Since I recently posted on making brittle, I will briefly discuss sugars.
Many food products have either sugar, glucose or fructose as added ingredients. Sucrose is often made from sugar cane or sugar beets and is the most commonly found ingredient in soft drinks and foods.
Fructose is the sugar produced by fruits and lactose is the sugar found in milk.
Sucrose and lactose have similar structures as do glucose and fructose.
Sucrose and lactose (as well as many starches) are broken down into glucose in our digestive tract. We need a steady level of glucose to remain healthy - the body produces insulin to control the amount of glucose - extra glucose is turned into fat which can be changed back to glucose when needed. Diabetics have problems producing insulin in their livers and end up with too much glucose in their bloodstream which makes them hyperglycemic. They need to either very strictly control their intake of sugars and starches and/or take insulin to make up for what their body is not producing.
A healthy body balances our sugar intake with insulin production - and if we eat too much sugar (my bad..) we create fat!
We eat via food and drink tremendous amounts of sugar - sugar is added to almost everything since it tastes so good!
One hundred and fifty-six pounds. That's how much added sugar Americans consume each year on a per capita basis, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Imagine it: 31 five-pound bags for each of us.That's not to say that we get most of the sugar in our diets directly from the sugar bowl. Only about 29 pounds of it comes as traditional sugar, or sucrose, according to The Sugar Association, a trade group of sugar manufacturers. The rest comes from foods.Of course, those foods include things like candy, soda, and junk food. But plenty of sugar is hiding in places where you might not expect it.Some types of crackers, yogurt, ketchup, and peanut butter, for instance, are loaded with sugar -- often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, or HFCS. Use of this sweetener has increased 3.5% per year in the last decade, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). That's twice the rate at which the use of refined sugar has grown.
A 12 ounce (355 mls) bottle of soda has typically 35-39 grams of sugar! Would you sit down and eat 7 teaspoons of sugar? But you would drink a can of Coke (actually I don't - I find it way too sweet!) but even one of my favourites is root beer and it is just as sweet. Fruit juices are not much better even when they are pure juice (with no added sugar) - the fruit just contains fructose instead of sucrose.
Here is a video that shows just how much sugar this really is:
So read the labels!
* Disclaimer: the link is a hoax - dihydrogen monoxide = water H2O