Sugar

By Alyssa Morlacci
Updated on 11. Jun. 2020

Although sugar is one of the purest natural products, it should be enjoyed sparingly.

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Sugar...

  • ...speeds up aging. There is a clear connection between our aging process and high sugar consumption. Too much sugar can cause the skin to become inflamed and the tissue fibers to stick together.
  • ...harms teeth. Sugar attacks the tooth enamel and leads to tooth decay. Even brushing your teeth well after snacking cannot completely prevent this from happening..
  • ...makes the blood sugar fluctuate. Many people seek out sweets when they are tired and still have to perform. Sugar can give us an energy kick because it makes our blood sugar levels shoot up immediately. The effect lasts only for a short time, however, and then the blood sugar level drops again.
  • ...promotes diseases. Too much sugar can promote diabetes and lead to fatty liver. New studies also show high sugar consumption can also damage the heart and circulation.
  • ...is often fattening. The body simply absorbs and processes sugar quickly.
  • ...can be addictive. Some people experience withdrawal symptoms when they give up sugar.
  • ...contains little nutrients and vital substances. Sugar is composed of carbohydrates and calories; nothing else in terms of substances the body needs. Only tiny amounts of iron, zinc, copper and manganese are found in sugar.

What You Should Know About Sugar

A German chemist discovered the white crystals in the 16th century. Originally, only the precious and expensive sugar from sugar cane was known - until Andreas Sigismund Marggraf discovered in 1747 that sugar is also found in beets. The sugar beet (also known as white Silesian beet). Then in 1801, the world's first factory for sugar from beets was founded, and sugar beet became considerably cheaper than sugar cane.

The beets cultivation and production methods have not changed significantly in the last 200 years. Of course, the factories are now highly technical, but beet cultivation itself still meets even the strictest criteria in terms of sustainability, and the following still applies: sugar is a purely natural product. To extract it from beets, the process is basically the same as in 1801: the sugar is extracted from the plant parts and then crystallized.

The end product is what we usually mean when we think of sugar: the so-called refined sugar, which can be bought coarsely, medium and finely granulated and from which other types of sugar can be made. If refined sugar is finely ground, for example, it becomes icing sugar; if the refined sugar is moistened, pressed and shaped, the result is sugar cubes.

Hail sugar in turn is nothing more than coarse-grained, granulated refined sugar. If the sugar is allowed to crystallize particularly slowly, you get rock candy, which was originally only a white color. However, it is also possible to caramelise the refined sugar before crystallising and thus obtain brown rock candy. Brown sugar is produced according to the same principle.

Exception to this rule: Brown cane sugar (but also light cane sugar) is not produced from sugar beets but from sugar cane. Cane sugar is neither healthier than sugar from beets nor does it differ significantly in its composition. The only difference, apart from the different plant, is the slightly malty taste of molasses, which is a by-product of the production process.

Origin

Sugar cane has been growing for as long as anyone can remember, especially in the Caribbean; sugar beet has been available throughout Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia and other countries for centuries.

Season

Sugar is available in all of its varieties throughout the year.

Taste

Sugar tastes sweet.

How Healthy Is Sugar?

No matter the variety of sugar, it's best consumed in very small quantities. If you are hungry or tired, a piece of sugar will provide a jolt of energy because the sweetness of sugar is regarded by the brain's reward systems.

Sugar contains no residues of medicines or pesticides, heavy metals or natural toxins, pathogens, saturated fatty acids, purines or cholesterol.

But apart from that, sugar offers minimal health benefits. It damages tooth enamel, can lead to obesity and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Experts say sugar provides "empty calories." For some people, foods rich in sugar can be addictive. Sugar should be consumed with caution, so we should enjoy it in moderation like a precious spice and always brush our teeth afterward. The WHO says women should not consume more than about 5 teaspoons and men a maximum of about 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. People who are already overweight should avoid sugar altogether or limit themselves to 2 1/2 to 3 teaspoons per day.

Nutritional values of sugar per 100 grams  
Calories 405
Protein 0 grams
Grease 0 grams
Carbohydrates 100 grams
Dietary Fiber 0 grams

What To Make With Sugar

Sugar not only sweetens our tea, coffee and desserts, but it can enhance flavors; sugar gives pastries a nice browning and gives the dough a better consistency, and it makes stewed fruit or jam last longer.

There are numerous sugar alternatives that are healthier than conventional household sugar. Try to live without sugar for a while. You will notice after a certain amount of time that it will not be difficult to live without sugar.

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