Postdate: 21 July 2016
Sugar is a natural ingredient in many food products and belongs to the carbohydrates. Sugar in fruit is called fructose and in milk it is called lactose. In potatoes and grains, it is found in the form of starch. Additionally, you have granulated sugar: the white, grainy substance that is added to cakes, ice cream, soft drinks, and chocolate. A distinction can be made between refined and unrefined sugars.
Sugar quickly provides energy as it can be immediately absorbed by the body. This causes, amongst other things, the well-known 'sugar dip'. Refined sugar is made by filtering our all vitamins, fibres, and minerals from the juice of sugar beets. This is often called the supplier of 'empty' calories: you get the calories, but no nutrients. You can see candy as a pressed and shaped lump of sugar with some added taste. In addition to granulated sugar, there are many other types of sugar, such as caster sugar, vanilla sugar, cane sugar, and dextrose. The covert name 'sucrose' is also used sometimes. These days, granulated sugar is often replaced by, for example, glucose syrup.
Unrefined sugar is less or not processed, so the natural ingredients such as calcium, iron, and magnesium are retained. This gives it an added value compared to refined sugar. This type of sugar is not white and can already be often found in food products such as fruits. Other examples are palm sugar, unprocessed honey, coconut flower sugar, and maple syrup. These are digested better and absorbed less quickly by the blood. Even though many products contain added sugars, there are many types of food that do contain natural sugars.
Trying to avoid refined sugars completely is not an easy task. One look at the label can give a clear indication about the amount of sugar a product contains. ‘Healthy sugar’ is a myth, as all forms of sugar are broken down by the body in the same way. But you can make conscious choices in this regard, for example by eating more vegetables and by making your own sauces and dressings.
'Create healthy habits, no restrictions'