One type of sugar isn’t necessarily better than another.
Too much sugar in the form of sucrose, glucose, or fructose can lead to a myriad of health problems . The impact they have on you really depends on how much you eat of any type of sugar.
I recommend keeping sugars to 5-10% of your calorie intake a day. It really all depends on your size, your goals, and your activity level. If you want to be moderately fit, then you can eat a little more sugar. If you want a 6 pack, you’re going to need to eat less sugar”. Eat the sugar you enjoy in moderation—and eat it slowly and until you’re satisfied. While one type doesn’t win hands down, I have put together a list of sugars ranked best to worst.
SteviaType: Natural substitute
Pros: Sugar-free and non-caloric, made from the leaves of the stevia plant. It doesn’t raise blood sugar and it’s natural and beneficial in reasonable amounts. It has some anti-inflammatory compounds and can also help you cut calories.
Cons: There’s a minor aftertaste that can take getting used to. Overusing it could cause you to develop more of a taste for sweets.
HoneyType: An even blend of fructose and glucose
Pros: Honey’s calling card is that it has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties, which is why it can be used as a cough suppressant or to help aid sore throats. High-grade honeys often contain beneficial properties—and overall honey is more of an actual food than sugar. Try using honey in your post workout shake for an added insulin spike.
Cons: It’s high in calories and carbs.
Coconut SugarType: Mostly sucrose with some nutrients
Pros: This one gets positive marks. It’s made from the sap of coconut trees and is less processed because the sap is extracted and then placed in heat to dry, leaving it with a more natural brownish color like raw sugar. It can also contain trace amounts of minerals like magnesium,and potassium a prebiotic fiber.
Cons: It’s still a high-calorie sweetener and can also cause break down in your collagen.
AgaveType: More fructose than glucose
Pros: Fans like the syrupy flavor. It mixes well with tequila, making it a mainstay in in alcoholic beverages.
Cons: It’s touted as having a lower glycemic index but this can be misleading. That may be beneficial if someone has diabetes, but not so much if you don’t.
Brown SugarType: Sucrose
Pros: Some of the molasses leftover from the refining process is added back into the sugar after processing, which provides a darker color and a minor amount of trace nutrients.
Cons: Not enough nutrients remain to be of benefit.
Granulated White SugarType: Sucrose
Pros: Made from either sugar cane or sugar beets, it offers the mildest flavor, melts and blends easily into beverages, warm or cold, and is ideal for baking.
Cons: Best known as table sugar and the most common, it is also the most chemically processed and refined of the bunch.
Sweeteners (Aspartame, Splenda)Type: Artificial substitute
Pros: Sugar-free and non-caloric
Cons: These sweeteners are chemical compounds and not real food. Splenda is sucralose (a sugar molecule mixed with chlorine molecules in a patented process). Maltodextrin, which is a corn product and can be genetically modified, is then added as a bulking agent. Aspartame is on the EPA’s list of potential carcinogens. In animal models it’s linked to leukemia in very high doses. This is the one to be most leery of, so drink those diet soft drinks in moderation.