Tuesday, October 23, 2007
While surfing the 'net I found this very sensible article on sugar. It busted some myths for me.. overconsuption of sugar does NOT cause diabetes (but it can aggrivate it once you have it), sugar is NOT linked to hyperactivity in children and it is NOT our enemy, but we need to keep it in moderation to make room for better foods.
I think, too, it can be addictive.. so once one begins to eat it, one wants more! (Just speaking for 'one' here.. lol)
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate. There are two types of sugars - monosaccharides, which include glucose, fructose and galactose, are made of one sugar molecule, and disaccharides are made of two sugar molecules linked together. Disaccharides are formed when monosaccharides combine - for example, when glucose and fructose are combined, they form sucrose, also known as table sugar. Other disaccharides include maltose, dextrose and lactose. When many sugar molecules are linked together, they form a complex carbohydrate, also known as a starch.
Sugar provides the sweet flavor to foods to which it has been added, and it may also act as a preservative and flavor enhancer. Sugar is used in a variety of foods, including cookies, cakes, pickles, ice cream, alcohol and jams and jellies. Types of sugar include raw sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses, maple sugar and corn syrup.
Sugar, which provides 16 calories per teaspoon, provides no vitamins and minerals, so it's a good idea to use it in moderation. Overconsumption of sugar, like other carbohydrates, has been linked to the development of cavities. However, sugar consumption has not been linked to hyperactivity in children. A high intake of sugar does not cause diabetes, but if a person is diagnosed with diabetes the amount of simple sugar eaten daily often needs to be reduced.
Artificial SweetenersTwo types of sweetenersâ€”sugar alcohols and no-calorie sweetenersâ€”are used to replace sugars in foods. It's not necessary to use artificial sweeteners to eat less sugar because foods taste just fine made with less sugar. Still, artificially sweetened beverages, yogurt and desserts are a popular alternative to sugary treats.
No-calorie sweeteners currently used in foods include saccharin, aspartame and acesulfame-K. Saccharin is about 300 times sweeter than table sugar (sucrose). It's used in several brands of table-top sweeteners, in canned foods and in low-calorie soft drinks.
Aspartame is 160 to 220 times sweeter than table sugar. Aspartame loses flavor in foods when heated. Although aspartame contains 4 calories per gram, the amount used is minute, so aspartame generally adds less than 1 calorie to a product per serving. Products that may contain aspartame include low-calorie beverages, sugar-free gelatins, yogurt, puddings, frozen desserts and cereals, as well as table-top sweeteners. Table-top sweeteners may contain an ingredient used as a filler that provides some calories. People with the condition phenylketonuria should not consume aspartame because their bodies are unable to metabolize it.
Acesulfame-K is 200 times sweeter than sugar. This newest of artificial sweeteners is being used in dry mixes for beverages, gelatin desserts, and puddings.
Thought for the Day
"Good friends are good for your health."
"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy! And happy people just don't shoot their husbands!"
Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde
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