WHAT IS SUGAR?
Sugars are the simplest form of carbohydrates and are found in all vegetables and fruits. Sugars are very important for our daily function as they provide the energy our cells need. All versions of sugar raise your blood sugar. There is a difference between nutrient deficient carbohydrates that are processed or fiber-filled carbs that are nutrient rich. Processed carbs such as donuts, white bread, pizzas, white pasta raise your blood sugar levels very fast. Nutrient rich carbs such as those in vegetables and low sugar fruits raise your blood sugar very slowly and are filled with live enzymes, minerals and fiber. Table sugar is sucrose a combination of fructose and glucose. It comes from sugar cane and beet.
Sugars are either monosaccharides or diasacchardies. Mono means "one" (di=two) and sacchardie means "two". Either one or two molecules stuck together.
Names of Sugar
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is white sugar that is slightly unrefined or has molasses added back to it.
- Dextrin: Large chains of glucose molecules stuck together.
- Dextrose:Same as glucose. This sugar comes directly from carbohydrates and is the only way we can determine blood glucose levels.
- Fructose:Fructose comes from fruits and is the twin brother of glucose. It is much sweeter than glucose and impacts the body differently.
- Glucose:The fuel the cells need for energy production. When your blood sugar is taken, it is glucose they are measuring.
- High fructose corn syrup:High fructose corn syrup is made from corn. It is a cheap alternative to sucrose (table sugar) and much sweeter, so less goes far. There is a lot of controversy and research around this sweetener.
- Lactose:Sugar found in milk and milk products.
- Maltodextrin:Larger than a disaccharide and used as "glue" to hold food together. It breaks down the same as glucose.
- Maltose:1/3 as sweet as sucrose and formed in the stomach when starches are digested.
- Agave:Comes from a plant in South America. It can be used as a natural sugar substitute or fermented into liquor such as tequila.
- Evaporated Cane Sugar:Same as sugar.
- Fruit Juice Concentrate: A combination of different juice concentrates, usually grape.
- Honey:Honey is produced by bees and very sweet. 1/2 fructose, 1/2 glucose.
- Maple Syrup:Comes from tree saps in the Northern Hemisphere. Contains some iron and zinc.
- Molasses:A honey like substance made when cane or beet sugar is processed.
- Xylitol:Xylitol exists naturally in berries, fruits, vegetables and mushrooms. Chemically it is a sugar alcohol not a sugar.