Natural vs. Processed Sugar: What’s The Difference?
This week we had a ton of interesting questions from the BuiltLean community. We included 5 of these questions below which range from the difference between natural vs. processed sugar to whether building muscle can get rid of loose skin. Certainly a mix of interesting questions related to exercise, nutrition, body composition, and general health.
- What’s the difference between natural vs. processed sugar?
- I’m Skinny But Gain Fat Easily. What Should I Do?
- Is drinking a lot of fizzy drinks bad?
- Can Building Muscle Get Rid Of Loose Skin?
- How to Expose Middle & Lower Abs?
Question #1 | What’s the difference between natural vs. processed sugar?
This is one area that I’ve always been confused about. When tracking my calories and nutritional info, I always noticed my grams of sugar eaten throughout the day was quite high, although it almost all came from natural sugar.” – Bryce
Regarding “natural” sugar, all plants produce sugar as a byproduct of photosynthesis. Fruits and vegetables have sugar in the form of fructose, which is broken down more slowly by the body than sucrose. In addition, fruits and veggies boast vitamins and minerals also have fiber to slow down the digestion of their natural sugars, which leads to more stable blood sugar levels.
At the end of the day, fat loss is primarily about calorie intake, but controlling sugar intake can help control hunger and allow fat stores to more readily release fat (insulin is more controlled). Hope that’s helpful! We definitely need to explore this concept of different types of sugars, how they affect insulin and fat storage, so thanks for the question. I’ve added it to our “new ideas” article database.
– Marc ( Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT)
Question #2 | I’m Skinny But Gain Fat Easily. What Should I Do?
A lot of guys are in your position in that they are not satisfied with how much muscle they have, but also believe they have too much body fat. Once you are lean, you can get a better sense of how much muscle you want to put on. Also, consider you can still get very strong at 150lb.
– Marc ( Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT)
Question #3 | Is drinking a lot of fizzy drinks bad?
It depends on what kind of carbonated beverages you’re drinking. If you’re drinking diet soda or soda/mineral water, these drinks don’t have any calories so they wouldn’t adversely affect your weight loss or fitness goals. Keep in mind, although diet sodas don’t have calories, they’re not exactly healthy either. You can read this article on sugar alcohols to find out more: Are Sugar Alcohols Bad For You?.
If you’re drinking normal soda or other sugary carbonated drinks, you’re getting a lot of unnecessary calories without any nutritional benefit. This won’t help you lose weight or get lean. You can find out more about sugar here: Are You Eating Too Much Sugar?.
As for your last question, drinking a lot of water with your meals could possibly affect your digestion. Some experts have found that excessive water intake during meals (several glasses) can dilute the hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes in your stomach. This could lead to bloating and abdominal distension after meals. It could also cause discomfort because of volume overload. However, if you don’t feel like it impairs your digestion, water is the best source of fluid intake. If you’re concerned about it, try limiting the amount of water you drink during a meal and see how you feel. Instead, try to drink more water between meals. Also, pay attention to how much salty foods you’re eating at your meals. Eating salty foods makes you thirstier, which could explain why you drink so much water at meal time. Hope that helps!”
– Kristin ( Kristin Rooke, CPT)
Question #4 | How to Get Rid of Lower Abs Fat?
Building muscle is not the only way to “”replace the part where the fat was”” but it can help. Something that a lot of people don’t know is that skin is an elastic organ, which can adapt to the shifts of weight going on underneath the skin. In some cases it takes up to two years for your skin to tighten itself back together depending on how much weight you lost, and the amount of time it takes. Finally, how much loose skin you may develop is based on the pace of weight loss (slow and steady is ideal) and your age (the younger you are, the more elastic your skin). Here’s a good article on the subject => “Loose skin”.
- Kwesi (Kwesi Peters, CPT, Community Manager)
Question #5 | How to Expose Middle & Lower Abs?
– John ( John Leyva, CSCS, CPT)