume 239 kcals. Adults are consuming 13 percent of their calories from added sugar, which can contribute to poor health.However, sucrose (the proper name for sugar) is needed in your body in order to function properly. Sucrose is a complex carbohydrate that comes from two simple sugars, glucose and fructose. Your body breaks down carbohydrates and turns them into blood sugar. However, when you're consuming the added sugars from your food, your body breaks down, absorbs, and stores it.What about natural sugars like agave or stevia, even though they have no calorie do they still pose the same threat to your health as added sugars?Dr. Holly discusses what sugar is, how your body needs it to function, and the difference between added and natural sugars.