Is There Such a Thing as Healthy Sugar?

Replacing table sugar with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup sounds like a healthier way to satisfy your sweet tooth, but does this swap make a difference? Americans consume more than 17 teaspoons of added sugar each day, far exceeding the recommendation of limiting sugar intake to nine teaspoons per day for men and six teaspoons for women.

Naturally occurring sugars are found in whole fruit and milk, while added sugars are put into foods during processing or preparation, such as high fructose corn syrup and table sugar. Although sweeteners like honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup might be labeled as “natural,” they still count as added sugars.

“Compared to added sugars, honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar are only slightly better as they have a lower glycemic index and contain some vitamins and minerals,” Frank Hu, PhD, MD, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told Verywell in an email. Overconsumption of any added sugar can still cause the same health problems, Hu added.

Excerpted from Very Well Health

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