From tomato sauce to peanut butter, added sugar can be found in even the most unexpected products.
Many people rely on quick, processed foods for meals and snacks. Since these products often contain added sugar, it makes up a large proportion of their daily calorie intake.
So, Let’s talk about sugar.
WHAT IS SUGAR?
SUGAR – is a general term for carbohydrates that are sweet in flavor and used in food production.
It is also made by the body for immediate energy, the storage of it, and is especially utilized by the brain.
It comes in all sizes and shapes and all are composed of 3 elements: carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
- Monosaccharides: The simplest form and that which is used by the human body is called GLUCOSE.
Other simple sugars that we find are:
- Fructose- found in fruit
- Galactose- found in dairy, sugar beets
- Ribose-formed by the human body by an enzyme process; a crucial element of our RNA and DNA
2. Disaccharides: Formed by 2 of the above monosaccharides.
- Sucrose- “table sugar”
- Lactose- milk sugar
- Maltose- from malt, a grain derivative
3.Oligosaccharides: These are long chains of sugars (unlike a bulkier starch) that include:
- Fructo-oligosaccharides- found in many vegetables
- Galactooligosaccharides- found in root plants such as chicory; excellent PRE- biotics for the health of the colon; an essential part of human tissue called glycolipids and glycoproteins.
4. Polysaccharides: These are the most complex of the sugar categories, consisting of multiple chains of subunits of the above 3 types: Starch is the main example of a polysaccharide.
A subcategory is that of Sugar starches including:
- Maltodextrin- a filler and thickener
- Corn syrup- a sweetener and thickener
- Dextrose- commercial glucose
- HFCS (high fructose corn syrup)-a cheap sugar manufactured for just that reason; a major health hazard.
The main sources are SUGAR CANE AND BEETS.
Since ANCIENT TIMES, sugarcane has been cultivated in tropical climates of South and Southeast Asia.
Sugar cane: a grass of which the stems contain SUCROSE; it is processed by hand or machine and the juice it yields becomes the crystals that the world waits for…!
Beets: the roots contain A LOT of SUCROSE; mechanical harvesting is followed by heavy processing and voile!
Some trivia…It was in 1492 when Chris Columbus brought the “stuff” called sugarcane back to the New World.
Food manufacturers add sugar to foods and drinks to:
- Enhance flavor, assist in the fermentation of bread and alcohol, maintain the freshness of baked products, preserve jellies and jam spreads.
GLYCEMIC INDEX (GI) OF SUGAR
This is a number that we assign to food that indicates how it may affect a person’s blood glucose (blood sugar) level.
Pure glucose has a GI of 100. So, we are comparing the food item with glucose.
The range is usually between 50-100.
It is not very accurate for assessing a person’s carbohydrate status because it does not take into context the total amount and other influences that the carb-containing food may have so that we only use it as a reference.
Carbohydrate counting remains the better tool for anyone needing to watch the sugar levels.
>RECENT EVIDENCE…animal research shows that high GI carb is associated with an increase in obesity.
Here are some GI numbers for food items:
- Lower GI and better for you: 55 or less: beans, intact grains, most vegetables, berries, apples, and peaches
- Medium GI: 56-70: not-intact whole wheat (refined, floured), pumpernickel bread, pita bread, basmati rice, boiled potatoes, grape juice, raisins, prunes, ice cream, sucrose, bananas
- High GI: white bread, most white rice, corn flakes, most breakfast cereals (unless labeled otherwise), pretzels, bagels, maltose, maltodextrins
Low GI food will release glucose more slowly and steadily so that for both non-diabetic and diabetic, this is just what is needed.
A high GI food causes a rapid rise in blood sugar. One who exercises or is experiencing a low blood sugar crisis “hypoglycemia” may need this quicker sugar boost.
Sugar is causing our children major health breakdowns. Not only is the sugar in drinks and other processed foods excessive, but it is also addictive!
DIABETES IS NOT THE ONLY PROBLEM Let’s see what sugar can do to your health:
- Suppress the immune system that is a set up for infections and cancer.
- Contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children
- Accelerate aging by its “glycation” end products
- Lead to elevation in triglycerides and “bad” LDL particles
- Contribute to osteoporosis
- Contribute to eczema in children
There is a DIRECT relationship between refined carbohydrates and the risk of dying from a heart attack.
Consumption of 10-15% of added sugar caused a 30% higher chance of death from a heart attack compared with less than 10% intake.
A 12 ounce can of SODA put you at high risk right off the bat!! Then, adding some cake, candy, ice cream, some ketchup, and bread and you essentially are a time bomb 💥.
Let’s see what research has found… There is a STRONG correlation of sugar with ALZHEIMER’S disease (AD).
NOTE: Billions of dollars have been spent on drugs that really do not work for this devastating disease that is even more prevalent today than ever. NO treatments have been proven to halt or reverse this disease.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION recommends that: NO MORE THAN ½ OF YOUR EXTRA (DISCRETIONARY) CALORIES COME FROM ADDED SUGAR.
What does this translate to??…
WOMEN: no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar (100 calories) daily; equivalent to ½ cup of ice cream or ½ can (about 6 ounces) non-diet soda.
MEN: no more than 9 tsp; equiv. to 12 ounces can of non-diet soda Beware: a 12 ounce can of soda contains 8 or more teaspoons of sugar!
RECOMMENDATION HERE: CLEAN WATER WITH A SQUEEZE OF LEMON!! This will never hurt your body unless you take in gallons a day!!!!!
All carbohydrates need to be looked at very carefully in the case of diabetes or pre-diabetes and adjustments for this are to be done as you learn about your condition and how to manage it with the help of nutritionists and information from reputable sources on diabetes.
Naturally occurring sugar is found in WHOLE UNPROCESSED FOODS: fruit, milk, vegetables, and grains.
The most common natural sugars are LACTOSE & FRUCTOSE.
Sugar (carbohydrate food) is needed to fuel the body. We cannot survive well without it and the lack of it can cause death, ultimately.
The key is to… AVOID ADDING OF SUGAR TO YOUR FOOD and limiting to WHAT YOU NEED and not WHAT YOU DESIRE.