When people think of sugar, they always imagined of fine white powder. The truth is that sugar does not exist in this form and takes an extensive process of refining to result into a concentrated final product. During the process, some of the nutritional benefits of natural sugar source are lost. Highly concentrated refined sugars are quickly absorbed upon consumption. However, when consumed excessively, it can contribute to various types of health risks and diseases.
Most of the sugar consumed in the US Originates as sugar cane that accounts for about 60% of the sugar an sugar beets account for 40%. Sugar cane is primarily grown in tropical and subtropical regions where humidity and temperatures are high. Sugar beets are typically grown in more temperate zones. The other sources of sugar include homey, sugar maple true and fruit.
Juices of sugar beets and sugar cane have natural sucrose content. The natural sugar is concentrated using the process of refining which involves different stages of washing, simmering, centrifuging, filtering and finally drying. Raw sugar is the initial result that is not really raw but should undergo the final refining stages. The sugar that is left at this stage is steamed for sanitization and is sold as turbinado.
At one point, all white table sugar was the same to that of turbinado which is brownish in color and are rougher, larger individual crystals. The last stages of the refining process involve using bleaching agents such as carbon dioxide or line to whiten the sugar and pass through bone char filter that will eliminate impurities. Usually, pure sugar is labeled referring to purity of chemical in the product and lack of some nutrients.
Excessive refined sugar consumption can pose different potential health risks such as tooth decay, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Since it has high glycemic index rating, it has fast effect on blood sugar. Refined sugars are also called empty calories, and this means that are rich in calorie but providing virtually no helpful nutrition.
Some people are using alternative sweeteners instead of refined sugar such as raw fruits and vegetables that won’t affect blood sugar and weight gain.