Natural sugar vs. added sugar: Are they the same?
The new documentary Fed Up has re-energized the discussion about the dangers of sugar in our diets. Over the past 30 years, Americans have relied more and more on processed foods and sweetened beverages, leading to a dramatic increase in sugar consumption. Coinciding with that rise in sugar consumption are alarming increases in the rates of obesity and diabetes in adults and children.
But as the movie points out, understanding sugar can be complicated. The easiest way to understand sugar is to think of its form — and this usually falls into two categories: added sugars and naturally occurring sugars.
Added sugars come in a variety of forms including granulated and high fructose corn syrup and are present in many processed foods and sweetened beverages. Naturally occurring sugars occur in foods like whole fruits. Fruit is nature’s way of delivering vitamins, antioxidants and other phytonutrients. Whole fruit is also full of fiber which slows absorption of fruit sugars and reduces insulin levels.
At Step One Foods, we use a variety of sugars, and because honesty tops our list of company values, we want to be clear about what they are and why we use them.
Here’s the scoop on all sugars in Step One Foods:
Our cranberries and blueberries contain a small amount of apple juice which is added in the drying process to keep the berries soft and chewy.
Our Dark Chocolate Crunch Bar is made with bittersweet chocolate containing 72% cacao and a small amount of sugar because unsweetened dark chocolate is unpalatable. But we balance that sugar with high fiber from complex grains. Numerous studies have shown that eating dark chocolate containing at least 70% cacao has cardiovascular benefits.
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