How well do you know your sugar?

Ahhh… the sweet life.  Sugar!  We all crave it at one time or another.  I know I definitely need my chocolate fix now and again, and again, and again.

For over 2,000 years all natural sugar has been the sweetener of choice worldwide. Sugar is still the predominate sweetener in the world, except for the United States.  Unfortunately, in the last 20 years man-made sweetening agents have been created and mass-produced.

However, health-conscious Americans seem to be trending toward more organic and natural food choices. Consumers are substituting artificial ingredients with natural ones and sugar is no exception. Food and beverage manufacturers are switching back to natural sugar.  At least from what I’ve been reading lately, that seems to be the trend.  Stevia, which is an all natural sugar substitute has now taken the place of aspartame and other harmful artificial sweeteners.  On packaging you may not see “Stevia” on the label, but may see “reduced sugar” or “naturally sweetened”.  For more info on Stevia

However, at only 16 calories a teaspoon, raw, organic sugar is my choice.

The FDA defines sugar as only coming from sugar cane and sugar beets. So, let’s find out exactly what comes from where?

Glucose – (Grape Sugar, Dextrose, or Corn Sugar)  It is found in sweet fruits such as berries, grapes and oranges and in some vegetables such as carrots and corn.  Commercially it is known as corn syrup.  It is a little less sweet than cane sugar and is soluble in both cold and hot water.

Fructose – (Fruit Sugar) Highly soluble.  It is a lot sweeter than cane sugar and is found in ripe fruits, honey, and some vegetables.

Sucrose – This is the sugar that most people have sitting on their tables.  It is found in cane or beet sugar, brown sugar, maple sugar and molasses.   Many fruits and certain vegetables contain small amounts of sucrose.


Lactose – (Milk Sugar) This is produced by mammals.  It is the only carbohydrate of animal origin of any significance in the human diet.  It is approximately one sixth as sweet as sucrose and dissolves poorly in cold water.  Depending on the species of the animal, the concentration of lactose in milk varies from 2 to 8 per cent.


Maltose – (Malt Sugar)  Does not occur to any extent in foods.  Maltose is produced in the malting and fermentation of grains and is present in beer and malted breakfast cereals.

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