Sugar could be found in many foods and products and it can be identified in many ways. Since it is found in almost everything that we eat, it has created a reputation that could be frowned upon when it comes to health. There have been a lot of questions about what is organic sugar and if it’s better than the natural sugars that can be found in the foods that we eat. Just like how sugars can be identified in many ways, organic sugar has three basic types, too. Depending on what you need and how you want to use it, there is a sugar that could best be suited for you.
According to doctors, sugar is found in almost everything- vegetables, fruits, dairy products, and grains. Even plants contain sugar in it and although sugar has been associated with health issues like diabetes, a heart condition, and chronic diseases, there is nothing wrong with consuming it naturally. What’s worse is when it’s becoming too much because of the added sugar that we consume in carbohydrate-laden foods that we consume day-to-day.
Sugar: The Silent Grim Reaper
In a fast-paced world where everyone is rushing and time is money, more people are relying on processed and quick foods for snacks and meals. And although it helps us through the day, it also contains added sugar which could be bad for our health. Added sugar is a sugar that manufacturers of foods put in the products we use to prolong shelf life and to enhance flavor. It is most commonly found in the following products:
- Flavored yogurts
- Fruit drinks
- Soft drinks
- Processed foods
- Cured Meats
You would be surprised to know that it could be found in almost anything that we eat and because of this, we consume more sugar than the recommended value per day. Research says that sugar intake in the US is too high that at least 2 out of every 5 Americans suffer from type 2 diabetes and obesity.
However, doctors and health professionals make it clear that there is nothing to be afraid of from the sugars that we get from whole foods. These sugars are called natural sugars and could be found in most fruits, vegetables, and meat products that we eat. These products may contain small sugar amounts but it also carries nutrients, fiber, and minerals that are beneficial for the body. The issue arises when sugar consumption becomes too high because of these added sugars that are massively added in the Western diet.
Too much sugar consumption may lead to the following health problems:
- Increased risk in heart diseases
- Weight gain
- Increased chances of type 2 diabetes
- Linkage to acne and pimple formations
- Exposure to depression and sleep apnea
- Accelerates the process of skin aging
- Increased cancer risks
- Energy draining
- Could affect dental health
- May cause fatty liver
- Accelerates the decline of cognitive function
- Risks in kidney problems
- May develop gout and rheumatoid
What is Organic Sugar?
Organic sugars are extracted from sugar beet plants and sugarcane that are organically grown. This means that the sugars are not GMO or genetically modified. For the questions posed on what is organic sugar, it is a sugar that is processed without chemical pesticides, sewage sludge, and synthetic fertilizers. Yes, a variety of powders and sprays are still added but it should not have major contamination to the water, soil, and crop products.
Organic sugar relates to how the sugar is packaged, handled, and processed and on how it is grown so you could be assured that compared to other sugar products, this one has lesser harmful chemicals in it. Because of its strict guidelines, it is heavily regulated by the Department of Agriculture, and sweeteners and sugars that are labeled as organic should strictly adhere to the organic standards set by USDA. It comes from the following:
The organic sugars that you see in store shelves are mostly from canes. At least 80% of all the sugar products in the world come from sugarcanes so it’s no wonder why the supermarket organic sugars are cane produced.
Organic sugars that come from beets are imported- meaning, they are not produced and grown in the United States. They come from Europe and are now the leading sugar producer from the beet.
From the kinds of sugars produced, it also has 2 kinds: organic unrefined, and raw sugars.
- Unrefined Sugars: These are brown sugars and they usually retain the natural sucrose crystals. Because of this, they produce a dark brown and strong flavor.
- Refined Sugars: This is the most common and it can be a variety of blonde crystals, organic powdered, and cane syrup. They come from canes that are freshly harvested and they are highly refined, too.
It’s important to note that organic sugar is not unprocessed or unrefined. Just like all other sugars out there, it has been through a lot of processing, but it’s lesser compared to those that are too refined. And yes, they are slightly refined compared to table sugar.
They could also be a bit pricey because of the way that it’s grown that’s why not all would choose organic sugar products. If you would like to go natural, here are some sugar alternatives that you can check out.
- Yacon Syrup
- Maple Syrup
Takeaway: Is Natural Sugar Better?
Since we already know what organic sugar is, we should identify if it’s healthier than natural sugars that we get from the food we eat, right? According to studies and research, the most common misconception about organic sugar is that it is healthier compared to other sugar types. No, it is not. It’s not nutritionally superior compared to other sugar by-products, too.
Well, if you would compare, organic sugar has 98- 99% of sucrose while regular table sugar has 99.50%. That is just a very minimal difference. The only plus for organic sugars is that it is safer to consume because it has been grown organically and you could be assured that the products are not chemically-laden. It’s also better and safer for the environment. But when it comes to the sugar content, it is all but the same.
The verdict? Natural sugars are better since they could be found in the everyday foods that we eat and it also contains minerals and vitamins that our body needs. There is no need to question again on what is organic sugar. The focus now is to regulate and make sure that we are only consuming enough sugar content despite the many high-sugar foods that we have in this day and age.