Many nutritionists advise people to eat vegetables and fruits and avoid soda. You should sweeten your foods conservatively with natural alternatives like maple syrup or organic honey.

These options are less processed than refined sugar. They contain many beneficial substances like antioxidants. A number of new studies, however, have left many people speculating if these “better-for-you sweet foods” are really all right to consume, especially for weight loss.

Researchers from the University of Southern California reviewed the responses of 24 volunteers who consumed flavored beverages sweetened with fructose (1st day) and glucose (2nd day). It was revealed in the brain scans that there was greater activity in the area of the brain of people after consuming fructose. All of the respondents were asked if they would eat the food instantly, or skip it for a monetary bonus. More respondents choose the instant food reward when they were drinking fructose.

According to the researchers, the results imply that, compared to glucose, fructose has lesser of an appetite-suppressing effect, and may be more likely to cause eating,

What is the difference between fructose and glucose? When a person consumes glucose, his pancreas secretes insulin. Insulin allows the cells to use it for energy and it tells the brain that a person received fuel, which controls the appetite. Fructose does not stimulate the secretion of insulin; the brain may not be getting a message “Stop Eating!”

Maple syrup, honey, fresh fruit, molasses, and even some vegetables such as sugar snap peas, all contain fructose. But this does not mean that you have to get rid of the lot.

Why can’t we stop having sugar when it’s disgusting and killing us?

Many groups are trying their best to educate the world on how limiting sugar intake can help a lot to make people healthier. Many studies for many years indicated that sugar is a serial accomplice of so many illnesses in this modern civilization. Diabetes and obesity are the apparent problems caused by over-consumption of the sweet things.

The obesity epidemic has been a health problem for so many years; unfortunately, Type 2 diabetes is its best friend. This type of diabetes has increased threefold in the past thirty years. It corresponds with the explosion of sugary foods. On the other hand, there are so many other conditions and illnesses that have lesser-known relationship to sugar. The list is pretty long: depression, high blood pressure, acne, hypoglycemia, fatigue, hyperactivity, tooth decay, headache, aching extremities, and violent behavior.

It seems that the world pays a huge price for having a sweet tooth. Not only people consume plenty of sugar and make themselves ill, but it does not have any nutritional value at all. Many sweet products do not contain fiber, vitamins, enzymes, and minerals. But those molasses and honey lovers may obtain some benefits because these sweeteners have trace amounts of some nutrients.

Sure thing, sugar really tastes great. It is in the DNA of humans to crave for sugar. According to an evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman of Harvard University, sugar is a very deep ancient craving. Ancient people looked for sweet vegetable and fruits because they contained good amount natural sugars that give energy. Cavemen were never tempted to eat Toblerone or Cadbury chocolate bars.

How much humans crave for sugar?

On an average, Americans consume 765 grams of sugar (every 5 days). In 1822, they consumed an average of 45 grams every 5 days. That is equivalent to a can of soda. Today, Americans consume 17 times that amount or equal to 17 soda cans.

Annually, Americans consume about 6 kilograms of sugar. In 1882, our predecessors ate less than 5 kilograms of sugar yearly. 6 kilograms of sugar each year is roughly one and a half kilo a week. That is equivalent to approximately 1,610 kilograms in an average lifetime.

The recommended daily sugar intake is less than 10 teaspoons according to the American Heart Association. Unfortunately, an average American adult gobbles down about 22 teaspoons daily, while an average child consumes about 32 teaspoons.

Here are the unknown facts about natural sugar that you have to know today:

1. You can enjoy healthy sugar with fruits.

Fresh fruits help you enjoy a healthy sweet treat without upsetting your appetite or gaining weight. While fruits are natural sources of fructose, the sweetener is also bundled with water, fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. Fructose is not concentrated in fresh fruits. For example, a cup of blueberries naturally contains more or less 7 grams of fructose, along with 3.5 grams of fiber and other key nutrients.

On the other hand, a 12-once soda can, which was sweetened with corn syrup contains approximately 22.5 grams of fructose, with no nutrients or fiber. Also, the fluid and fiber, you get from eating fresh fruits positively impact satiety and fullness.

2. The amount and form of fructose matter.

Stick with fresh fruit if you are very particular with appetite and fructose. Also, remember that if you eat dried fruits, the portion shrinks by approximately three quarters, so you must consume a serving no bigger than the size of a golf ball.

This also applies to fruit juice. Many people love to have fresh-squeezed grapefruit or orange juice at breakfast, but it is suggested by health experts to take a shot, and not a tall glass. Also, make sure you get as much pulp as possible.

3. You should not drink your sugar.

A study conducted at the University of South Carolina has shown that sugar in the form of a thin liquid is not as filling as the solid one. You cannot balance it by consuming less food when you drink lemonade, sweet tea or a soda. This simply means that the added calorie just adds to the overall intake, and if a person does not burn them off, you will either stop weight loss or add more fat cells.

It is highly recommended to pick solid sweet treats if possible made with ingredients that are packed with nutritional value. You can look for new healthy recipes online to make sure you will feed yourself with a healthy, sweet treat.

4. Thicker drinks can suppress hunger.

There are studies that have shown that thickness prompts people to think a food is more filling. Researchers from the University of Sussex asked some volunteers to rate how filling they think some think and creamy drinks. The volunteers identified how much solid food they believe would need to eat to feel the same level of fullness. It was concluded that thickness and not creaminess, impacted the belief that a drink would suppress hunger better.

It was indicated in two more studies that thicker drinks were found to curb actual hunger more than thinner kinds of beverages with the levels of calories. This is the main reason chia seeds are amazing. They can soak up water to produce a thick, gel-like texture, which adds a satisfying element to sweetened smoothies, parfaits, and puddings.

5. You should limit sweets in general.

It is very difficult for someone to totally eliminate sugar only to feel intense cravings, and in the long run, break down, and indulge eating sweets. You have to know that even the strictest diet or suggestions on sugar, from institutions like AHA, does not suggest to completely eliminate sugar in your life.

AHA said that the target for extra sugar every day should not exceed 9 teaspoons for men and 6 teaspoons for women. This means adding a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey to yogurt with little dark chocolates daily, or eating dessert occasionally is well within the limits. These are also far less than the 22 teaspoons consumed by an average American every single day.

Sugar is addictive just like cocaine. It would be very beneficial to you if you start being conscious of your sugar consumption. You have a strong fighting chance if you are always aware what you are chugging. Check the labels and choose the reduced sugar products. Today, you have to realize that your body is not adapted to so much sugar.