The Sugar Vs. Honey Debate

There are several myths behind the reasons we crave sugar. Some even believe it to be evolutionary, since getting a hold of highly sweet foods from nature was a challenge for our ancestors. But is America addicted to sugar?

Sugar is refined crystalline carbohydrates (sucrose, lactose, and fructose) extracted from cane or beet. The sugar refinery process can be traced back to 6th century B.C.E Western Europe. But its process made it expensive and inaccessible, so it didn't become popular until Columbus brought cane to the Caribbean, where it was discovered that tropical climate was ideal for its growth. The ability to grow lots of cane then gradually led to the establishment of plantations throughout the Caribbean, and to the increased popularity of sugar.

Before the introduction of refined sugar the most common sweetener was honey, which is known as a nutritive sweetener because it contains traces of vitamins, minerals, and anti oxidants such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, chrysin, pinocembrin, pinobanksin, and catalase, depending on the flowers available to the bees that produced the honey. Consuming local honey may also be beneficial in creating immunity to local allergens. Contrary to the popular assumption, however, honey has slightly more carbohydrates and more calories per teaspoon. Not making it an alternative to white sugar for those who suffer from diabetes or are trying to lose weight.

And for those wondering about brown sugar, what gives it its brown color is the presence of molasses. It may or may not have the benefit of having less calories than white sugar depending of whether it is unrefined or partially refined soft crystalline carbohydrates with some residual molasses content, or it is produced by the addition of molasses to refined white sugar. Either way, the difference to white sugar is minute.

Everything in Moderation: A Carb Is a Carb Is a Carb

Our bodies convert all carbohydrates into crystalline carbohydrates, including grains, pasta, bread, flour... So it is that overdose of crystalline carbohydrates that overstimulates and confuses our systems and causes health problems.

The most beneficial carbohydrates are complex ones such as those found in vegetables, legumes, starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn, and 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain. 100% whole wheat and grain contain more fiber than over refined products like white rice and "regular" pasta. That extra fiber slows down the absorption of the carbohydrates so you feel full and energized longer, and are less likely to have extreme sugar and caffeine cravings or over-eat throughout the day.

So are you ready to go against norm and put a stop to this nonsense inherited addiction to fructose? And by the way, that doesn't mean depriving yourself of tasty food, just making better choices of ingredients. I found this article that might be helpful in breaking a sugar addiction.

Keep getting better by the day,
Affly Yr Inda
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