Refined sugars are sugars and syrups that are modified, combined and/or processed to produce a standardized product such as white sugar.
Refined sugars add extra calories without adding any nutrients, antioxidants or fiber. Because refined sugars have no nutritional value, they break down very quickly when they are eaten giving you a quick burst of energy followed by a crash. In addition, when you eat too much sugar it is converted into fat.
Natural sugars are found in foods such as dates. These sugars may be concentrated but they still contain many of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibers found in the whole food.
All the extra nutrition and fiber slows down the digestion of natural sugar. This gives you sustained energy.
The average American eats 74.5 pounds of sugar a year! That is over six pounds of sugar each month (or a bag and a half of white sugar)!
From 2001-2004 Americans ate a total of 22.2 teaspoons of sugar a day (355 calories, 88.8 grams, 47 hard candies) from all sources (Johnson et al. 2009).
Eating an extra 200 calories of sugar is equal to a potential weight gain of almost 21 pounds a year.
Since refined sugar is empty calories it promotes weight gain. In addition, consuming too much refined sugar in foods or beverages increases your risk of metabolic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and stroke (Hu 2013, DiNicolantonio et al. 2016).
Higher sugar intake is linked with worse psychological health (Knüppel et al. 2017).
Shocolat uses date syrup. This super tasty natural sugar is high in nutrients and antioxidants. One study found that 100 grams of date syrup contains 605 mg polyphenols, 357 mg tannins, 40.5 mg flavonoids, and 31.7 mg flavanols (Taleb et al 2016). Antioxidants from plant based foods can suppress inflammation and protect against chronic diseases (Serafini and Peluso 2016).
Date syrup contains bioactive polyphenols that can suppress the growth of bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli (Taleb et al 2016)!