1. Honey is better for you than sugar. True or False?
Answer: False. Honey contains fructose, a sweetener sugar digested differently than table sugar. However, this difference is not of great importance. Fructose, just like table sugar, ends up as glucose, the food substance your body needs for energy. Unrefinded sweeteners such as honey, raw sugar and turbinado ("washed" raw sugar) have no special benefits. Their mineral content is so low that you would have to consume all of your day's calories in sugars to get a significant amount. These sugars provide only sweetness and calories, just like refined (table) sugar.
2. Sugar is a carbohydrate. True or False?
Answer: True. Sugars are called simple carbohydrates. Starches are complex carbohydrates. Compared to starches, sugars have a simpler chemical structure. Foods high in sugars and starches are the basic sources of carbohydrates.
3. Sugar is a source of quick energy. True or False?
Answer: True. But this is misleading. If you eat a candy bar or drink a soda pop, you'll experience a quick pickup, but it will backfire. Your body will use this sugar very rapidly, and the pickup will be followed by a quick letdown.
4. How many teaspoons of sugar are there in a typical 12-ounce cola drink?
Answer: eight teaspoons. Remember that most of the sugar in our diets is from processed foods such as soft drinks or baked goods, rather than from naturally sweet foods.
5. Which of these ingredients on a package label really means sugar--dextrose, sucrose, or corn syrup?
Answer: All three. Terms for sugar also include honey, molasses, invert sugar, fructose, lactose, maltose and galactose.
6. Which of these items contain added sugar Ketchup, orange juice, French dressing?
Answer: ketchup and French dressing.
Many foods contain natural sweeteners.
These natural ingredients enhance the flavor of fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy products and grains.
But many manufacturers will add sugar to provide still more sweetness, improve texture, hold moisture and (in the case of breads) to help yeast grow and make the product rise.
Here's what's bad about products loaded with sugar:
* These products are high in calories. They can cause overweight and increase the risk of heart disease.
* filling up on sugary processed foods doesn't leave room for important fruits, vegetables and grains, which can give you essential vitamins and minerals, roughage, energy and a variety of pleasing tastes.
* Sugar is often found in foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol, such as pies, cakes, cookies, ice cream, and many snack crackers.
How To Do It
As we have noted, sugar in foods provide flavor and texture in foods, holds moisture in and help yeast to grow so that breads will rise.
Here's how to cut back on sugar without losing the good things sugar provides:
* Buy bread products made with less sugar or none at all. They're available in the dietic sections of many supermarkets and in health food stores.
* Experiment by cutting back on sugar in custards, puddings, toppings, muffins, and cookies. Don't cut back a great deal with highrising cakes and yeast breads, because they do need sugar for texture and height. But bake these products less frequently.
* To make your foods interesting, replace sugar with such spices and flavorings as cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, almond or peppermint. Some of these spices and flavorings contain small amounts of added sugar, but it won't equal the sugar they replace.
* Try a drop or two of vanilla extract in your coffee in place of sugar.
* If you feel you must use sugar with certain foods, simply cut down on the amount.
* Use a smaller spoon for your sugar bowl.