Sugar - to eat or not to eat? That is the question! It used to be said that sugar strengthens, now many people give up eating it altogether. Is sugar really that bad? What types of sugar can be found in foods? I will try to tell you a bit about him today.
What is sugar?
Ha! It depends who you ask! Sugar is a spice, preservative, fuel for our body, but biologically speaking, sugars are carbohydrates that can be found in food and drinks. When we eat it, it breaks down into glucose in the body and becomes our fuel. We can even distinguish several types of sugars:
simple sugars, e.g. glucose or fructose, complex sugars such as lactose, sucrose or starch, and polyols such as sorbitol or xylitol.
Natural sugar vs. Added to food
Natural sugars can be found in various types of food, such as fruit, potatoes or cow's milk.
Added sugars are sugars that are added to a food during production or processing. This is done for a variety of reasons. Sugar is used as a concentrate, flavor enhancer, and can be used to improve the texture of food. It is added to products such as orangeades and cola drinks, fruit juices, jams, baked goods, breakfast cereals, sauces, ice cream, ketchup, yoghurts and even canned vegetables. Basically, it can be added to virtually anything.
For health, however, it is worth trying to limit sugar in our diet.
Liquid sweeteners such as maple syrup, agave syrup or date syrup are still sugar, but in a different form. These sweeteners have about the same calories as regular refined sugar, and the process is similar. Some of these sweeteners are low in vitamins and minerals.
Unfortunately - although it looks healthy - it is brown and has recently been touted as a "healthy sugar substitute", in fact it has very trace amounts of vitamins and minerals, and just like white sugar it should be used in moderation.
They are sugar substitutes that have zero or very few calories. By using these sweeteners, companies advertise their products as "no added sugar", "low calorie" or "dietary" products. They can also be found in many products for diabetics, because they have a very low glycemic index, which means that their consumption does not cause insulin spikes in the blood and the pancreas does not suffer from it. Some are made from natural raw materials, others are artificially produced. Interestingly, most sweeteners are much sweeter than refined sugar. The most popular sweeteners are: stevia, aspartame, saccharase, sucrose, erythritol (erythritol) and some others E.
Inaccuracies related to sweeteners
Well, there are some inaccuracies and ambiguities about the health effects of sweeteners. Some studies and sources state that studies have not shown a link between the consumption of sweeteners and diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease or hypertension. Unfortunately, other sources and doctors claim that such a relationship does exist. And who to believe?
(Sources I used at the end of the article)
Compensation - there is also a risk that people who use sweeteners will feel that it is "unpunished" or that they have won a real lottery ticket, because who would not want to eat sweets that are low in calories and do not cause a storm in our body?
This can lead to subsequent compensation with products that actually contain refined sugar. Because "what I ate before does not count"
ATTENTION! Some sweeteners consumed in large amounts (such as when drunk in sweetened drinks) may have a laxative effect.
The brain on sweeteners
Consuming sweeteners has the same effect on our brain as consuming regular refined sugar. Centers responsible for feeling pleasure are activated - thanks to dopamine and serotonin. The conclusion is that replacing sugar with sweeteners will not help to control our sweet cravings. We'll still want something sweet. In addition (as Huberman says in his podcast), when we eat something sweet, our body is getting ready for a dose of calories and ... if we do not provide these calories (and sweeteners have few of them), we will still walk unsatisfied and maybe even hungry.
These are chemical compounds that are similar in structure to alcohol, but have more hydroxyl groups. In practice, they are a great alternative to sucrose and fructose - they are very sweet, but less caloric.
Polyols that I like and use:
Xylitol - otherwise birch sugar, used to sweeten food as a sugar substitute. It is used especially in the production of chewing gums, drops, jelly beans and even toothpastes because it has anti-caries properties.
Additionally, it is less caloric than regular sugar and has a lower glycemic index.
Unfortunately, it is quite expensive. We will pay from 25 to 45 PLN per kilogram, depending on its quality and country of origin.
Stay healthy! And learn more about health at https://www.awesomelife.pl