Sugar
The facts on types and where its hiding



Sugar has been around for thousands of years and as time changes, so has Sugar. You may have a view of it being “Natural” because it is derived from a plant (Cane), but unfortunately what looks like a pure white simple product is highly refined. It may well grow pure, but the process of removing every morsel of Protein, Dietary fibre, Vitamins and Minerals is not.

IT MAY TASTE GOOD BUT IT'S "NUTRITIONALLY DEAD".

Also over the years it has evolved into chemical manufactured Artificial Sweeteners, the likes of Saccharin, Cyclamate, Sucralose and Aspartame. Some of these are found in baking products, lollies (candy) and especially in diet soft drinks. These are in some instances hundreds of times sweeter than sugar.

Basically the only proven Health Risk is Tooth Decay as oral bacteria converts it into acids that attack tooth enamel. This can lead to other associated Health Risks, once the bacteria or infection gets into the bloodstream. Good Dental Hygiene is paramount, and should be done daily to help ensure healthy teeth and gums.

It can also lead to Weight Gain as it lends itself to High Fat content foods that are low in Minerals and other Nutrients and a noticeable decrease in physical activity in the population.




WHAT OTHER INFLUENCING FACTORS ARE THERE?

  • It Makes Fat more Palatable.
  • Its introduction can make “Fat Rich” foods taste better. Cakes, Biscuits, Pastries, Confectionary Products, most of these would not be consumed if their sugar content was removed.

  • Has a tendency to displace more nutritious foods from the diet.
  • People will nearly always let their taste buds over ride “Good Nutrition”. As a result sweet-laden foods are chosen, it slips down so easily and is not filling. And as mentioned above will have a tendency to be high in fat and add to your waistline. Remember to eat more Grains, Cereals, Fruits and Vegetables.

  • Consumption should be strictly monitored if suffering with Diabetes.
  • Because Diabetes sufferers cannot control their blood-sugar levels it is imperative that they understand where their sugar consumption and amounts are coming from. They need to eat low G.I. foods and continually monitor their blood-sugar levels to ensure a normal life.




    IS THERE ANY GOOD NEWS?

    In small quantities it is fine. Good Nutrition is also about “Balance”, in moderation it can enhance your pleasure of the foods you enjoy. Athletes need to replace or replenish their energy stores after strenuous exercise. A piece of fruit or a fruit juice drink will assist in replacing Muscle Glycogen levels, as it is a Carbohydrate and is easily absorbed.




    WHERE WILL YOU FIND IT?

    Obviously it is in sweet products like Confectionary, Cakes, Biscuits, etc. But it can also be in large amounts in items such as Yogurts, added to Fruit Juices, Breakfast Cereals, Canned Vegetables, Bread Rolls, Buns and much more (too much to list here). It is even present in some Medicines and Vitamin tablets.

    You have to be aware of your consumption because if you consume too much your body will convert it to Body Fat stores, as it does not excrete excess amounts.




    DIFFERENT TYPES OF SUGAR.

  • GLUCOSE.
  • Is a simple sugar and is the main source of energy used by the body. It can be found in small quantities in fruits, vegetables and honey. All other types and Complex Carbohydrates are eventually broken down into Glucose.

  • LACTOSE.
  • This is found in Cows Milk and Breast Milk. It makes up approximately 2-8% of Milk by weight. Breast Milk contains much greater amounts of Lactose than both Cows and Goats milk.

  • FRUCTOSE.
  • It is found in Tree Fruits, Honey, Berries, Melons and some Root Vegetables such as Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips, Beets and Onions. It is sometimes referred to as the “Healthier Alternative” because of its connection with fruits. It is the sweetest of all the carbohydrate sugars and therefore less is required.

  • SUCROSE.
  • This is what you will find at home. It is regular white sugar but it can also be,Molasses, Treacle, Raw, Golden syrup, Brown, Caster and Icing.

  • MALTOSE.
  • This is found in Sprouting Grains and Malt. The production of Maltose from germinating cereals is an important part of a Brewing process. The metabolism of Maltose by yeast during fermentation then leads to the production of ethanol and carbon dioxide.

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    It’s impossible to completely isolate it from your Diet and neither is this step necessary. Understanding where it is in different foods and like most things, if consumed in moderation, it is OK.

    When you look at a Food Label it is a good idea to take note of the total amount, per serve in grams and divide that number by four (Remembering that 4g = 1 tsp). This will then give you an indication of how many teaspoons are contained in one serve.

    Also read the List of Ingredients, see if there are any other types contained in the item. For example Golden Syrup, Honey, Corn Sweeteners, Sugar Alcohols (Sorbitol, Mannitol, Xylitol) and look for any Artificial Sweeteners.

    Learn to Read Food Labels and be confident and take control when it comes to your Nutrition.

    Click here for more information on ”How to understand Food Labels”

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