Why Sugar Matters

by Barbara J. Kinney BSN, RN

There are many factors that go into weight loss. Of those many factors, one very important and critical factors is the type of sugar you choose to use each day. You may be wondering why this is important and the simple answer is the glycemic index.

The glycemic index is a relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Sugar is a carbohydrate. So are fruits, veggies, and breads.

Not all carbohydrates are equal and this an important factor that many do not understand. Carbohydrates with a low glycemic index value are more likely absorbed, digested, and metabolized while causing a lower and slower rise in blood glucose. this means that they are less likely to cause fat storage in the body because excess glucose turns into fat.

Based on the chart to the right, you can see why brown rice is better than white rice and why whole wheat bread is better than white. While the caloric intake of both is similar, their glycemic index is much different and this make a huge impact on ability to lose weight.

In the next chart, you can also see why white sugar and high fructose corn syrup are terrible choices. Remember, high fructose corn syrup is commonly found in juices and sodas. While on your journey to losing weight, your best options are stevia and agave.

This doesn't mean an occasional serving of honey is bad or an occasional serving of white rice is going to make you gain weight. It just means to exercise control and keep higher glycemic index items in moderation. However, it is a great idea to stay clear of higher glycemic index foods and sugars while on the journey to lose weight in order to prevent these factors from working against your efforts.

Remember, this is key to weight loss so make changes as needed if you are using sweeteners with higher glycemic indexes.

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