Carbohydrates: Natural Sugars, Fibre and Everything in Between

The carbohydrate debate is a strong one at the moment, there is an ongoing battle between proponents of a low carbohydrate diet and the standard moderate-to-high carbohydrate followers. Add in to the mix the information circulating about natural sugars vs standard sugar and there is a whole lot of confusion occurring! 


Section 2 of our Food Brand Nutrition Crash Course, launching on the 14thof May, covers everything to do with nutrients. From the micronutrients that we need in the smallest amounts all the way up to macronutrients, which of course carbohydrates fall in to. We will be discussing the three main macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats and protein and how each one is processed and used by the body. We will also discuss all of the different vitamins and minerals that we need and where they are found in the diet. All with the perspective of what you as a food brand need to know. Should you be jumping on the low carb bandwagon or using only natural sugars in your food?


Natural Sugars?

Many people are claiming that natural sugars like maple syrup, honey and agave nectar are a better choice than standard table sugar. Is this really the case? Nutritionally, there is very little difference between all types of sugar. They have almost identical amounts of glucose and fructose (the sugar molecules) per spoonful and almost identical calorie amounts. So is there a difference? No not really. They all get broken down to those same compounds in the body and are all absorbed in exactly the same way. The only area where there is a slight difference is the micronutrient levels with some options like coconut sugar containing slightly higher levels of some vitamins and minerals. However, this difference is so small that you would have to eat vast quantities of sugar to make a noticeable difference!


What about carbs in general?

Carbohydrates are our body’s main source of energy, they are easy for us to digest and burn for energy, much easier than fat or protein. We are designed to eat and break down carbohydrates and that is why the UK recommends that 50% of our energy comes from carbs! This is particularly important for active people and those that are still growing/having a baby. Carbohydrates do not “make people fat” the truth is that overeating anything will lead to it being deposited as fat, not just carbohydrate!


If you are interested in learning more about how the macronutrients work and diving deeper in to these debates, check out the FBNCC, launching soon!