Not all sugar is bad. Your body needs a type of sugar known as glucose in order to function properly. That being said, you also can’t overdo it, which is what a lot of people do. There are also some sugars that are better for you, or at least less damaging, than others. Understanding what constitutes good sugar from bad will help you prevent weight gain and disease while keeping your diet manageable and your body that much fitter.

Sugar 101

First off, when a doctor or scientist refers to sugar, they aren’t necessarily talking about table sugar. Glucose is an essential part of our diets and a natural part of many foods that contain carbohydrates. Things like pasta, rice and bread have lots of carbs and nearly 100% of those carbohydrates are turned into glucose by our body.

When glucose enters your body, insulin travels through your bloodstream to use it properly. This keeps energy flowing to all your body. Maintaining proper Insulin Efficiency keeps your body utilizing energy more than storing it as fat, keeps your cardiovascular system healthy and more.

Sucrose: glucose and fructose

Table sugar, or sucrose, is made of half glucose. The other half is made of fructose, which you may know from all the press surrounding the use of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). When you eat too much sugar, it’s not the glucose that is causing trouble in your cardiovascular and digestive systems; it’s the fructose. If there’s a “bad” sugar, this is it.

Take note, though. High-fructose corn syrup is bad for you, but it only contains 5% more fructose than normal table sugar. This means if you’re substituting real sugar for HFCS, you’re only decreasing your fructose intake by a very small amount. Table sugar may be slightly technically better, but it’s still bad for you.

The trouble with fructose

Fructose occurs naturally in many of the healthy foods we eat, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Why then is a source of fructose, like soda, so much worse than an apple? It’s because the fruits, etc., contain lots of fiber and other essential vitamins and nutrients as well. The soda? Not so much.

Fructose disrupts the hormones released by our body. It can trick our bodies into thinking we’re still hungry and even keep our brain rewarding us for the extra sugar.

Moderation is really the key to what is so bad about fructose, though.

While your body treats fructose differently than glucose, sending it first to the liver and more often storing it as fat, the real trouble is in how much of it is in our diets.

High-fructose corn syrup is in a wide array of products. HFCS is how you can take fat out of something, like a “lean” TV dinner, and still keep it palatable for the consumer, or how you can make pastries stay fresh for weeks on a gas station shelf. And while the price of actual table sugar continues to rise, the price of HFCS has always been very low.

Those are 3 big reasons why you can find HFCS in frozen foods, soda, chips,salad dressings, ketchup and all sorts of other products.

The fact that sugar seems to be almost everywhere means that you may not be eating a solid baseball made out of the stuff for breakfast, but, according to the USDA, you eat the equivalent of it in added sugar over the course of every day.

The worst of all sugars is the one you don’t even know you’re eating.

Taking control

It’s very unlikely that you will be able to successfully cut all sugar from your diet for the rest of your life. Besides, that’s not even a very good idea as it will just lead to frustration and cravings. The Olumia Life diet is a system that contains lots of helpful structure and tips to keep the foods you like as an option. Sugar itself is not the biggest problem, controlling how much you eat is.

The easiest way to cut back is to start keeping track of everything you eat each day to get a sense of where you are now. You might be surprised to find how much sugar you’re eating. When you identify where the excess sugar in your diet is coming from, you can better regulate it.

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