Showing posts with label Sugar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sugar. Show all posts

Jul 25, 2014

Sugar Stops Hiccups

This remedy is no placebo. Hiccups occur when a spasm contracts the diaphragm, a large sheet of muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. This spasm causes an intake of breath that is suddenly stopped by the closure of the vocal cords. This closure causes the 'hiccup' sound.

Hiccups are irritating, but it is possible to stop them within sixty seconds or so by swallowing a teaspoon filled with dry sugar or honey. Specialists believe the abrupt sweetness on the tongue overloads the nerve endings in the mouth and blocks the hiccup spasm.

Apr 18, 2014

High Fructose Corn Syrup Myths Debunked

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is basically the same as sugar, both in terms of composition and in the number of calories it contains. HFCS is produced by milling corn (maize) to produce corn starch, then processing that starch to yield corn syrup, which is almost entirely glucose, and then adding enzymes that change some of the glucose into fructose.

High fructose corn syrup contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients or color additives.

High fructose corn syrup and sugar have almost the same level of sweetness.

It has either 42% or 55% fructose, which is comparable to sugar with 50% fructose. Studies found no differences in the metabolic effects of high fructose corn syrup as compared to sugar. Since high fructose corn syrup and sugar are so similar, the human body absorbs them the same way.

There is no scientific evidence that high fructose corn syrup is to blame for obesity and diabetes. In fact, the US Department of Agriculture data shows that consumption of high fructose corn syrup has actually been declining while obesity and diabetes rates continue to rise.

Studies have shown that the body does not recognize a difference between high fructose corn syrup and regular sugar. They both contain the same ingredients, in the same quantities. The only difference is in how they are extracted and combined.

"After studying current research, the American Medical Association concluded that high fructose syrup does not appear to contribute to obesity more than other caloric sweeteners..."

Aug 23, 2013

Saccharin

The artificial sweetener in "Sweet'N Low," is somewhere around 400 times sweeter than sugar. It was discovered in 1879 by Constantine Fahlberg who was actually working on substitution products of coal tar.

After a long day in the lab, he forgot to wash his hands before eating dinner. When the bread and everything he touched tasted sweet, he remembered he spilled a chemical on his hands earlier.
Fahlberg patented saccharin in 1884 and began mass production.

The artificial sweetener became widespread when sugar was rationed during World War I. In 1907 diabetics started using the sweetener as a replacement for sugar and it was soon labeled as a noncaloric sweetener for dieters. Because the body can not break it down, we do not get any calories.

Aug 2, 2013

Sugar and HFCS

According to a report published by The American Council on Science and Health, "Since the 1970s, the use of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the US food supply has increased dramatically, typically as a replacement for sucrose (table sugar) in soft drinks and many food products.

The prevalence of obesity has also increased substantially between the 1970s and the early 2000s. Because of this coincidental timing, HFCS has been erroneously demonized as a unique cause of the obesity epidemic in the United States.

Sucrose and HFCS have essentially the same composition, and thus it would be highly unlikely for them to have different effects on body weight or metabolism. Experimental evidence, as well as analyses of epidemiological data, indicate that sucrose and HFCS have equivalent effects on food intake and therefore on body weight. Scientific evidence does not support the notion that HFCS is responsible for the American obesity epidemic."

Jun 21, 2013

Sugarloaf

Sugar used to be refined into what was called a sugarloaf, a tall cone shape with a rounded top. People have been making sugarloaves since at least the 12th Century.  Raw sugar was refined by a series of boiling and filtering processes. When, at the final boiling it was considered ready for granulation it was poured into a large number of inverted conical molds. The popularity of sugarloaves declined as new processes were invented making it easier to refine and be sold as the small cubes and granulated sugar we are familiar with.

Pieces were cut from it by hand using sugar nips, pliers-like cutters. Typically, the bigger the sugarloaf, the lower the grade of sugar.

Portuguese explorers who discovered Rio de Janeiro in 1502 named Sugarloaf Mountain, due to its resemblance to a sugarloaf cone.

May 31, 2013

Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose

Glucose, fructose and sucrose are three types of sugar. Sugar production has been around for a few thousand years.  In 2011, worldwide production of table sugar was about 168 million tons.

Glucose, also known as dextrose, is the most common sugar. It is rarely found in food in its single molecular form, but is found as a building block for more complex carbohydrates. Foods containing glucose include: bread, pasta, cereals, rice, most fruits and vegetables, dairy products, maple syrup, pancake mixes, commercial salad dressings, and spices, and all foods containing sugar. Brain cells show a marked preference for glucose.

Fructose is the sugar that sweetens fruits, and it is also naturally present in some vegetables. One of the major differences between fructose and glucose is that cells require insulin to take up glucose from the bloodstream, but fructose is absorbed directly without insulin.  Fructose a healthier choice for individuals with diabetes than glucose or sucrose. Foods rich in fructose include, agave, apricots, blueberries, figs, dates, grapes, honey, and raisins.

Sucrose is made up of two smaller sugar units, glucose and fructose. Sucrose is the type of sugar you use in your kitchen and in cooking. It is usually derived from either sugar cane or sugar beets. An apple contains both fructose and glucose. Sucrose is digested into glucose and fructose before it enters the bloodstream.

Glucose, fructose, and sucrose contain identical amounts of energy. Each provides four calories per gram.  Glucose and fructose units are absorbed across the intestinal wall by active transit into the portal vein. They are then transported to the liver where they are converted to energy units. When reading food labels, sucrose can be listed as sugar, glucose can appear as dextrose, and fructose as corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup.

Bottom line - Cells require a constant supply of energy to keep running. Glucose and fructose have identical chemical formulas. Glucose and fructose can be burned for immediate energy or stored as body fat. It is not important where sugar comes from. Too little and your body is deprived of much needed nutrients, too much and your body stores sugars as fat. There is a correlation between increased soda consumption and obesity, but no proven causation. Headlines about soda and obesity are mostly non-scientific mumbo jumbo designed to titillate, but not educate.

Mar 16, 2013

Novel Uses for Sugar

Healers in Africa have been putting crushed sugar cane on wounds for generations. Moses Murandu is a nurse who grew up watching his father use the remedy in Africa and was surprised to find that doctors in England didn't use it. He started a study to research the idea and tested it on patients with bed sores, leg ulcers, and amputations before dressing the wounds. They found that sugar can reduce pain and kill bacteria that slow healing. Sugar is hygroscopic, meaning it naturally absorbs water, which bacteria needs to survive. Sugar is also much cheaper than modern antibiotics. The next time you cut yourself, give it a sprinkle of sugar before putting on a band-aid.

Feb 5, 2013

High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and Obesity

HFCS entered the American food supply in the 1970s and the rates of obesity began to rise about the same time. Consequently, many blame HFCS.

However, the calories in HFCS are no different from those in refined white sugar. The makeup of HFCS (55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose) is close to that of white sugar (50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose) and our bodies digest HFCS and sugar in very similar ways. Nutritionally speaking, the two are virtually identical.

Interesting Fact: Coca Cola produced in Mexico is still made with sugar (as opposed to corn syrup in the US), and many people claim to be able to taste the difference, but after numerous tests, results vary widely in their conclusions.

Oct 5, 2012

Soft Drinks and Sugar

A typical carbonated soft drink will have 200 calories in a 16-ounce serving. All of those calories come from sugar, and sugar contains 16 calories per teaspoon. Divide those two and you find a 16-ounce serving contains about 12.5 teaspoons of sugar.

I wanted to compare this to coffee, so I looked at a 12 ounce soda, which has about 140 calories or about 8.75 teaspoons of sugar. Standard coffee cups (not mugs) contain about 6 ounces of fluid. Take half the calories and sugar of a 12 ounce soda and it would take about 4.38 teaspoons of sugar to make coffee as sweet as soda.

Sep 6, 2012

Sugar Cure

Healers in Africa have been putting crushed sugar cane on wounds for generations. A study was conducted testing sugar on patients with bed sores, leg ulcers and amputations before dressing the wounds.

Results showed sugar can reduce pain and kill bacteria that slow healing. Sugar is hygroscopic, meaning it naturally absorbs water which the bacteria need to survive. Sugar is also much cheaper than many antibiotics. Try giving that cut a sprinkle of sugar before putting on a band-aid.

Mar 16, 2012

Enhancing Tomato Flavors

When cooking tomatoes, add a piece of the branch to really heighten the flavor. Also, when eating tomatoes, salt adds to the already natural acidity, try a pinch of sugar instead to really bring out the taste of the tomato.

May 20, 2011

Six Uses for Bananas

There are many uses for bananas, including the peels. For instance, you can dry out banana peels, grind them up, and use as a potassium and phosphorus rich mulch for new plants and seedlings.

You can skip the grinder and cut up banana peels and chuck them in the soil as plant food. This is especially effective for roses and staghorns. It also keeps aphids away from the roses, although I don't know why.
Put a banana peel into a large jar, cover it with water, and let it soak. Top up your watering can with the banana peel liquid of one part banana-peel water to five parts regular water. Makes great liquid fertilizer.

The tryptophan in bananas can be a relaxing mood enhancer, helping to combat the symptoms of depression. That is also why bananas and chocolate are so good to set the mood.

Adding a peeled banana in with a roast will tenderize it. You can also put a banana skin on top of chicken pieces to keep them moist while cooking and it does not affect the flavor.
One of my favorites is to use a cut up banana on cereal to eliminate the need for sugar.

Oct 28, 2009

Sugar and Hyperactivity

Sugar does not cause hyperactivity in children. Double blind trials have shown no difference in behavior between children given sugar full or sugar-free diets, even in studies specifically looking at children with attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder or those considered "sensitive" to sugar. In fact, it was found that the difference in the children's behavior was all in the adults' minds. Isn't that sweet.

Smart Choices

Speaking of sugar, do you remember a few weeks ago I posted an article about the green checkmark 'Smart Choices' logo that was supposed to indicate that the food was healthy? In my post, I wrote, "Sounds like green checks are the new green stamps, but with no value." Seems the Food and Drug Administration agrees with me and said it "could be misleading to consumers."

The food industry group is voluntarily halting promotion of its nutrition labeling program due to the regulators comments. Of course, I am sure my blog didn't help the cause either. Ha.

They launched the "Smart Choices" program in August to identify foods that meet certain nutritional standards and then highlight them for consumers with a green label on package fronts.
Smart Choices, has been criticized for handing its green seal to processed foods that are high in sugar.