difference between sugar and carbohydrate

What are the differences between carbohydrates and sugars?

You may have noticed that on food packaging, sugars and carbohydrates are listed separately. Yes, there is a distinction between the two, as sugars are simple carbohydrates. This distinction is useful not only for those who want to track their nutritional intake, but also for detecting carbohydrates to avoid. Here is some additional information to help you understand.

I invite you to read the following article: How to read a food label

Where do these differences come from?

complex carbohydrates

Once in the body, carbohydrates are transformed into glucose. Their function is to provide energy to the muscles and the brain. Not all carbohydrates are the same, hence the distinction between carbohydrates and sugars. In fact, there are two sub-categories of carbohydrates, namely complex carbohydrates and carbohydrates simple.

Complex carbohydrates have a long chain of molecules that you can find in potatoes or cereals. Simple carbohydrates are made up of only one or two molecules. They are also called sugars. They are known to be harmful to health by causing obesity and the famous tooth decay.

Where are these sugars found?

In addition to the white or brown sugar that you use to sweeten your food, sugars are also present in large quantities in the names fructose, sucrose or lactose. This is why you will find nutritional information without added sugar, but which still contain the heading "sugars". They are therefore naturally present in yoghurts, even plain ones, or in fruit juices.

As far as sucrose is concerned, it comes from the processing of sugar cane or sugar beet. It is what you use in your sweet desserts, your pastries and all preparations that require the addition of sugar.

Take care of your health!

sugar high

The sugars added to industrialized foods are the most harmful to health. However, we must not forget the sugars that are present in large quantities in syrups, honey or even so-called natural juices. These are the sugars that must be tracked down to avoid disturbing your health. On the other hand, you should choose foods that are produced without added sugar. These are plain yoghurts, low-fat compotes and fruit without added sugar.

So there's no need to look any further into the nutritional intake of sugars. Just avoid those with added sugar labels. As for the glycemic index which is useful for diabetics and athletes, we should prefer foods with an index below 55. However, you should not forget that even bread contains complex carbohydrates and its glycemic index can reach 70. If you are on a strict diet, it is best to avoid foods that may contain all kinds of excess carbohydrates. Health comes first and sugars are the cause of many body disorders.

When to consume sugar when you are working out?

carbohydrate sugar

When we practice bodybuilding, there is a time when sugar has no impact on our progress. Indeed, after a good session of bodybuilding, our glycogen reserves If it is advised to eat the next meal 1 hour after maximum, you can consume a source of sugar right after the training. You can eat 2 dates, or a banana by opting for natural sugar or a spoonful of real honey of good quality (not easy to find since we generally consume a honey of poor quality sold in supermarkets with added glucose among others)

In any case, it is better to consume natural sugars and simple carbohydrate sources for better health. Whether we practice bodybuilding or not.

Need to know your calories and macros to consume?


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