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What Is Sugar?

Posted Nov 11 2009 9:12am
What is sugar exactly?

Table sugar is just one form of sugar that we get in the diet. Sugars are carbohydrates, and they exist naturally in different forms and in all kinds of foods. The granulated sugar that you might sprinkle on your cereal is called sucrose, which is produced primarily by extracting the sugar from sugar beets or sugar cane, although it is present in lots of other plant foods, too. The primary sugar in fruits is called fructose, and there is a naturally occurring sugar in milk called lactose. When you consume a fruit, a vegetable or a dairy product, you can’t avoid consuming the natural sugar that these foods contain.

 

All sugars ultimately end up in the bloodstream in the form of glucose, which is the form of sugar that our body prefers to use for energy. While sugars in foods end up as glucose in the bloodstream, so do the end-products of the digestion of all carbohydrate-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and starchy foods.

We eat a lot of sugar–even in foods that don’t taste sweet. Aside from the obvious items like sodas, fruit drinks, sweetened cereals and desserts, sugar–in one form or another–finds its way into condiments, soups, breads and even savoury snacks like chips. The primary health hazard of eating too much sugar is tooth decay. The bacteria that live in your mouth can convert sugars into an acid that can destroy tooth enamel. Foods that are sweet and sticky, like fruit snacks or gummy candies are particularly a problem since the sugar stays in contact with the teeth.

How Sugar Impact Your Weight Loss Progress?

Does sugar make you fat? Certainly sugar adds extra calories to the diet, and extra calories mean extra weight. Most studies have focused on soda consumption, and several have concluded that as soda consumption increases, so does the risk of obesity. Part of the problem with beverages is that they don’t fill us up–so we can consume a lot of calories in these sweet liquids and still consume regular solid foods, too, before we feel full.

The other issue is that many foods that are high in added sugars are also high in fats and calories–cakes, pastries, ice cream and candy bars are just some of the sweet foods we eat that are loaded down with fat and calories. Food manufacturers are more than happy to accommodate America’s sweet tooth–sugar is inexpensive and adds a lot of taste to foods. To know how much sugar you are eating, it’s important to understand that many forms of sugar are added to foods. By reading the label, you may not realize how much sugar a food really contains.

Here are some other forms of sugar that you might see on a label: sucrose, fructose, glucose, dextrose, lactose, maltose, invert sugar, raw sugar, turbinado sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, confectioner’s sugar, maltodextrin, corn syrup, highfructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup and molasses.

One popular breakfast cereal marketed to children has the following ingredients: corn, sugar, corn syrup, modified cornstarch, canola oil and high-fructose corn syrup, followed by some vitamins, minerals, and artificial colors and flavors. This cereal isn’t much more than a bowl of sugar, oil and starch.

When you look at a food label, the sugar content is listed–in grams per serving–just under the total carbohydrate listing. But this includes all sugars in the food including natural sugars, so it can be deceptive. For instance, a bran cereal with no added sugar but with raisins in it might look as high in sugar as a sugary kid’s cereal. But there is a big difference in the nutritional value of the two foods, since one might contain only the natural sugar from the fruit, while the kid’s cereal will contain all added sugar.

It is very important to know how much sugars that we are actually taking into our body. No doubt that cereals could look healthy, but when looking at label it contains quite high sugar content. If you wanted to manage your weight, the best way is to take lesser drinks like soda water or take lesser sweet food like donuts with toppings and also lesser junkies like chips. The lesser artificial sugars intake you give you long term results in managing your weight and that is how sugar impact on your weight loss progress.

Article Source: Sugar and Weight Loss

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