Myth: Sugars in fruit and fruit juices are “better for you” than sugars that come out of a bag or packet.
Sugar is sugar is sugar. The human body can break down different carbohydrates and produce the same thing in your bloodstream: glucose. Different kinds of sugar are in common use all over the world. But the body can hardly tell them apart. For example, molasses is a source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and iron. But the amount of these nutrients in molasses is not significant enough to make a difference in your diet unless you eat an abnormal amount.
Fundamentally, all sweeteners are carbohydrates. Whenever we eat foods with carbohydrates, such as table sugar, honey, or a potato—the body breaks these foods down into usable energy.
Sugar itself generally has trace amounts of nutrients, but people rarely eat spoonfuls of sugar by itself. Sugars like glucose or fructose are often part of foods like fruits, which contain a variety of vitamins and other nutrients.
Some people incorrectly believe that honey is healthier than table sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Honey contains trace amounts of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that other sweeteners lack.
You would have to consume enormous amounts of honey on a regular basis to receive any significant benefit from these nutrients.
The truth is that honey, table sugar, and high fructose corn syrup all contain the same number of calories: four per gram. But because honey is denser, one tablespoon of honey contains more calories (64) than a tablespoon of granulated sugar (46).
Weight gain is, ultimately, a matter of “calories in” versus “calories out.” The balance (or imbalance) of energy determines weight gain or loss. If you eat too much honey, you will gain weight—just as you will if you eat too much table sugar, or too much of any other food.
High glycemic carbohydrates (high in sugar foods) and sugars trigger the release of insulin and activate the negative effects insulin has on muscle growth, endurance, performance and fat storage. Immediately following a high carbohydrate meal, the glucose that is absorbed into the blood stream causes a rapid secretion of insulin (an insulin spike). This in turn causes a rapid uptake, storage and use of glucose by the muscles, adipose tissue (fat) and the liver, as well as other tissues of the body. Most of the negative consequences of sugars originate here.
The average American actually gets about 25% of her calories from sugar!
There is so much more, but I have to get to work…