The Unnecessary 9: Refined Sugar
3 Minute Read

The Unnecessary 9: Refined Sugar

What is Refined Sugar?


Refined sugar is produced from plants such as sugar cane or beets. The plants are washed and boiled to extract their sugary juices. This juice is then processed to form crystals, which are spun to remove the remaining liquid, creating molasses and leaving behind dry sugar crystals.


What is the difference between refined and natural sugar?


Sugar, in all forms, is a simple carbohydrate that the body converts into glucose and uses for energy. But the effect on the body and your overall health depends on whether you’re eating either:

Natural: Naturally occurring in fruits and other foods (Think sugar naturally found in a ripe banana 🍌)

Refined: Processed so they can be more easily packaged or added to foods and beverages (Cane sugar or corn syrup, for example)


Why do we avoid refined sugar?


〰️ Blood Sugar Spikes

Refined sugars, such as those found in processed foods and sugary drinks, are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. This spike is often followed by a subsequent crash, leading to feelings of fatigue, irritability, and increased hunger.

〰️ Inflammation

Chronic inflammation in the body is associated with various health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. High intake of refined sugars can promote inflammation in the body, contributing to the development and progression of these conditions.

〰️ Nutrient Deplete

Refined sugars provide "empty calories," meaning they contain energy but lack essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Consuming too much refined sugar may displace nutrient dense foods from the diet, leading to deficiencies in important nutrients.


Sources: PMID: 36588634 & 21677052
 *Not all refined sugars are equal. Variations in quality, purity, and nutritional content exist between brands and types.


What are some common refined and natural sugars?

🍬 Refined Sugars

  • Can sugar 
  • Corn syrup
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Evaporated cane juice

🍌 Natural Sugars

  • Maple syrup
  • Coconut sugar
  • Date sugar
  • Agave nectar


How can you avoid refined sugar? 


The best way to avoid refined sugar is to inspect ingredient lists and seek naturally sweet whole food options 🕵️ 🔎.

Sources: Kiki Milk, Milkademia & Trader Joe's

Disclaimer: The information provided in this email is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.