Know Your Sugar Part 3

Know Your Sugar Part 3

Artificial Sweeteners 
We’ve determined that simply avoiding a sugar because it is a sugar has no real scientific foundation. One problem with sugars, however, is that many products add an extremely high amount of sugar to sweeten the products. 
This, in turn, causes the product to be higher in calories. Because consuming more calories means you must expend more calories to reduce or manage your weight, this can be of concern. The alternative to using a natural or refined sugar is to use a reduced calorie sweetener. 
 
There are five major reduced calorie sweeteners on the market today. These are Acesulfame Potassium (Acesulfame-K), Aspartame, Saccharin, Stevia, and Sucralose. Are these products the answer to your woes? 
 
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. 
 
Artificial sweeteners must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in foods or as a table-top sweetener before they can be used by food processors or marketed for sale. Ingredient labels list any artificial sweeteners in a product. 

Acesulfame-K 
Acesulfame-K (ace-K) was introduced in 1967. It is 200 times sweeter than table sugar (sucrose). According to studies, this sweetener is not absorbed in the body but passes through unchanged. How many studies? Around 90 studies have been conducted on this sweetener, with no documented health risks. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), however, reports that the product can break down to acetoacetamide. This chemical has been shown to affect the thyroid in rats, rabbits, and dogs. Administration of 1% and 5% acetoacetamide in the diet for three months caused benign thyroid tumors in rats. 

Aspartame 
Aspartame was introduced in 1965. It is a low-calorie sweetener that is also 200 times sweeter than sucrose. Aspartame loses flavour 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. Aspartame is made from two amino acids (the building blocks of protein): L-phenylalanine and L-aspartic acid. More than 200 studies have been performed and the only documented health risks are to people who suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU), who cannot metabolize the L-phenylalanine. This is why there is a PKU warning on any product that contains aspartame. While there are no conclusive, formal, documented cases of adverse health affects, many people report headaches after consuming products that contain aspartame. There is a large body of literature documenting adverse health issues arising from aspartame use. Other adverse affects that consumers have reported (but have not been independently verified) include seizures, dizziness, tremors, migraines, memory loss, slurring of speech, confusion, fatigue, depression, nausea, and worse. Because children lack a barrier of protection that prevents the wrong nutrients from entering the brain (which adults have), some doctors have recently suggested that aspartame should not be given to children. 

Saccharin 
Saccharin was discovered 100 years ago. It is a low calorie sweetener. It is one of the most studied ingredients in the food supply. More than 30 human studies have been conducted with saccharin, and no adverse health effects have been reported. In 1997, a study using rodents reported a rise in bladder tumors, although this may be related to an increase in sodium and other products that were contained in the experimental diet. The CSPI reports several studies that may indicate a rise in tumor activity that correlates to saccharin intake. 

Stevia 
Stevia is a plant that originated in the rainforests of Paraguay. It is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar, does not impact blood sugar and has zero calories. The leaves have been used for over 1,500 years by the Guarini Indians of Paraguay. It was discovered and introducd to Europe by M. S. Bertoni in 1899. While Stevia has since become a very popular sweetener because it is natural, the FDA has yet to approve it as a food source it remains classified as a dietary supplement. 

Sucralose 
Sucralose (Splenda) is a non-caloric sweetener made from sugar. It was discovered in 1976. A sugar molecule is modified to replace a hydroxyl (water) group with a chloride (chlorine) group. This creates a product on average 600 times sweeter than table sugar, which theoretically will pass through the body without being metabolized. Over 100 studies have been conducted using sucralose in order to approve it as a food additive. 

Are these sweeteners really worth it? 
While there are many anecdotal reports of negative side effects, none of these have been confirmed through scientific investigation. In contrast, there is no anecdotal evidence whatsoever linking consumption of natural sugars such as fructose, honey, lactose, etc. with cancers, tumors, headaches, or other problems other than diabetes. Many diabetics use the glycemic index to control their food intake, and virtually many natural (unrefined) sugars fall within acceptable ranges for consumption based on those guidelines.

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The Story of Sugar

The Story of Sugar

Historically, sugar was made by pressing the juice from the cane and boiling away the water. The product retained its critical vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients. With industrialisation came new ways to employ less people and the new sugar technology was born. 

Now sugar was made by dividing the cane juice into two substances; ultra-refined, 99.6% pure sucrose and nutrient-dense molasses which was fed to animals. The sucrose portion is easily dried, stores for longer, pours easier and transports easier, making it more economical in terms of human labour and wastage. Modern manufacture of sugar from cane juice also employs a potpourri of chemicals such as sulphur dioxide, lime, phosphoric acid, bleaching agents & viscosity reducers. 

This new type of sugar was marketed well. 

It was white, a very important colour to the growing western middle class mid-last century. To have white goods, white flour, and white sliced bread, white gloves was the height of social success. By the mid 1950s it was considered shameful if your mother made her own brown bread or you had an old-fashioned icebox. Unfortunately white sugar – any refined sugar – creates havoc within our bodies and like anything refined, it is highly addictive. Once refined, sugar is no longer a food, it is a drug. And today, most of the western world is addicted. (One wonders if the supermarket chains would stay in business without pushing it.) 

Rapadura along with a traditional Indian 
medicine called Jaggery, are the only sweeteners made from sugar cane that are not refined. 
They are squeezed, dried, and ground, that’s it. The juice is not separated, dried and then reunited with its more nutritious counterpart (molasses) in artificial proportions, as are raw, brown and black sugar, 

Demerara and sucanat. 
Rapadura delivers vitamins, minerals and other trace elements as well as the sweet taste that all humans desire, and need. We have sweet taste buds for good reason. Sweet foods in nature provide us with high quality vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium. As long as we balance the sweet taste with the other four (sour, bitter, salty and pungent), according to Chinese medicine, we will maintain good health. 

Using unrefined sweeteners like honey, dehydrated cane juice, agave, maple syrup and palm sugar will help bring your sugar addiction under control, as they don’t behave like drugs in the body. However, you’ll still need a little help from your mind to rebalance your body’s innate desires. It helps me to imagine the amount of effort needed to grow, harvest and process the sweeteners I eat. Living in tribal or even semi agrarian society, how much time would be allocated for providing this food? I’ve estimated that sweeteners should be eaten around 3 times a week at most to replicate ancient food ways and I’m guessing that’d be best for my body too. What do you think? 

Rapadura is made from organically grown sugar cane from Colombia and Brazil through fair trade programs. For this reason it is more expensive than other sugars which degrade our soils, our water, and our bodies not to mention the standard of living of the 3rd world farmers who grow the stuff. It’s worth it to buy Rapadura from your local health food shop. You can buy it in bulk or packaged, in chocolate (Rapunzel) or drinks (Santa Cruz soft drinks), even the Ozganics range of sauces have dried cane juice. Use it by substituting 1 for 1 with raw sugar in recipes using whole foods such as eggs, butter, cream and other whole milk products, nuts, coconut, arrowroot, fruit and eat the result knowing you are eating a whole food. It tastes mildly like toffee due to the molasses content. 
You can order Rapadura in bulk from Santos Trading. As far as I know, Jaggery is not yet available in 
Australia.

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How in the world do I get my kids to go sugar free?

How in the world do I get my kids to go sugar free?

One of the questions I get asked most is, ‘How in the world do I get my kids to go sugar free?’

It’s a good, fair question because kids are almost force-fed the stuff from every angle and denying them access can seem cruel. Over the past two years of voicing my sugar-free message I’ve collated some tips and some great lunchbox ideas from experts, friends and commenters on my blog.

My top two tips are:

1. Lead by example 
Don’t keep sugar in the house. At all. Avoid talking about it, too. The more that the sugar-free experience is normalised, the more kids will slip into line.

2. Get the kids involved 
Take them shopping and have them to help you find the ‘good’ sugar-free yoghurt, the cereal with no sugar and have them find the best stuff to eat on the tuckshop menu and when out at restaurants. The more they own the process, the less friction.

 

Article submitted by Sarah Wilson for I Quit Sugar

For more tips on getting your kids sugar free buy Sarah’s new book I QUIT SUGAR. Published by Pan Macmillan, RRP $34.99. Available now.

 

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What to look out for to follow a sugar free diet

What to look out for to follow a sugar free diet

It is believed that cane sugar was discovered before the birth of Christ. As early as 500 B.C., India was said to have a “reed which gives honey without bees.” This reed would later become known as sugar cane.

The invasion of Arabs into India nearly 1,000 years later in 642 A.D. led to the spread of sugar cane to the rest of the world. The Arabs discovered sugar cane and learned how it was processed by the Indians. They brought the cane with them as they conquered much of Europe, introducing it to lands such as North Africa and Spain. For many years, however, the rest of Europe was stuck with honey, because sugar did not make it to the west until the crusades. The first record of sugar in England occurs in the year 1099.

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.

Invert Sugar, Mannitol, Sorbitol, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maltodextrins, granulated sugar,  and Xylitol. Added sugars can come from corn, beet, grape or sugar cane, which are processed before being added to foods. Sugars can also be naturally occurring (in fruit) or added (in soda).

Sugar provides the sweet flavour to foods to which it has been added, and it may also act as a preservative and flavour 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 gives the body energy, but too much sugar is unhealthy. Sugar,  provides 16 calories per teaspoon, but 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.

The body actually uses all sugars the same way- it changes them to glucose, which is what our body uses for energy. However, in order to get long-lasting energy for your body, you need to eat more complex sugars (or carbohydrates) such as whole grain products. Eating too many simple sugars, like from soda or sweets, gives you quick energy or a “sugar high” which is quickly gone, leaving you feeling sluggish. You can avoid eating too much sugar by being smart and knowing how to find it on a label.

Find sugar in ingredients listings by looking for –ose at the end.

Examples:

  • Glucose- fruits, vegetables, honey, milk, cereal
  • Fructose- fruits, vegetables, honey
  • Galactose- milk products
  • Sucrose- fruits, vegetables, table sugar
  • Lactose- milk products
  • Maltose- malt products, cereal
  • Dextrose

If you can take a few minutes to read nutrition labels amid the chaos of family grocery shopping, you will find sugar as an ingredient in a surprising number of foods like peanut butter, canned tomatoes, salsa, canned chicken soup, deli-meats and pancake mix. Many juices and beverages also contain sugar.

DID YOU KNOW???

  • One 350ml can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar!!! That is about 10 teaspoons, which is your entire daily limit of sugar!!!
  • Soda is the number one source of sugar in the U.S. diet, and other sweetened drinks are not too far behind
  • Foods with added sugars are often high in calories and low in nutrition.
  • Too much of these foods can lead to excessive weight gain

Sources: http://www.everydiet.org

 

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SUGAR SUGAR!

SUGAR SUGAR!

I know I focus a lot on the fats found in food but I also look at other areas as well. Saturated fats, salt and especiallysugar need to be monitored.

Sugar is one of the hidden calories that we often don’t realise could be affecting us more than just on the scales but with our general health and wellbeing. When your body processes the sugars consumed, if there is more sugar than the body needs it is turned into acid, which is not a good thing for anyone’s body.

Did you know that there is 9 teaspoons of sugar in a 375ml can of soft drink and 43 teaspoons of sugar in a 2-litre bottle of soft drink? A 600ml carton of chocolate milk had a whopping 60g of sugar, which equals 12 teaspoons of sugar. To know how to work this out for your self read the nutritional label on products, where it says SUGAR remember that 5g of sugar equals 1 teaspoon of sugar. For example I’ve seen a small 170g tub of yoghurt that is 98% fat-free but has 25g of sugar (5tsps) that is ridiculous. Be careful when having low fat products as they can be high in sugar or salt, which is a way for them to increase the flavour when fat is removed.

The health risks of an over consumed sugar diet can lead to type 2 diabetes, coronary problems, obesity, suppression of the immune system, tooth decay, kidney problems, depression and hypertension can occur. Remember what I always say … everything in moderation is the key to weight loss success.

Reduce or avoid products that have sugar or high-fructose near the top of their ingredient list. Sugar can also be disguised as cane juice, cane sugar, glucose, sucrose, maltose, malt dextrin, dextrose, sorbitol, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, barley malt, caramel, and carob syrup.

Here are some quick ways to reduce cane sugar in your diet:

1. Avoid highly sweet cereals and opt for high fibre instead. Don’t sprinkle sugar over cereal and instead add fresh or dried fruit.

2. Don’t add sugar to coffee or tea. It takes on only a couple of weeks to get used to the taste and I guarantee once you quit you will never go back again. Ask anyone who has done this and I bet if they had a cuppa with sugar in it now that it would be horrible.

3. If you can stop having soft drink, and that includes diet soft drinks, it will help stop your sweet tooth from getting worse, this way you will crave it less.

COLUMN BY ANNETTE SYM – Annette’s cookbooks SYMPLY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE 1-6 are sold in all good newsagencies

Visit Annette’s website www.symplytoogood.com.au for more recipes and tips.

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Sugar Substitute Decoder

Sugar Substitute Decoder

Sugar Substitute Decoder:

 

  • Acesulfame Potassium E950
  • Aspartame E951
  • Sodium Cyclamate E952
  • Isomaltitol E953
  • Saccharin E954
  • Sucralose E955
  • Alitame E956
  • Thaumatin E957
  • Glycyrrhizin E958
  • Neohesperidine dihydrochalcone E959
  • Neohesperidin, DC, NHDC
  • Steviol Glycosides E960
  • Neotame E961
  • Aspartame-acesulfame salt E962
  • Maltitol E965
  • Lactitol E966
  • Xylitol E967
  • Erythritol E968
  • Erythritol E968
  • Quillaia Extract E999
  • Maltodextrin
  • Stevia
  • Rebaudioside A
  • Sorbitol E420
  • Mannitol E421

 

Source: http://www.saynotomsg.com/basics_list.php

 

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