Full of sugar… or is it?🍌 🍫
Have you ever been told you shouldn’t be having (insert snack of choice) because it’s FULL of sugar? As if sugar is something that’s inherently bad? Wouldn’t a banana be a better option than a snickers for example?
The reality is there is nothing ‘bad’ about sugar. We need sugar – it’s a great source of easy energy and it also tastes great. Sugar is made up of two components, fructose and glucose. The molecular structure is the same no matter where they come from. Fruit contains fructose, glucose and also some sucrose (a combination of fructose and glucose). Sweets/ ice creams etc will tend to be higher in sucrose.
This is a great example – a snickers actually has considerably less sugar than a medium banana. The snickers does have more calories, and fewer micronutrients than the banana and you’d probably feel fuller for longer with the banana thanks to the additional fibre etc. The fibre slows digestion making it more filling (and good for your gut heath). This means you’re less likely to want to eat more later, and it’s better for your blood sugar levels. So objectively the banana is a better choice health-wise.
Foods also provide other things – such as pleasure, convenience etc. So if you fancy a snickers as an afternoon pick me up then go for it – as long as it fits your calorie goal for the day. If you prefer a banana than go for that! In terms of the impact on weight/fat loss there will be very little difference as long as you stay within your daily calories and are aware the snickers will be a less filling option. And in terms of sugar content the banana is actually higher.
I’m not suggesting the snickers is better for you than a banana, nor am I suggesting you avoid fruit in favour of chocolate lol! I’m just suggesting we recognise that no foods are ‘bad’, and that as part of a balanced, healthy diet you can have both! Sometimes the snickers will be what you need, sometimes the banana!