We talked about the harmful properties of sugar relatively recently. Each of us dragged a kilogram pack of sugar home, poured a piece into a neat sugar bowl and left it in the center of the table for a future tea party or family dinner. Authoritative research on the destructive effect of white powder did not bother anyone until humanity came to sugar addiction, a tremendous increase in obesity and related diseases.
What is sugar, is it really so harmful and are there alternatives to white powder?
Sugar is the household name for sucrose (C12H22O11). This is a food product that belongs to the group of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide the functional activity of the human body and are responsible for energy production. After ingestion, sucrose is broken down into glucose and fructose, then the enzymes are gradually absorbed into the bloodstream.
Glucose is responsible for most of the energy costs of a person. The average concentration of the enzyme in the blood should be between 80 and 120 milligrams / 100 milliliters. The enzyme supports the barrier function of the liver and protects it from the pathogenic effects of toxins. Glucose is used as a drug for serious poisoning and gastrointestinal diseases.
Brief historical background
The birthplace of white powder is considered India. The name of the term comes from the Indian शर्करः (śarkaraḥ) in translation - "grain of sand, gravel." Slavic languages borrowed the term "sugar" from the Greek σάκχαρον (sakharon).
Europeans joined sugar thanks to the Romans. It was the Roman Empire and Egypt that mediated the trade relations of Europe and India. The Indians exported brown sweet grains from sugarcane. Later, Sicily and Southern Spain began to hunt with exports.
Europeans consumed 2 kilograms of sugar per year in the 19th century, 17 kilograms in 1920 and 37 kilograms in 2000.
Sugar came to the Russian territory in the XI-XII century. Sweet brown crumbs were available exclusively to the aristocracy. The first "sugar chamber" was opened by Peter I at the beginning of the XVIII century. The raw materials for the chambers were imported from abroad. Since 1809, the era of independent cultivation of sugar from domestic raw materials - sugar beets began on Russian soil.
World production of white sugar is estimated in thousands of tons. In 2007, 163.536 were mined, in 2008 - 144.144, in 2009 - 153.687, in 2010 - 161.437, in 2011 - 168.247. The largest supplying countries: India, Brazil, the EU, China, Thailand, USA, Mexico, Russia, Pakistan, Australia.
What is sugar
The product is available in the following forms:
- candys (crystallized sugar used in the food industry);
- pressed and lumpy.
Sugar is classified by type of raw material. In total, 5 varieties of the product are distinguished.
Extracted from sugarcane stalks. The plant grows in India. It is the world's first raw material for sugar production. Primarily the product was used as a medicine. The Arabs established the industrial production of food sweet component and distributed it to Egypt, Sicily, Spain, Venice.
In Europe, the product became popular after the Crusades. Until the XIX century, cane powder was considered an attribute of luxury and unprecedented wealth. Today the situation has changed, and most of the modern sugar is made from a cane plant.
The idea of extracting sugar from sweet beets belongs to Andreas Margrave. In 1747, the scientist published his thoughts in the memoirs of the Berlin Academy of Sciences and received approval. Margrave technology is still used today in a slightly improved version. The industrial production of beet sweets was established by Napoleon in 1806. The first Russian plant for processing beets appeared in 1802 in the Tula province. Its founder was Major General Blankenigel. By the end of the 19th century, 236 beet plants were operating in Russia.
A traditional product of the eastern Canadian provinces. It has been produced since the 17th century from sugar maple juice. The sugar maple industry was considered the most profitable in Canada at the end of the 20th century. In 1989, she brought more than $ 100 million in profit.
It is obtained in the southern and southeastern regions of Asia, the islands of the Indian Ocean. Small cuts are made on the young cobs of palms, they wait for the juice to drain completely, and then they harvest the crop. This juice is processed into a sweet powder. In Sri Lanka, coconut sugar is obtained by a similar method. One coconut tree can provide the population with 250 kilograms of juice per year. The liquid contains about 20% sucrose, and coconut sugar is recognized as the safest in the world. It is important that with a competent approach, extracting juice does not harm the trees.
It is obtained from the stems of sugar sorghum in China and the northern US states. Later, this raw material was abandoned, since mineral salts and gummy components were found in sorghum sugar. The yield of pure sweet crystals was very small and caused losses to the owners of the sorghum business.
What is sugar good for?
Modern man eats white refined sugar. After processing, the product contains only "empty" calories. It is deprived of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and nutritional benefits. The study "Adverse metabolic effects of dietary fructose: results from the recent epidemiological, clinical, and mechanistic studies" proved that the nutritional component plays a key role in:
- the formation of metabolic syndrome;
- heart and vascular diseases;
- cancer development;
- the development of diabetes;
- amount of visceral fat;
- aggravation of internal inflammatory processes.
White sweet product is addictive. After ingestion, the component stimulates the production of dopamine. Dopamine stimulates pleasure centers and makes us feel joy and a surge of energy. The body gets used to the easy way of satisfaction and literally makes a person eat more sweets.
Which sweetener can be eaten
Nutritionists recommend the use of herbal sweeteners, but if sugar can not be avoided, then choose coconut and muscovado.
Muscovado is brown unrefined sugar. Its consistency is similar to liquid granules of sand. It is sticky, dense, does not crumble and has a surprisingly delicate aroma of raisins. The color of the product is rich brown and looks more like a shade of coffee. It is important that Muscovado is sold in an airtight container, otherwise the product will absorb moisture and odors.
When buying a coconut sweetener, evaluate the composition. It should be as natural as possible, without additional impurities and chemicals.
Do not forget about the rational dosage and potential danger of sugar. The product is not recommended for daily use.
What is harmful sugar
The danger of sugar lies in the fact that not all possible consequences of its use can be reversible. Try to determine your nutritional priorities as early as possible and do not let temporary gastronomic pleasures manage your life.
Violation of inner harmony
A food product increases cholesterol and glucose levels, disrupts fat metabolism, and interferes with cell functionality. The walls of the arteries become thinner, fat volumes are larger, and energy productivity is falling every day. This leads to:
- gastrointestinal pathologies;
- deterioration of teeth;
- the destruction of the muscle corset;
- Alzheimer's disease.
The quality of memory is affected by the overall quality of life. The use of sugar in addition to difficult situations at school / work, personal experiences, traffic jams and poor-quality food destructively affects the ability to remember and operate information.
Sweets exacerbate acne treatment, stimulate new rashes, and reduce skin firmness and elasticity. Why is this happening? The body is difficult to digest low-quality sugar. Adhesions gradually form, collagen collapses and internal organs become clogged. The toxins that accumulate inside, gradually escape through the skin, an additional decrease in the functionality of organs, which becomes the cause of imperfections.
How to reduce the amount of sugar in the diet
Frightening pictures with products and a comparative amount of sugar in them really make you think. Even salty foods and vegetables contain a certain amount of sugar, and additional sweetening exacerbates the overall picture. So what to do?
Adjust meal times
The human body, normally, should never feel hunger. The diet should be built in such a way as to prevent the desire to eat, and not blindly follow it. In addition to standard breakfast, lunch and dinner, there should be snacks in the adult and children's diet. Their number is determined individually. A snack is not a full meal, but, for example, a banana, fruit cottage cheese or a healthy sandwich. The interval between each subsequent meal should be about 4 hours.
Why is this effective? The body requires sugar only in case of hunger (or he just does not know what to do). If you exclude the feeling of hunger, then suppress cravings for sweets as much as possible. It is important that the diet is complete in terms of fiber, vitamins, nutrients, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The natural sweetness found in herbal products is sufficient. Remember that a true sweet desire is always formed in the head, but never arises in the stomach.
Always choose spices
Sweet vegetable seasonings suppress the urge to eat sugar by tricking our receptors. Flavoring bulbs will delight cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, coriander, cocoa, fennel or cardamom. Each of these spices not only makes the dish sweeter, but improves metabolism and regulates glucose levels. Coconut is recognized as the most useful sweetener of our time. A spoonful of coconut milk or shavings can turn even a hopeless boiled oatmeal into a sweet welcome breakfast.
Love herbal teas
When you add a spoon (or possibly more than one) of sugar to tea bags, you completely block the natural taste of the drink. All that your receptors get is the taste of sugar. We warn you that it will be extremely difficult to taste the natural tea flavor after long sugar frauds. Gradually replace the white powder with honey and switch to natural herbal teas. Start with the most pronounced tastes - ginger, citrus, hibiscus, then move on to more subtle combinations - mint, berries. It is verified that after the transformation you will no longer be able to drink sweetened teas.
Give up shop sweets and carefully read the composition
Studying the composition is one of the most rational things that people do in supermarkets. Do not turn your own body into garbage from sugar, preservatives and chemistry. It is much more pleasant and comfortable to consist of fruits, vegetables, fresh meat / fish and high-quality cereals.
As soon as you begin to study the composition, you will immediately understand the zero value of the package. The inscriptions "fitness", "sugar free", "organic" - lies to attract attention. 97% of your favorite store sweets are dangerous, it is very important to understand this before the development of chronic gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes and obesity.
Choose fruits more often
I want a burger - eat a banana, I want white chocolate - choose a kiwi. Yes, there is fructose in fruits, which also belongs to the group of sugars. But the fruit composition is harmonized with fiber, vitamins and minerals. If a kilogram of sweets a person, at best, vomits, then a kilogram of apples you can not expect such a dangerous catch. But no need to get excited. Examine your body, determine what it likes, and what it is better to refuse and structure your diet yourself. Nobody will die or get fat from a bar of dark chocolate 1-2 times a week, if the rest of 6 days the food was clean and balanced.
Drink Daily Fluids
The body sends exactly the same signals during thirst and during hunger. We often confuse these needs and try to seize thirst. Permanent lack of fluid is one of the main causes of obesity. Dehydration negatively affects the entire body as a whole: it slows down the metabolism, provokes pain syndromes, worsens the condition of the skin and minimizes activity. Calculate your own liquid rate (based on height, weight, activity level) and try to replenish water supplies in time.
It is pure filtered water, not teas, coffee, soda and juices.
Borrow vegan sweets
It was vegans who came to raw cakes and sweets. They make the dough based on cashew and banana, and the cream layers of coconut milk and berries. Restaurants offer many variations of tastes, so if you do not like cashews and bananas, take a cake based on dates and papaya. Every second institution in the city has long been introduced to vegan raw culture and recorded delicious carrot cakes, cocoa brownies, blueberry cakes and berry bowls on the menu.
Do not go shopping on an empty stomach
Sometimes the stomach gets the better of the brain and begins to firmly guide the person. A hungry shopping trip cannot end without sweets, mayonnaise sandwiches and other food waste. Be prudent and do not allow individual bodies to lead your life.
Watch some popular science films about the dangers of sugar
Most people are visuals. It is much more effective to see the effects of sugar consumption once than to listen to a dozen lectures.
Recommended films: “Is sugar toxic,” “Jamie Sugar Fever.”
If you decide to fight sugar addiction, then make consistent and rational decisions. The refusal must be gradual and deliberate, otherwise at one point everything will return to its former places. Weaning should be painless, only in this case you can count on a stable result. Try not to use chemical sweeteners - they are also harmful. Choose natural alternatives like honey and spices. Be healthy and independent!