When it comes to sugar in your diet, the key thing to note is that not all sugar is created equally. Choose the right type of sugar and it won't have too large of an influence over your health - and could actually improve it. Choose the wrong type of sugar however, and this will not be the case.
Not only will you be packing on body fat quickly, but you'll also be at a much higher risk of developing diabetes as well. Learning which types of sugar are good and which are to be avoided is critical for your success.
Natural Food Based Sugars
The first type of sugars you'll find are natural food based sugars. These are sugars that are found naturally occurring in foods you eat. For instance, you will find sugars in the carrots you had at lunch. Now clearly, carrots are a healthy food packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Not something that you want to omit from your diet just because you're watching your sugar intake. Likewise, fruit is very high in sugars, but here again, they are natural fruit sugars that also come packed with antioxidants and vitamins. Additionally, it contains 50% fructose, which is not put into the blood stream, but rather moves into the liver tissues. This means it won't have as large of an influence on blood sugar. Fruit, as long as it's eaten in moderation, is also not going to need to be removed from the diet. There's also sugars found in dairy products in the form of lactose (dairy sugar), which don't necessarily need to be omitted either. What you do want to watch for however is dairy products that have additional sugar added. This would be foods such as fruit flavored yogurt or fruit-on-the-bottom cottage cheese. Those you want to stay away from.
Which brings us to the bad type of sugar. Table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, dextrose, invert sugar, glucose, maltose, sucrose, and fruit juice concentrate are all names for sugar that should be avoided. Each of these will have a different molecular make-up however they all will have the same impact on the body: quickly rising blood glucose levels and a sure of inulin flooding the system. Furthermore, unlike the sugars mentioned above, they do not come packaged with other nutrients for the body, so are just all around unhealthy choices to be consuming.
Natural Simple Sugars
Which finally brings us to naturally occurring simple sugar. This would be things like maple syrup, honey, and molasses. These are made by nature and do contain some additional nutrients in very small amounts, so are ever-so-slightly better than the sugar described just above. Just note, they are still going to have the very similar influence on blood glucose levels and insulin production because they are lacking the dietary fiber or protein to go along with the sugar, like which was found in the fruits, vegetables, and dairy products listed above. So for this reason, you should still be minimizing them as much as possible. They might be ever so slightly better than spooning on some table sugar but don't let yourself believe they are 'healthy' by any means. The only healthy form of sugar to be consuming is that which is found naturally in unprocessed foods. Choose these sugars only and your diet will significantly improve.