Welcome to the Official blog page of The Health Cafe - "Lets Talk Health"

The health cafe' concept is one where we discuss complicated health issues of a very serious nature in a very light and understandable language. The medical jargon often used by doctors do sound like Greek and Latin to many of us. Hear at the health cafe' it is our effort to detail, discuss and focus on these health issues in a very simple language and light cafe like atmosphere. The focus it to create an interactive platform where people at large could get authentic health related information at the click of a mouse from the true experts in the field. Hope you all enjoy reading the health cafe' and you are welcome to respond with your views and queries to our team who are every ready to help you out with your health care needs. THE HEALTH CAFE TEAM

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sugars: Some more Lethal than Others

Sugars-some more lethal than others http://healthcafe.in/focus.php?artid=296

Our bodies cannot do without sugar. One of the most basic units of energy that feeds our cells is glucose. That means we need glucose in order for our body to work. Glucose is a type of sugar. Cutting the sugars out o our diet completely might be a tall order for many of us. So the wisest thing to do may be to understand what are the healthy limits, and try to stick to that. Forty pounds of sugar per person per year, beyond what we get from the fruits and vegetables – was what the FDA stated was safe. That translates to 200 calories of ‘added sugars’ per day, which is almost the amount you get from one can of Coke. So if you want to keep to a healthy amount of sugar, and if you have  a soft drink, that means, no breads, no sauce, no additional fries or chips, no burgers, nothing that adds any more carbs whatsoever on the same day. Could you do that?
If you really want to stick to this and protect yourself and your family from diabetes, heart disease and obesity, this is what you have to do, says Dr.Lustig, childhood obesity expert.
1 Eliminate all sugared drinks – drink only water and milk.
2 Make sure you eat fiber with the carbohydrates you eat (if you eat only simple carbohydrates that are immediately broken down, it makes your glucose levels shoot up, resulting in more fat being stored. The fiber makes sure that the breakdown process is steadier)
3. Wait 20 minutes before you go for a second helping ( so your body gets time to discern if you are full or if you are having a metabolic malfunction or a craving.)
4. Increase physical activity (it’s improves your insulin sensitivity, and reduces stress- which diminishes your appetite.)
Here is a guide to understanding what the sugars that are commonly found in our food stuff really are:
Glucose: Also known as dextrose. A simple sugar that is metabolized by most every cell in the body. Also called blood sugar because it circulates in your blood. Most carbohydrates contain glucose. It is 20% less sweet than sugar.
Sucrose: The chemical name for granulated white table sugar; a mixture of 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Sulfur dioxide is added before evaporation to bleach the sugar.
Fructose: Fruit sugar that occurs naturally in honey, dates, raisins, grapes, apples, etc. Nowadays fructose is mostly produced from corn syrup. Fructose is metabolized by the liver, and when more quantities are eaten quickly the liver becomes stressed and turns most of the fructose to fat. This increases triglycerides in the blood, which increases the risk of heart disease. Fructose also increases levels of uric acid in the body.
Granulated White Sugar: Also known as table sugar, or pure crystallized sucrose, made by processing raw sugar from sugar cane or sugar beets.
High Fructose Corn Syrup: A combination of fructose and glucose made by processing corn syrup. Processing converts some of the corn syrup’s glucose into fructose to produce a desired sweetness. The resulting syrup is sweeter and more soluble. Possibly the worst kind of fructose, suspected to be one of the leading reasons for the diabetes and obesity epidemics worldwide.
Agave: The highly processed pulp of a desert-dwelling succulent plant. Agave is high in fructose, different brands range from 56-92% fructose. It is about 33 percent sweeter than sugar. Very high fructose.
     Brown Sugar: White sugar in disguise – this is refined white sugar with a bit of molasses added back into it. 

     Confectioners’ Sugar: Also called icing sugar, this is granulated white sugar ground into a fine powder, sometimes with a bit of cornstarch to keep it dry.

        Fruit Juice Concentrate: These are syrups high in fructose – made by heating fruit juices to remove their water, then treating with enzymes and filtering, then re-adding fruit flavors.
High Maltose Corn Syrup: A highly processed corn syrup with a high maltose content. Maltose is two bonded units of glucose. No fructose is present at all, and it is very easy for the body to break down. Our bodies create an enzyme, maltase that easily breaks down maltose into glucose.
Maltodextrin: A highly processed powdered sweetener enzymatically derived from any starch, resulting in a mixture of Glucose, Maltose, Oligosaccharides and Polysaccharides. In the US, the starch is usually corn, rice or potato; in Europe, it is commonly wheat. Maltodextrin is easily digestible, being absorbed as rapidly as glucose.
The better ones Maple Syrup: Boiled down maple tree sap. Barely processed, pure maple syrup is a good source of minerals like manganese and zinc. Look at the label when you buy this – Grade B gives you more minerals than Grade A.
Demerara: Pressed sugar cane water evaporated, resulting in large and coarse crystals.
Lactose: Sugar that occurs naturally in milk. Derived from whey. Lactose is about 20% as sweet as sugar.
Honey: A mix of glucose, fructose and sucrose created from nectar made by bees. Honey usually has a fructose/glucose ratio similar to HFCS. Has other nutrients too.
Molasses: The thick, dark syrup that’s left over when sugar beets or sugar cane are processed into granulated sugar. Black strap is loaded with vitamins, minerals and trace elements naturally present in the sugar cane plant and is a good source of iron, vitamin B6, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Jaggery: Is unrefined sugarcane or palm sap heated to 200 °C. It contains up to 50% sucrose, up to 20% invert sugars, up to 20% moisture, and the remainder is made up of other insoluble matter such as wood ash, proteins and fibers. It is called Palm Sugar when made from the date palm or sugar date palm.
Coconut Palm Sugar: One of the lowest glycemic index sweeteners on the market, organic coconut palm sugar is high nutritious. It has low levels of naturally occurring glucose and fructose, in addition to the presence of inulin (a zero glycemic prebiotic that aids digestive health.) 

     Muscovado: Unrefined. Made by pressing sugarcane and then cooking it slightly before allowing it to dry. Full of molasses and minerals.
Stevia : A sugarleaf. Stevia plants are dried and the water is taken out. 300 times sweeter than sugar with zero calories; but has a bitter aftertaste.
Artificial sugars
Aspartame: Sold under the names Equal, NutraSweet, AminoSweet. 100% artificial chemicals. This is the most used artificial sweetener in the world, many studies have been reporting adverse effects. Saccharin: Artificial sweetener that is basically a chemical called benzoic sulfilimine. It has effectively no food energy. Much sweeter than sucrose.

     So the next time you see a carbohydrate or a read the label of a processed food, take time to understand what you are putting into your body. Choose the healthier option and be aware of how much is in a serving.
Best option of all? Stick to traditional, home cooked food combinations – they seem to have it all complex carbs, healthy combinations as well as healthy sugars!