Is there any benefit from sugar and which types are the least harmful

Sugar is one of the most common food products in the world. Sweet dishes (carbonated drinks, confectionery) are usually considered unhealthy food.

Some types of sugar can really significantly harm health and cause not only the development of obesity or diabetes, but even malignant tumors.

But does sugar bring at least some benefit to the body? And which species can be considered the least harmful? All the answers are below in the article

Which sugar is healthier?

When taken in excess amounts of any sugar is harmful to health human. However, not all species are equally dangerous.

Added and natural

Added sugar is sugar that has been artificially added to any food product (tea, pastries, porridge, sauce, and so on).

Natural or natural sugar is sugar that occurs naturally in foods (fruits, vegetables, berries, honey, maple syrup, and even milk ).

Regular white sugar is always added sugar, which does not occur naturally in nature. It has a high calorie content (about 400 calories per 100 grams) and contains nothing but simple carbohydrates. It causes sharp spikes in blood glucose levels and has a negative effect on health.

Natural sugar, found mainly in fruits and berries, is not so dangerous to health, especially when taken in moderate amounts. For example, whole fruits, in addition to the mass of vitamins and minerals, contain dietary fiber , which are slowly digested. As a result, the energy from sugar is released slowly, without causing sudden spikes in its level in the blood and multiple disorders in the body.

Natural sugar, which is naturally present in vegetable and some other products, can be considered the most useful. It is recommended to avoid special addition of sugar to dishes.

Refined and unrefined

Refined (white) sugar is a product that is almost completely purified from otherworldly impurities.

Unrefined (brown) sugar, on the contrary, has a certain amount of nutrients in its composition.

With a similar energy value, these two types differ in composition. Below is a comparative table (per 100 grams of product).

Comparison criteria Refined Unrefined
Nutritional value 399 calories 397 calories
Carbohydrates (in grams) 99,9 98
proteins (in grams) 0 0.7
fats (in grams) 0 1

Also, the unrefined product contains about 1% of the body's daily requirement for calcium, 20% magnesium, 0.25% phosphorus, 3% zinc.

If it is impossible to refuse to add simple carbohydrates to familiar dishes (tea or coffee, confectionery and other desserts), then it is recommended to give preference to brown (unrefined) sugar.

What are the types of added sugar?

The maximum amount of simple carbohydrates (glucose and fructose) is found in sugar beet and cane. It is from them that the main global volumes of added sugar are extracted.

Consider the main types of sugar (from an industrial point of view):

  1. Cane . It is made from reed stems. First, they are crushed, then the resulting juice is extracted with water. The resulting mixture is purified with slaked lime, evaporates and undergoes crystallization.
  2. Beetroot . It is mined in almost the same way. The beetroot is crushed and mixed with hot water, then the juice is peeled from the pulp and filtered (using lime or carbonic acid). Molasses is separated from the final material, which is mixed. This sugar is 99% sucrose and is considered the sweetest (1.5 times sweeter than cane sugar).
  3. Maple . Their sugar maple juice is produced, which is evaporated and condensed. It is much more popular in Western countries, as well as in the USA and Canada.
  4. Palm . It is made from the shoots of young palm trees. It is widespread in the territories of East and South Asia. It is less sweet compared to other varieties.
  5. Sorghum . It is made from the sugar sorghum plant. This species is common in arid areas of the planet, as sorghum is unpretentious to water.

The most common varieties in the world are beetroot and cane. Their production costs are the lowest. Cane sugar contains more fructose, which makes it a little healthier.

Any refined sugar, regardless of the variety, is harmful to health. The main negative points, according to scientific articles, are:

  1. Formation of excess body fat. At the same time, sugar leads to the deposition of fat mainly in the abdominal area. This trend is the most dangerous and is associated with an additional risk of early cardiovascular mortality.
  2. Development of type II diabetes mellitus.
  3. Deterioration of the skin condition. Simple carbohydrates cause early aging and raise the risk of acne.
  4. Brain malfunction. People who abuse sweets, inclined to depression, cognitive impairment ( Memory loss and attention, intelligence), early onset of dementia. It is for this reason that it is not recommended to give sweet dishes to a child. Also sweets are addictive .
  5. Changing the energy balance. In the first 30-60 minutes after ingestion, the body filled strength, then lethargy and increased fatigue are observed.
  6. Deterioration of dental health.
  7. Appearance malignant neoplasms.
  8. Early becoming pathologies of the heart and vascular bed.
Added refined sugar carries the greatest danger to humans. At the same time, the raw material is not of fundamental importance in assessing the impact on the health of the body.

What is the benefit?

With rational intake of sugar, proper metabolism in tissues is maintained, bone and joint pathologies are less common.

An additional advantage is the rapid recovery of strength after heavy physical exertion or blood donation.

Of course, brown (unrefined) sugar is less harmful. However, it is not the product itself that is harmful, but excess consumption.

According to dietary recommendations for Americans, for an adult, the norm of simple sugars per day is 50 grams. According to the Association of Cardiologists (USA), this indicator is 25 grams for women and 36 grams for men. Up to 75 % of the population do not follow to these tips.

Sugar is useful and vital for the body. The main thing is to consume it in reasonable amounts.

Tips for use

Let's focus on the main rules of competent satisfaction of the body's needs in simple carbohydrates:

  1. Refusal of carbonated and energy drinks, sweet confectionery.
  2. Using sweeteners. Adding stevia or honey in tea or coffee does not lead to a significant change in taste, but makes drinks more healthy.
  3. Distribution of food throughout the day. You can not take the entire daily allowance of simple carbohydrates in 1 meal. This will inevitably lead to disruptions in the endocrine system. It is better to take sugar a little 4-5 times a day.

With an increased craving for sweet dishes, it is recommended:

  • Eating protein food for breakfast;
  • Eat only whole fruits and vegetables;
  • Take food at least 4-5 times a day;
  • Drink more fluids (1-1.5 daily allowance);
  • Increase the proportion of any spices in the diet (basil, pepper, cardamom, etc.) or products with a bright taste (lemon juice) in the diet.
Simple recommendations will help reduce sugar cravings and make its consumption healthy.


  1. Sugar is a popular food product associated with many health risks.
  2. Any added sugar, regardless of the raw material, is dangerous. An unrefined product is only marginally more useful than a refined one.
  3. It is recommended to limit the consumption of simple carbohydrates to at least 50 grams per day.