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Sugar, The Sweet Truth

Updated on March 9, 2013

What is Sugar?

Food we eat basically contain either one or several of this; protein, fat, carbohydrate, mineral, vitamin, fiber and water. They all play their role in the proper functioning of our body.

Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly in the form of sucrose, lactose, and fructose characterized by their sweet taste. The common table sugar (sucrose) is the most complex form of all sugar and the sweetest of them all which comes mainly from sugar cane plant. It is the most difficult to digest amongst the three and yet hold the most blamed. Other sugars are lactose (milk sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), maltose (from bailey malt), and dextrose.
Other forms of carbohydrate are starch found in grain flour (bread, cake, & cookies), rice, yam, potato, sago, and tapioca.

All carbohydrates be it sugar or starch will be digested by our system into it simplest form glucose, that can be used by our body to provide all the energy we need and fueled all the activities in our cells.

The Sweet Truth of Sugar (Carbohydrate)
No matter where and what form of carbohydrate a person eat it will eventually digested to glucose to provide all the energy we need. Starch from rice, flour, potato or yam we eat will all eventually breaks down to glucose by our system. The same to all the sugar we find in honey, brown sugar, beet sugar or palm sugar they are all broken down to glucose.

Health Effect of Sugar
To our body glucose is glucose regardless of where it come from, the effect may be delayed as the process to break it down to glucose take different path defending on it source.
Your blood glucose might get an almost sudden surge if you take the simple sugar, glucose, or fructose compare to a heavy meal of potato which is loaded with starch which will only show after few hours. Starch being the most complex will have the most delay effect, for to break it down to glucose is more complex and difficult.
So if you got blood sugar problem don't just control your sugar intake but should do your carbohydrate count instead. Lowering your overall carbohydrate intake will lower your blood sugar level.

So far no research can conclusively identify the bad effect of sugar to our body. Some findings do suggest that high consumption of sugar then to result in the negative effect of obesity typical of high carbohydrate diet.

Types of Sugar and where it come from
Refined table sugar is made by refining raw sugar extracted from sugar cane or sugar beet. Sugar cane cultivated in the tropical countries like Brazil and sugar beet mainly grown in the temperate country.
Brown Sugar is raw sugar or semi refined sugar. The brown is just the impurity. Once refined it will yield the crystal clear/white table sugar.
Palm Sugar and Coconut Sugar (both then to be brown too), is both obtained from the sap of fruit bud of the respective palm, and can be considered natural. Maybe it it is a form of fructose.
Honey a very common natural sweetener is actually nectar of flowers collected laboriously by honey bees or trigona bees (a kind of bees that don’t sting).

Which Sugar to use?
To me it just a matter of taste and the psychological effect it creates on our brain. For variety do try the brown sugar, palm sugar or the best taste of all coconut sugar. Honey amongst the sweetest and the most expensive. For most is still the white table sugar that is refined from cane sugar or beet sugar. We just can hardly control the type of sugar we take, for most processed food we buy contains refined sugar.

Japanese Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato - loaded with carbohydrates in the form of starch & sucrose.
Sweet Potato - loaded with carbohydrates in the form of starch & sucrose.

Extra Reading

1, Be careful of brown sugar could be colored artificially.
2, The Icing Sugar normally contain anti-caking agent added to prevent it from sticking together.
3, Some adult don't produce the enzyme maltase, so consuming maltose found in milk could lead to stomach upset.
4, It is the same to some adult who don't digest starch in it raw state, so eating raw sweet potatoes or tapioca could lead to indigestion resulting frequent visit to the wash room.
5, A fainting diabetic could be the result of low blood sugar and should be given a glass of sweet drink of glucose or fructose to compensate for his low blood sugar level.
6,Some people saliva contains the enzyme amylase which will make plain bread taste sweet if he chew it long enough.
7, Sugar is the world largest crop.
8, 80 % of the world sugar come from sugarcane, the rest from sugar beets and very little from palms.
9, Not all sugar ended as food (sweetener), some is fermented to produce ethanol, a pollution free fuel.
10, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is made from sugar glucose.
11, Sugar is also produced commercially via the enzymatic hydrolysis of starch, from cornstarch,sago,wheat, rice, or tapioca/cassava depending on the availability of the raw material.

My personal experience with sugar with regard to tooth decay is negative. My four kids all developed sweet tongue. The only different is the two boys don’t like fruits, unlike the two girls. They all like cakes and cookies more than anything. The two girls developed tooth decay but not the two boys. To that I can conclude not the sugar & starch that creates the problem; it could be the acids from the fruits that eroded the teeth.


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    • profile image

      irene lee 4 years ago

      interesting ,thanks

    • Nagatang profile image

      Nagatang 5 years ago from Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia

      Common Knowledge does not necessarily correct, the common way of doing thing is not necessarily the best and most efficient method. Take for example our piston engines, it is not the the most efficient and cheapest to build and yet we continue to roll out million of it each years. Happy reading & Hubbing.

    • Ciel Clark profile image

      Ciel Clark 5 years ago from USA

      Great information! Most of the answers I got were not in favor of the sugar ban-- I asked that question after listening to a debate on NPR

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      Thanks for all the info. Interesting.

    • Irob profile image

      Irob 5 years ago from St. Charles

      I am glad you explained all of this, I have been on this since the sugar ban and touched on the science, I am linking your hub to a couple of mine, including The Frosted Flakes Fiasco.