From seductive sweetness to white poison Is sugar really unhealthy or is it even completely harmless to our body when consumed in moderation? With this article I would like to draw your attention to a more conscious use of sugar and give you all the useful facts about it.n.
Why sugar can be harmful
Sugar is part of our body in the form of blood sugar. Sugar is also found in natural foods such as Am Fruits, vegetables or cereals . These forms of sugar are generally not a problem.
However, when it comes to the sugar that the food industry makes available to us, such as table sugar and glucose syrup, then you should already have an overview of the quantities and types so as not to endanger your health. The body can easily compensate for fluctuations in blood sugar, but only if they occur to a normal extent. A high consumption of industrial sugar, however, leads to fluctuations in blood sugar, which stress the body. It damages the teeth, promotes deficiencies in vital substances, causes blood sugar fluctuations, promotes chronic inflammatory processes, upsets the intestinal flora and promotes the development of cancer.
The Glycemic Index (GI)
How quickly and how high the blood sugar level rises after consuming a food is measured using a certain parameter: the glycemic index. Carbohydrates are worse and more unhealthy the higher their glycemic index.
Pure glucose has the highest GI of 100. White bread, for example, is 70 to 85 and cola is 70. Whole grain products have a GI of 40, pulses and most fruits and vegetables are even lower.
Since a low GI only causes blood sugar levels to rise slowly, foods made from whole grains, legumes, and fruits and vegetables hardly put any strain on the body. In general, a food with a GI over 50 is considered worse than food under 50.
With this you can see that the consumption of sugar and carbohydrates have very different effects on the blood sugar level. In addition, the sugar from healthy foods causes only slight fluctuations in blood sugar and is therefore used to generate energy without harming health.
With natural sugar in fruits or grains, you also take in accompanying substances such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. Isolated and refined forms of sugar, on the other hand, consist exclusively of sugar without these accompanying substances. These have a negative effect on the metabolism.
What makes a healthy sugar?
Only those sugars found in natural foods such as fruits, grains, nuts, pulses and vegetables can be described as healthy sugar. However, sugar forms that you consume in industrially processed and isolated form are at best less harmful, but none of these sugars is really that healthy with a few exceptions..
Health problems and risks
Humans have not eaten extract flour or any type of isolated sugar for thousands of years. These are changes that our body can hardly manage and that show up in various health problems in addition to tooth decay.
In addition to the damage mentioned above, which our body can experience from the increased intake of isolated sugars, the nutritional deficiency is very important. For example, if we were to eat sugar beet whole, we would be consuming fiber, vitamins and minerals in addition to carbohydrates. Nature has combined everything in fruits that serves a balanced supply of nutrients.
Unfortunately, household sugar & Co. no longer contain any nutrients. Since neither vitamins, minerals nor dietary fiber arrive with the sugar, the body has to get the accompanying substances required to process the sugar from its own stores. In particular, vitamin B1 and calcium should be consumed more in the case of high sugar consumption.
People who eat a lot of foods with isolated carbohydrates inevitably become deficient in vitamins and minerals at some point. And here we can combine sugar, white flour and white rice. As a result of the intensive processing process, all of them have lost almost all of their nutrient diversity.
Consequences of persistent nutrient deficiency include: Infectious diseases, tooth decay, osteoporosis, hyperactivity, listlessness or premature aging.
Tips for Switching to a Low-Sugar Diet:
- Instead, avoid sugary drinks Kombucha and drink good quality water.
- Start the day with a sugar-free breakfast.
- Eat a lot of fresh food, rich in raw vegetables, with as many bitter substances as possible.
- Wild herbs counteract a lack of nutrients.
- Prefer valuable foods rich in carbohydrates such as sprouts, nuts or sweet potatoes.
- Eat as little finished products as possible.
- Read ingredient lists of foods and recognize hidden sugars.
- Use alternative sweeteners.
- Get into the habit of chewing thoroughly.
Labeling of sugar
Reading the ingredient lists when shopping is sometimes not that easy Sugar is hidden behind many names, especially behind all kinds of sugar syrup. Syrup is cheap, sweetened even more intensely due to the mostly higher fructose content and has now crept into almost all ready-to-eat foods..
Sugar can have the following names:
Barley malt extract
Fruit juice concentrates
Coconut blossom sugar
Grape fruit sweetness
When looking through the lists of ingredients, it is easy to misjudge the sugar content and the sweeteners used.
- Sugar is hidden behind names that do not directly refer to sugar, such as dextrose or isoglucose.
- Multiple listing of sweetening ingredients means that they slide back on the list of ingredients, but add up to enormous amounts of sugar.
- Products that are labeled unsweetened, such as rice milk, still contain 7.2 g of sugar per 100 ml.l.
- Products such as pizza, vegetarian spreads and much more contain various added sugars.
Healthy sugar alternatives
Agave syrup is made from the juice of agaves. After removal, it is filtered, heated, thickened and then contains 76 percent sugar. It is a little thinner than honey and consists mainly of fructose and glucose, with the fructose proportion clearly predominating with an average of 7: 3. Agave syrup therefore has the lowest glycemic index of all sweeteners and is therefore metabolized almost independently of insulin.
Caution: A high percentage of fructose can also have negative effects. Fructose reaches the liver directly via the blood, where it is converted to fat if it is in abundance.
Maple syrup is the boiled sap of the Canadian maple tree. About 40 liters of juice make about one liter of syrup. It tastes slightly like caramel and contains around 67 percent sugar, 1: 1 glucose and fructose as well as small amounts of minerals such as potassium, iron and magnesium. Maple syrup has a glycemic index of 55 to 65 and is slightly less sweet than table sugar.
Apple syrup is also known as apple sweetness. During production, apples are pressed into juice and steamed. Apple syrup is a regional sweetener, tastes slightly sour and a little bit like apples. Depending on the manufacturing process and temperature, minerals and secondary plant substances are retained. It should be noted that thick juices have a fructose content of around 60%.
Date syrup is made from dried dates. Dates contain a little more glucose than fructose. Date syrup also contains the minerals magnesium, potassium, iron, folic acid, zinc and calcium as well as vitamins A.
Date paste can be made very well in raw food quality. It is metabolized in an alkaline way and is therefore more valuable than store-bought date syrup, which loses nutrients when heated.
Soak 200 g dates in water for at least 2 hours. Then puree and, if desired, season with cinnamon, vanilla or cardamom. The amount of water determines how thick the paste should be. If sealed in a screw-top jar, it can be kept in the refrigerator for a good week.
Like sugar, honey consists of glucose and fructose, but it also contains the minerals potassium, magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin C and additional enzymes. It is advisable to buy cold-blown honey from your local beekeeper. Honey is said to have anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties.
Coconut blossom sugar
This is the thickened, crystallized sap from coconut palms. Like normal sugar, this is sucrose, made up of one part glucose and one part fructose. It has a low glycemic index of 35 and hardly raises blood sugar levels. In addition to minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium, it also contains the fiber inulin. It tastes slightly caramelized and not quite as sweet as table sugar.
Rice syrup is made from whole grains of rice or rice flour and does not contain fructose. Instead, it uses a special form of glucose that first has to be converted by the body and thus causes the blood sugar level to rise more slowly than normal glucose. Rice syrup still contains some minerals such as potassium, iron and magnesium and has a slightly malty and nutty taste. Its sweetness is only half that of household sugar.s.
Stevia, also known as sweet herb, is a plant with intense sweetness and a licorice-like taste. About 20% of the green leaves consist of the sweetening substances stevioside and rebaudioside A, which are 300 to 400 times as sweet as sugar. In order to extract the sweetening substances, however, intensive processing processes are necessary. Stevia drops, dragees or tablets do not contain any calories and are metabolized without insulin, but they are not beneficial to health.
Similar to maple syrup, yacon syrup has a caramel-like sweetness. It is made from the tuber of the yacon plant, which is related to the Jerusalem artichoke. Like the Jerusalem artichoke bulbs, yacon bulbs contain plenty of water-soluble fiber. In addition to inulin, yacon tubers also contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS). The FOS have a prebiotic effect, as they serve as food for the good intestinal bacteria and strengthen the intestinal environment.
Yacon syrup is currently offered as the perfect alternative to sugar. Not without reason: It is considered a digestive highlight and, with a glycemic index of 1, is metabolized almost independently of insulin. It should be noted that consuming yacon syrup can lead to digestive problems in the form of diarrhea or flatulence in sensitive people.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol consisting of four carbon atoms with the 70 percent sweetness of sugar, but without the effect of alcohol. The substance occurs naturally in pears and grapes, among other things. It is industrially made from corn, produced using yeast, and even appears to have some antioxidant properties. *
Erythritol does not affect insulin levels d. H. its glycemic index is zero.
Sounds very lucrative. Erythritol has a mild and neutral sweetness and is not supposed to have a laxative effect compared to xylitol, but it is not a natural sweetener.
* from How not to die by Dr. Michael Gregerer
All of the sweeteners presented are valuable alternatives to refined table sugar and therefore definitely healthier. However, this statement should not mislead us into overeating. Although they contain small amounts of health-promoting ingredients, they are all concentrated carbohydrates.
If used sparingly, however, we can use it to sweeten our dishes with a clear conscience.
Kombucha needs carbohydrates for fermentation / metabolism. Our organic kombucha is fermented to the extent that it contains as little sugar as possible (up to 50% less than comparable products and up to 80% compared to common lemonades) and it is raw / unpasteurized. This means that it contains many nutrients such as vitamins, healthy yeasts and microorganisms for you and is even metabolized in an alkaline way.
In addition, I recommend you new taste experiences with fresh fruit and vegetables, combined with plenty of leafy greens and wild herbs to initiate a gentle change in taste.
Good luck and good health!
Thank you for reading!