Sugar : nutrition, shocking 5 adverse effects & 5 tips


(Corn syrup, fructose, maple sugar, maple syrup, molasses)
See also Honey.

Sugar Nutritional Profile

• Energy value (calories per serving): High
• Protein: None
• Fat: None
• Saturated fat: None
• Cholesterol: None
• Carbohydrates: High
• .Fiber: None
• Sodium: None
• Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins (molasses)
• Major mineral contribution: Iron (molasses)

How Many Nutrients in This Food

• The sugars we use in cooking table sugar (“white sugar”), brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup, maple sugar are all disaccharides (“double sugars”) made from units of fructose (“fruit sugar”) and glucose.

• Table sugar (also known as granulated sugar, white sugar, refined sugar, or simply sugar) is crystallized from sugar cane. Confectioner’s sugar is table sugar mixed with corn starch.

• Molasses and blackstrap molasses are by-products of table sugar production. Brown sugar is table sugar with added molasses; the darker the sugar, the more molasses. Raw sugar (a.k.a. turbinado sugar) is cane sugar with some of the natural molasses left in.

• Because of its impurities, true raw sugar cannot be sold legally in the United States; “raw sugar” at the supermarket is usually plain white sugar colored with molasses. Maple sugar is concentrated from the sap of the maple tree.

• Corn syrup is glucose extracted from corn starch, with sucrose or fructose added to make it sweeter. (Glucose is only half as sweet as sucrose.) With the exception of molasses, which has about 0.9 mg iron per table spoon (5 percent of the RDA for a woman, 11 percent of the RDA for a man), no sugar has an appreciable amount of any nutrient other than calories.

How To Serve Nutritious Sugar Food

• In moderation.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude Sugar Food

• Low-calorie diet
• Low-carbohydrate diet
• Sucrose-free diet

How To Buying Sugar Food

Look for:

Tightly sealed boxes or sacks of dry sugars. Avoid stained packages; whatever stained the outside may have seeped through into the sugar.

• Choose tightly sealed bottles or liquid sugars. The liquid inside should be clear; tiny bubbles and a gray scum on the surface of the sugar suggest that it has fermented.

How To Storing This Food

• Store solid sugars in air- and moistureproof containers in a cool, dry cabinet. Sugars are hydrophilic, which means that they will absorb moisture. If sugars get wet (or pick up excess moisture from hot, humid air), they will harden or cake.

• Store tightly sealed, unopened containers of liquid sugars such as corn syrup, maple syrup, and molasses at room temperature. Once the container is opened, you can store the sugar in the refrigerator to protect it from molds and keep the sugars from fermenting.

How To Preparing This Food

• Because they contain different amounts of water and have different levels of sweetness, sugars cannot simply be substituted equally for each other.

• As a general rule, one cup of white table sugar = one cup of firmly packed brown sugar = 1.75 cup confectioner’s sugar (which cannot be substituted in baking) = two cups corn syrup (with a reduction of liquid in baking and substitution of corn syrup for only half the sugar) = 1.3 cups molasses (with reduced liquid and no more than substitution for half the sugar in baking).

• To measure granulated white sugar, pour into a cup and use a knife to level. To measure brown sugar, pack tightly into a cup. Powdered (confectioner’s) sugar can be sifted or not, as the recipe dictates.

What Happens When You Cook Sugar Food

• When you heat sugar its molecules separate. The sugar liquifies, then turns brown. The browning is called caramelization. When you heat sugar in water it attracts molecules of water and forms a syrup that can be thickened by heating the solution long enough to evaporate some of the water.


Adverse Effects Associated with Sugar Food

Tooth decay.

Fermentable carbohydrates, including sugars, may cling to the teeth and nourish the bacteria that cause cavities. Regular flossing and brushing remove the sugars mechanically; fluoridated water hardens the surface of the teeth so that they are more resistant to bacterial action.

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Inability to metabolize sucrose.

People with diabetes do not produce enough insulin to metabolize sugar properly to glucose (the form of sugar circulating in our blood).

• When they eat sugar, excess glucose builds up in urine and blood. Some people have precisely the opposite problem, reactive hypoglycemia, an excess secretion of insulin that can trigger trembling, anxiety, headache, fast heartbeat, and difficulty in thinking clearly.

• If untreated, the results of both insulin insufficiency and insulin over-secretion may be life threatening.

Heart disease.

In some people, a high-carbohydrate diet may cause an increase in the level of triglycerides (fatty acids) in the blood, but this rise is only temporary in people whose weight is normal.

• People who are overweight tend, as a rule, to have levels of triglycerides that are consistently higher than normal. When they lose weight the levels of triglycerides fall.

• The theory that sugar causes heart disease, first proposed by British researchers in the 1960s, has been successfully refuted by long-term studies from several countries that show no correlation at all between sugar intake and the incidence of coronary heart disease.

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Possible hyperactivity in children.

The popular belief that sugared foods causes hyperactivity in children remains controversial.

• In the 1990s, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted studies in which children were given drinks sweetened with glucose, sucrose, or saccharin without the children or the testers knowing which child got what drink.

• The results showed no correlation between sugared drinks and hyperactivity. In fact, the children were generally quieter after drinking sugared beverages, an observation that is consistent with the accepted observation that consuming carbohydrates, including sugars,
facilitates the brain’s ability to produce the calming neurotransmitter serotonin.

• However, the NIH note that because refined sugars enter the bloodstream more quickly than complex carbohydrates such as starches (e.g., bread), they do produce fluctuation in blood glucose levels that might trigger the release of the “fight-or-flight” energizing hormone adrenaline, making a child more active for the moment.


Reactive hypoglycemia, an oversecretion of insulin in response to eating sugar, is a rare condition that causes trembling, anxiety, headache, fast heartbeat, and difficulty in thinking clearly. Hypoglycemia may also be caused by the presence of a pancreatictumor or an overdose of insulin. This is a more serious condition that, uncorrected, may lead to coma or death.


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