Visual Encyclopedia

Sugar

Sugar is the generic name for sweet, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. There are various types of sugar derived from different sources. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose (also known as dextrose), fructose, and galactose. The "table sugar" or "granulated sugar" most customarily used as food is sucrose, a disaccharide of glucose and fructose. Sugar is used in prepared foods (e.g., cookies and cakes) and it is added to some foods and beverages (e.g., coffee and tea). In the body, sucrose is hydrolysed into the simple sugars fructose and glucose. Other disaccharides include maltose from malted grain, and lactose from milk. Longer chains of sugars are called oligosaccharides or polysaccharides. Some other chemical substances, such as glycerol may also have a sweet taste, but are not classified as sugars. Diet food substitutes for sugar, include aspartame and sucralose, a chlorinated derivative of sucrose.

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The following myths are debunked: Artificial sweeteners are healthier for you, sugar satisfies you, eating fruit is bad for you (LOL!), organic sugar is healthier, and sugar free diets are the answer. Artificial sweeteners may actually raise your blood sugar levels and even change the bacteria in your intestines. Eating healthier foods with fiber, protein and good fats will keep you satisfied longer than those with high sugar. Fruit does have natural sugar but also comes packaged with nutrients, fiber and a low energy density and it's added sugar that you need to watch out for. Raw sugar offers no health benefits and not all foods labeled "sugar-free" are truly free of added sugar.

Contributed by Sam Feldstone

How To Make Your Own Colored Sugar

What you will need: Plastic bags food color sugar – (granulated for smaller crystal or raw sugar for larger crystals) www.momontimeout.com

Contributed by Tess Chaffin

Sweet Homage to Black Workers

While this sphinx-like sculpture looks to be made of stone, it's actually made or refined sugar! Kara Walker's 35-foot tall creation is called, "A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant." Phew, that's some title huh?

Contributed by Alyssa Green

The common stereotype about diabetics is that they cannot eat sugar. This is ridiculous as most food groups contain some orientation of sugar be it glucose, fructose, sucrose, or dextrose. Type 1 diabetics count carbohydrates when using insulin to correct for the sugar that will be broken down upon being consumed. Sugar and carbohydrate ratios are similar in most fast-acting sugars like glucose, however, one has to consider net carbohydrates in complex sugars such as dextrose. Glucose is a simple sugar with six Carbon atoms on its molecular structure (a short carbon chain for a sugar). Dextrose is more of a complex sugar (a type of glucose that is present naturally in foods such as corn). Diabetics CAN eat sugar and as a type 1 diabetic myself I consume sugary foods on a regular basis! The important thing to remember for you other diabetics out there is moderation. Sweets containing glucose is small amounts should be used to treat a low blood sugar. Otherwise stick to complex carbohydrates/sugars such as breads or pastas that are healthy for you and supply long lasting energy.

Contributed by Ben Aaron Shea

Difference in white sugar vs. brown sugar!

Contributed by Ben Aaron Shea

Interesting Facts!

Contributed by Heidi Yum

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