Sugar is the generalized name for sweet, short-chain, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. They are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. 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 or granulated sugar most customarily used as food is sucrose, a disaccharide. (In the body, sucrose hydrolyses into fructose and glucose.) Other disaccharides include maltose and lactose. Longer chains of sugars are called oligosaccharides. Chemically-different substances may also have a sweet taste, but are not classified as sugars. Some are used as lower-calorie food substitutes for sugar, described as artificial sweeteners.
Sugars are found in the tissues of most plants, but are present in sufficient concentrations for efficient extraction only in sugarcane and sugar beet. Sugarcane refers to any of several species of giant grass in the genus Saccharum that have been cultivated in tropical climates in South Asia and Southeast Asia since ancient times. A great expansion in its production took place in the 18th century with the establishment of slave plantations in the Americas. The use of slavery meant that this was the first time that sugar became cheap enough for most people, who previously had to rely on honey to sweeten foods. Sugar beet, a cultivated variety of Beta vulgaris, is grown as a root crop in cooler climates and became a major source of sugar in the 19th century when methods for extracting the sugar became available. Sugar production and trade have changed the course of human history in many ways, influencing the formation of colonies, the perpetuation of slavery, the transition to indentured labour, the migration of peoples, wars between sugar-trade–controlling states in the 19th century, and the ethnic composition and political structure of the New World.
The world produced about 168 million tonnes of sugar in 2011. The average person consumes about 24 kilograms (53 lb) of sugar each year (33.1 kg in industrialised countries), equivalent to over 260 food calories per person, per day.
Since the latter part of the twentieth century, it has been questioned whether a diet high in sugars, especially refined sugars, is good for human health. Sugar has been linked to obesity, and suspected of, or fully implicated as a cause in the occurrence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, macular degeneration, and tooth decay. Numerous studies have been undertaken to try to clarify the position, but with varying results, mainly because of the difficulty of finding populations for use as controls that do not consume or are largely free of any sugar consumption.
Today an average person consumes around 24 kilograms of sugar each year (9kg more in industrializes countries), and because of that many scientific studies tried to examine positive and negative effects of this popular food substance. In all of their findings, some effects could be tested and proven to be true, but many were left inconclusive and unfinished. With that thing said, benefits of sugar are much easier to prove than harmful effects.
Sugar has a high calorie content that will give your body energy that you lack. However, all that energy is short lived and it can only give your short bust of increased productivity. Because sugar contains four calories per gram, but it lacks nutritious value (no dietary fibers) and because of that sugar is only an added ingredient in many meals.
Scientists have proven that diabetes is a genetic condition that is created from the moment we are born. Eating bad food and lots of sweets and fats can only decrease the efficiency of the pancreas, but in moderate use there are no health risks.
Sugar’s glycolic acid can be very helpful in maintaining the health and look of your skin. Using it can help elimination blemishes and restoring the balance in the skin’s oils.
Many people use high-fructose corn syrup as a means of sweetening their food, but that product is highly processed and can cause problems to their digestion. Sugars consist only from natural ingredients that can be processed easily by our metabolism.
Blood and insulin benefits:
Many foods that have in them glucose are sweet, but our bodies (and especially liver) have larger problem disassembling glucose than fructose that can be found in sugar. Because of this, insulin levels will be greatly increased during the short periods of time, making you feel energetic and powerful. Sadly after that initial rush, drop of insulin will also make you hungry for more sweets. But that is not all. Because of the influence of sugar’s glucose has on the hormone leptin, you will indeed feel more full than after eating foods with fructose.
Minerals and nutrients:
Sugars in their structure have ingredients that are passed to them from their natural sources, sugarcanes or beet. Elements such as phosphorus, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium will not be greatly present in the industrially refined sugar.
Sugar is created from natural resources without the use of pesticides and other harmful products, in a way what don pollutes environment. That is not the case with the production of the industrial artificial sweeteners.