What is sugar and how is it used? That’s the topic of the day. We usually go over the food ingredients we find on product labels. We found a food label that actually list “sugar” as an ingredient.
All of the dissected products that we find with “sugar” on the label will be listed at the bottom of this page.
What is Sugar?
Sugar is generally sweet carbohydrates. The description is really vague, because it can be in multiple forms.
These days, all sugar has been processed, extracted and condensed in so many ways. For every form of sugar, there is a specific name.
I think it will always amaze me to see “sugar” on a label. The ingredient is just so nonspecific. The chance of it being a natural is likely, but where did the sugar come from? This is so important to know just for the sake of possible allergies.
Types Of Sugar In Foods
- Simple Sugars
- Sugar Alcohol
These 4 types of sugar are also incredibly vague description. Food sweeteners have been processed and manipulated too many times.
The Sugar Evolution
Most of all of the types of sugars in foods are found in a plant. All plants contain sugar naturally. Plants need sugar and naturally produce their own sugar through photosynthesis.
When sugar was discovered thousands of years ago, people ate the plant to get it. This sugar was healthy and natural. Many communities began to find it useful in medicine.
Then over time, granulated versions of sugars were discovered. The sweet substance was strained out of the plant, then dried into a powder or granulated. This dried sweet powder was much easier to transport and store over time.
After the natural extracts were dried, people started finding the sweetness best in foods. People were making their own sugar at home, so it was still natural during this time. This was way before the food industry came in.
Eventually, after the sweetener became more popular is when it started becoming unhealthy. Families wanted sweet foods and drinks. It turned into a valuable commodity for trade.
So of course with raise in value, sugar manufactures started their businesses. Ways to increase production and uses started popping up all of the world. By this time, scientist were testing plants to find out which plants had the most sugar. Also what plants were the sweetest and the easiest to grow.
At this point sugar had become overused and unhealthy.
Most Popular Sugar Sources
As I mentioned, there are many different sources for sugar. I have selected the top 3 sources to provide more information about. At any given time, sugar can be extracted from any plant growing on the earths surface.
The 3 main sources of most sugar production are:
- Sweet Corn
- Beet Plants
- Sugar Cane
These 3 sources are more popular according to the regions where they grow. Beet sugar is more popular in cold climates. Sweet corn is more popular in mild climates such as the USA. Then sugar cane is more popular in tropical climates.
Synthetic sweeteners have become ever popular these days. Scientist are now cloning the sugar found in plants to use as food sweeteners. The food industry has embraced these discoveries to reduce food production cost.
Creating sugar from raw materials in a factory is cheaper than extracting it from plants. If they can create sugar, they can bypass crops, farmers, transporting, spoilage and reduce the amount of labor employees.
While most of the sugar used in homes is closer to natural sugar, its not so true with processed foods. Synthetic sugars are being used often enough.
I personally predict that eventually all sugars in processed foods will likely be synthetic.
What Does It Look Like?
The appearance of sugar has changed to meet the needs of food manufactures. You can still see sugar for sale in it’s more natural form, but it’s rare. It can sometimes be found in the produce section of a grocery store.
The most recognizable form of sugar is the granulated version. It’s the white crystal like powder that most families buy for their pantry. When we see it laying on a table it’s easy to identify. Sometime it can be confused with table salt just by looking at it.
Second most recognized for of sugar would be in a syrup. Technically it’s considered to be a liquid since its mixed with water. A syrup can be measured by fluid ounces and pours out of its container. Consumers label this form as “syrup” not as “sugar”.
Next we have powder form of sugar. It’s dry and easy to store similar to the granulated version. The biggest difference with the powder version is that it is less recognizable by sight. If someone had a pile of powdered sugar and a body powder laying on a table, they likely wouldn’t know which was which. They would need to touch, smell or taste it to know what it was.
A less recognizable form is liquid sugar. If you were looking at the liquid, you could not know what it is. Sometimes it has some color, but generally its a clear liquid. A glass of liquid sugar could look like a plain glass of water. Most synthetically made sugars are in this clear liquid form.
The least recognize form of sugar now is when it’s in its natural state. This means that it has not been proceeded or extracted from the plant. The best place to find sugar all natural is right in your produce section of your supermarket. When you look at a table full of fresh fruits, all of that is sugar. Well not pure sugar because it has all of the additional goodies your body needs.
Is Sugar Healthy To Eat?
This is a simple and direct question with a very complicated answer. For a direct answer: Yes! sugar is very healthy to eat.
This sweet carbohydrate has become unhealthy by way of the food industry. Consumers love it and want it in everything they eat. As a result its being consumed so much that it has become unhealthy.
Now its has even become harder to recognize. With every form, source, and method of extract it has also somehow lost its name as sugar. Sugar has somewhere around 100 different names. Consumers just cant keep track with the name or how much they are consuming.
Sugar is NOT healthy to consume without limits. Too much sweet foods can cause multiple issues with consumers health. Even worse is that some people can eat foods and not know how much is sugar is actually in it.
Best Way To Enjoy Healthy Sugars
Healthy sugars are easy to find and nutritious. People need sugar as part of their healthy diet. Our bodies crave sustenance and sugar is part of a healthy well rounded diet.
The best way to get the healthy sugars your body needs is simply by keeping touch with your whole foods. Whole foods are unprocessed foods. Just about every whole food has some form of natural sugar.
As everyone is posting online natural sugars can be found in fruits and vegetables. This is no secret.
What many do not know is that sugars can also be found in meats. Whole meats like beef, deer, chicken, fish ect. The sugars are limited, but its still there. These are some of the original meats that people consumed on a regular basis. They are still available at grocery stores.
The big health secret to getting the most healthy sugars is to eat a well rounded diet.
Your body needs proteins, grains, fruits, milk and vegetables. All of these diet essentials are part of a healthy well rounded diet. Sweet carbohydrates are mixed in those healthy diet foods naturally.
Benefits Of A Healthy Sugar Diet
A healthy sugar diet could solve many peoples bad eating habit issues. Limiting your sugars is not the best solution.
Limiting your consumption of processed foods is. Eat whole foods with natural carbohydrates. When eaten in a rounded diet with lots of whole foods, your body will thank you.
- Natural Energy
- Natural Weight Management
- Naturally Less Food Consumed
- Natural Disease And Illness Defense
Of course you can not expect these results with a sudden whole food diet. If you are starting a new whole food diet, your body will need to adjust.
Most people have been eating heavily sweetened processed foods for years. Their entire body was created by these overly sweetened foods. It will likely take years of healthy carbohydrates to undo the overuse if sugars.
Side Effects Of Eating Too Much Sugar
Eating too much sugar can take you down a rocky path of health problems. Many serious diseases originated by consuming too much carbohydrates.
These are top 3 health risk that are directly related to consumption of too much sugary carbohydrates. This is where most sugar side effects start.
Overly processed foods loaded with all sorts of sugar and low or limited activity to burn those bad calories. Those bad carbohydrates get stuck in your body and your body changes to store all of the sugar.
Its when your body tries to adjust to those extra sugars, that side effects start to expose themselves. Obesity, heart disease and diabetes are the 3 most common issues that get the biggest attention.
Unfortunately all 3 of these side effects are also deadly. These diseases can also lead to further health issues. There is also a growing concern of obesity related to too many bad carbohydrates. I think that obesity is becoming a main focus because diabetes and heart disease can come from other sources. While obesity is directly linked to poor diet and over use of sugary carbs.
How To Start A Healthy Carbohydrate Diet
If you are wanting to start a healthy carb diet,it can be a bit of a challenge. This is especially true when you share your diet habit with a family. If your foods are in a family environment, everyone in the household will become part of the new healthy carb diet.
First Step: Start buying more whole and processed foods. If it has an ingredient list on the package, then there are probably unhealthy sugars in that product. Try buying ready to eat foods without a package. These foods will be your staple “whole foods with natural healthy carbohydrates”.
Second Step: Invest in a cookbook with pictures. When you eat out you do not have control of what is in your dish. You are buying a finished product. There is no way to know exactly how many carbohydrates are even in that dish at most restaurants. Limit your take out to as needed. Find quick easy recipes that you can make anytime.
The best tip I can provide with this step is to start with main dishes. If you start right away with deserts, you could be getting more sugar at home. Save the deserts to once a week occasions. Or for special days like birthdays. Maybe reward the kids with their favorite homemade desert for good grades.
There are plenty of breads and main dishes that have natural carbohydrates to satisfy cravings for sweets. Try main dishes that have fruit as an ingredient. Lost of fruits taste sweeter when they are cooked.
Have your family help pick recipes they want to try. If you get the family involved making diet changes will be very easy. Your cookbook can be more like a menu for your family. Have them look to the pictures to pick what they want to eat.
Third Step: Find a healthy drink. You are going to need a staple go to drink that you really enjoy drinking. This is what gets most carb diets. Of course the very best would be water, but if you limit your drinks to only water starting up your setting yourself up for failure. Coffee, tea, and fruit defused water are some great suggestions. If you are not satisfied with your drink, your diet will really hard to maintain.
If you are just set with sticking to processed drinks, you can see if their is a diet version of the drink. You can also look around at similar drinks. There may be a similar drink that has less sugar.
The trick to making this most effective is to be able to keep drinking. When you are out away from the home, you need to take your drink. Get a sports bottle or some reusable cups with lids. If you are away from home and get thirsty you need to have it on hand and available.
You also need a storage container to keep the drink ready at home. A drink pitcher is good, but be sure to have enough home storage to keep plenty of your drink. A full day of drinks for your entire household is your goal. Making drinks for the entire day should not consume your day.
If you have 10 people using your kitchen, you will need more than 1 pitcher. Average adult should be drinking about 1 gallon of water per day. If you have 3 adults living in the home, 3 pitchers is ideal. Kids closer to 1/2 a gallon a day.
Fourth Step: Do not limit your cooking abilities. If you start off with heavy restrictions, you will likely stray. Enjoy your new foods. Your body will feel better and eventually you will find the joys in cooking. Don’t think of it as a new diet, just think of it as trying new foods.
By following just these 4 start up rules, your healthy carbohydrate diet should fall into place. Over time, your kitchen will be filled with wholesome foods with healthy natural sugars.
You should begin to enjoy eating healthier foods at home. Eventually you will prefer home cooked foods over restaurant foods.
As an added bonus, families that make the changes will be getting hours of quality priceless family time together. Chit chat over the dinner table or help in the kitchen. Families time will be at its best and getting the best of healthy sugar diets.
Foods That Contain Sugar As An Ingredient
These are the foods that have “sugar” on the product labels. As we dissect more products, this list will grow.
- Halls “Defense” Dietary Supplement Drops. Distributed by Mondelez Global LLC. Assorted citrus flavors. 14 count package size. The ingredients for this product are: Glucose Syrup, Sugar, Sodium Ascorbate, Citric Acid, Natural And Artificial Flavoring, Ascorbic Acid, Beta Carotene (Color), Soy Lecithin, Red 40.