The modern society in the meantime commonly consumed sugar at early age. The modern society seems to have the difficulties in avoiding foods as well as beverages those contain sugar. Sugar in foods is not just limited to candies or sweets. Sugar in foods can also be found in beverages. As the matter of fact, almost all foods and beverages we consume contain sugar although that sugar bears different names or labels on food composition labels.
The examples of name or other ways to refer sugar are: white sugar, syrup, unrefined sugar, sugar cane, raw sugar, zylose, powdered sugar, microcrystalline cellulose, bark sugar, corn sweetener and others.
Considering this fact, it can be say that the lifestyle of modern humans has the particular dependence of sugar and our tongues are not used to receiving foods or beverages without the sweet taste and sensation of sugar.
The existence of sugar in great amount all around us and the fact that sugar becomes an important part of our lives certainly lead us to several questions about sugar:
- What are the benefits of sugar for us?
- What are the risks of sugar consumption?
- How is the history of sugar?
Our dependence of sugar in the modern foods is related to our habit as infants. It is started by consuming the formulated milk and then as toddlers, we consume chocolates, biscuits as well as candies or sweets.
Generally, sugar can be utilized as the sweetener of beverages as well as foods. It is felt somewhat uncommon to drink coffee without sugar, tea also without sugar or eating chocolates without the sweet taste.
Sugar as foods and as the trading commodities can be classified based on the main ingredients:
- Palm sugar is made with sap or the liquid that comes out of the flowers of coconut trees, sugar palm or the palm trees. The palm sugar that is made of sap commonly has the characteristics of being red in color as well as being sold in form of half ball, cylinders or cubes depending on the molds used. It can also be sold in form of powder.
- Cane sugar is made from sugar canes that will be chemically processed in the sugar refinery and the crystallized into refined sugar. Meanwhile, the ones those are crystallized will be called as lump sugar.
- Beet sugar is made of beets by going through the purifying process and then crystallized. This type of sugar is also often being referred as white sugar.
From the three kinds of sugar mentioned above, the main benefits of sugar will be as the sweetener as well as the source of energy. However, sugar has the different index number of glycemic depending on the main ingredients. GI or the glycemic index is the measurement of speed to how fast sugar will be absorbed by the body and become the blood sugar.
Therefore, it is good to know the glycemic index from foods or beverages consumed daily. It is necessary for us to avoid the worst risk of consuming sugar and to get the maximum benefits of sugar while consuming it. It’s important to remember not to consume too much sugar for the safety and health of the body.