This Article is About
refined sugars
tooth decay
few suggestions
white sugar
healthy lifestyle
natural food
Sugar In Your Diet…the Processes And Alternatives
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Sugar In Your Diet…the Processes And Alternatives

Okay, so most of us have heard and know the good and bad things about sugar. On the positive side it provides energy and makes the food we eat taste good, and it is also used as a preservative to keep certain foods fresh and edible. On the down side, it has been argued a diet of excessive sugar, in particular refined sugars, can be linked to conditions like obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease and even dementia. With these thoughts in mind, I have assessed my own diet and health and discovered alternatives to refined sugar and ways to reduce my daily intake, yet still enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

The process of refined sugar

First, let’s look at how refined sugar is made (I won’t get too technical, so just bear with me). Sucrose is the substance that is extracted from the stems of sugarcane. The juice from the milling process is then removed with water or diffusion. This is then purified with lime and heated to eliminate the enzymes. The resulting thin syrup is then evaporated to remove further water. A further process then produces crystals of raw, brown coated sugar. This is then either used as a raw product or chemically bleached or treated to create white sugar.

So what worries me about this is the bleaching process that takes place to produce white sugar. This is similar to the bleaching of raw wheat to produce WHITE flour. What’s wrong with a natural product? I’m a natural food kind of guy, so if I can keep my diet as pure as possible without the intervention of chemical processes, preservatives and the like, then I know my body is going to thank me for it.

A few alternatives

Breakfast, it has been said, is your most important meal of the day. Well, I am a firm believer in this, and have gradually adjusted my morning menu to incorporate what I consider the three most important ingredients to fuel the body for the day ahead; i.e. protein, fibre and energy. Here are a few suggestions you may want to consider:

Cereals – most packaged cereals will have a sugar content, some higher than others. Check the packet before you buy. If sugar is listed as the first ingredient, then it will have a high portion in the product. I go for things like wheat biscuits, bran, porridge (oatmeal), muesli or granola. These have low sugar content and, if you still want to sweeten them slightly, just add a teaspoon of honey.

Dairy products – a glass of full cream milk (yes, full cream!); natural yoghurt (unflavoured) with fruit (apples, bananas, pears, berries); cottage cheese (on toast or crisp bread).

Tea, juices – black tea or green tea with a slice of lemon or teaspoon of honey, freshly squeezed fruit juice (as opposed to packaged juices that usually have added sugar).

Don’t rush out in the morning with just a piece of toast and a sip of coffee, take a few minutes and enjoy a nutritious breakfast. You’ll be surprised how well you can get through your day.

For snacks throughout the day, just have a piece of fruit or simple things like crackers and cheese. I know those donuts and cakes look nice and tasty, but they won’t do you good in the long run. You can reward yourself once or twice a week if you have been good and sticking to a planned, nutritious diet, and indulge in a slice of cake with your coffee (there are healthy cakes too, but that’s another article).

All this of course should be adjusted to suit your own dietary requirements and check with your doctor or nutritionist if unsure. It just comes down to common sense and awareness, and we can all do that. Stay well and healthy.

Street Talk

All great points.

  about 1 decade ago
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