What happens in your body when you eat sugar? Is Fructose Better Than Classic Sugar? And what exactly is sugar? We explain.
Sugar is unhealthy. So much for common sense. But what exactly happens when you eat sugar? These are complex questions that doctors and scientists are still investigating in great detail. However, a few facts are clear.
Our body gets its energy from fats, proteins and carbohydrates, the three most important nutrients. Carbohydrates consist of sugar molecules. It’s important to distinguish between simple carbohydrates – found in sweets and classic table sugar, for example – and complex carbohydrates , which you can find in whole grains and vegetables, for example.
When we talk about “ unhealthy sugar ”, we usually mean classic table sugar and simple carbohydrates from sweets and white flour. Complex carbohydrates are broken down by your body in a completely different way and are a useful and healthy source of energy . But you should avoid classic sugar. Why? For these five reasons.
Sugar makes you fat
All carbohydrates are first broken down by your body into their building blocks. What is left is glucose . Glucose is broken down with the help of the hormone insulin. Insulin ensures that the sugar reaches the cells where it is needed in the form of energy.
The more sugar you eat, the more insulin is released. Too much sugar disrupts your insulin level and makes it rise. This is unfavorable in two ways :
First , the hormone reduces fat burning . And in addition, the amount of sugar in the blood quickly drops back to an absolute minimum after such an insulin peak. Which again creates an enormous need for sugar . This creates a vicious circle, which ensures that you constantly consume sugar and thus increase your daily calorie intake .
Sugar is addictive
Sugar causes more dopamine to be released in the reward center in your brain. The happiness hormone ensures a good mood and a feeling of happiness. Unfortunately, this is only short-lived. And once the effect wears off, your brain asks for more. This creates a vicious circle that tempts you to eat more and more sugar.
Sugar makes you sick
That is nothing new. Obesity , type 2 diabetes and tooth decay are probably the best known dangers associated with too much sugar. Studies also show that especially too much concentrated fructose promotes the formation of invisible but unhealthy fat between and around the organs. Isolated fructose, which is used to sweeten fruit drinks and candies, also inhibits the production of the hormone leptin, which is responsible for the feeling of satiety .
Sugar has no added value for your body
In the course of evolution, different types of sugar were a vital source of energy. Today it is different. Your body can produce glucose from various healthy energy sources and , strictly speaking, no longer needs an explicit supply of sugar from the outside . Candy, soft drinks, white flour and the like also contain hardly any nutritional value.
And what about complex carbohydrates?
That is a different story. Complex carbohydrates also provide fiber and minerals and are slowly absorbed into your bloodstream. Therefore, they do not have the same negative effects as classic sugar. Instead , complex carbohydrates belong in any nutritional plan .
Especially athletes and endurance athletes need quick energy and should therefore regularly use complex carbohydrates as an energy source.
Sugar makes your skin look older
If you eat too much sugar in one sitting, your body cannot fully convert it into energy. The excess sugar molecules are then combined with proteins responsible for the elasticity of the skin. The result: ugly wrinkles .
These sugar and protein compounds also bind to immune cell receptors, promoting inflammation and poor circulation in the skin. In short: the more sugar, the less beautiful the skin .
S Nupping sweetened?
Does it seem impossible to you to quit sugar? Admittedly, it is tricky. Especially on the road. A little preparation makes it a lot easier . Nuts & Berries , Protein Muesli and Protein Bars with no added sugar (with the sweetness of fruit) are the perfect alternative if you feel like sweets.
Sugar is not immediately sugar
Not all sugar is the same. A fundamental distinction is made between simple, double and multiple sugars. The distinction is based on the chemical structure of the sugar types . The terms simple and complex carbohydrates are more common.
Simple and double sugars (monosaccharides and disaccharides) are quickly broken down and used. They are therefore considered simple carbohydrates. The classic table sugar you know from muesli, candy and the like is a double sugar.
It consists of two different simple sugars: glucose and fructose . When you eat sugar, your body breaks it down into these two components to produce energy. Incidentally, it makes little difference whether the sugar is brown or white.
Fructose, a special case
Fructose – also called fruit sugar – is a simple sugar found naturally in fruits. Fructose itself is no less bad than the classic simple sugar . But this is about the combination. Fruit contains valuable vitamins and fiber that prevent the sugar from entering the liver too quickly. And therefore, fruit: Yes . Juices, smoothies concentrates and added fructose No .
Complex carbohydrates are carbohydrates with a more complex molecular structure than single and double sugars. Your body can only slowly break them down. The advantage: the glucose is released into the blood more slowly and more consistently than with simple sugars. Unlike simple sugars, complex carbohydrates not only give you quick energy, but also ensure an even supply throughout the day .
How Much Sugar Is Healthy?
Very little. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that 5% to a maximum of 10% of your daily calorie intake should come from sugar . That’s about 6 teaspoons on average. That includes honey, cakes and the like. With a regular chocolate bar you often already meet the full daily sugar requirement. How much do you eat per day?
- Classic table sugar poses serious health risks.
- Isolated fructose is no healthier. If you eat fruit, opt for the whole fruit.
- Sugar from complex carbohydrates – in normal amounts – has no health risks, but is a healthy energy supplier.
- When you do get hungry, protein bars are the perfect alternative to cakes and chocolate bars.