Have a bad day at work? Feeling low? There’s nothing that a scoop of ice cream or a cupcake cannot fix. But what do these things have in common that makes them so irresistible and comforting?. Well you know the answer, it’s none other than those tiny white crystals that do the magic ‘Sugar’.Sugar is the ingredient that releases the feel-good hormone dopamine in our body. Sugar is one of the oldest recorded commodities.
History of Sugar
Sugar was initially used in Polynesian islands which later spread to India. The manufacturing of sugar was initially kept secret, only the finished goods were exported. Sugarcane was known as the magical reed that could produce honey without bees.
Due to the many crusades and trades to and with the Eastern countries the west got acquainted with sugar. In the West, sugar was first documented in England in 1069. Initially, sugar was considered a luxury and was only consumed by the elite members of society. Slowly it began to be used in every household of every class.
Fun Fact: Ice cream was the first dessert ever made with sugar!.
Various types of Sugar
Unlike what most of us think there are more than 11 types of sugar!. Here we discuss some of them
- Granulated Sugar
Granulated sugar is the highly processed granulated sugar also known as refined sugar. This is the type of sugar that is standard in most households.
- Caster Sugar
Caster sugar is highly granulated sugar. This sugar usually dissolves faster than granulated sugar.
- Demerara Sugar
This sugar is minimally processed with larger grains and a subtle molasses flavour. It is generally used to sweeten coffee or as a topping on baked sweets.
- Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is prepared by adding molasses to granulated sugar. It adds a toffee-like flavour to the confectioneries.
- Muscovado Sugar
Muscovado is the type of sugar from which the molasses isn’t removed. It is known for its distinct sticky and sand texture and complex flavours.
Why do we feel good after eating sugary food?
When we eat sugary food, the sugar in the food ensures the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter hormone vital to managing emotional responses to the nucleus accumbens, a part of the brain linked to reward, and motivation.
Advantages of Sugar
- When inappropriate quantities of sugar provide a boost of energy.
- Natural sugars present in fruits come with added nutrients that are beneficial for the body.
- It stores energy for later use. After the initial breakdown of sugar some energy from the process is stored for later use.
- Finally, as we know it is an instant mood booster.
Disadvantages of Sugar
- When consumed above recommended quantities sugar can lead to problems like obesity, cardiac diseases, and cancer.
- Sugar may accelerate the skin ageing process and also cause acne.
- Sugar also causes aging at a cellular level which causes damage to telomeres, a compound that minimizes the loss of DNA during the replication process.
- Excessive levels of sugar also cause issues like fatty liver which may lead to NAFLD.
Finally speaking Sugar in appropriate quantities does not do any harm to the body. Consuming sugars available in natural forms are extremely good for the body as they provide added nutrients.