Refined Sugar 101
Apparently someone thinks they’re a princess.
Right, you’re here for the food pictures, aren’t you? I could easily become one of “those” dog owners :P
Speaking of which, The Princess busted into my room this morning without my realizing. I woke up at 8am spooning a poodle.
Dipped into sugar-free syrup. I actually prefer table syrup to maple syrup for dipping. Not as rich.
Declared it a rest day in order to make amends with my body. So I spent the morning catching up on blogs. Definitely not the type of Monday mornings I’m used to!
Natural sugar + peanut butter. Nomnom. There may have been a couple bites of Queen Elizabeth cake, but there is no photographic evidence to prove this.
Lunch was another gargantuan salad.
Have you tried watered down hummus as a dressing yet?? It’s ohsooogoooood.
Was out running errands in my hometown today (I technically grew up across the river from where my mom lives now). Population 16,000. Ran into half a dozen people I know in a span of 30 minutes. Oh, and I hung out in my dad’s office for a bit – we made plans to go to a spin class together this week!
I need to make some homemade protein bars while I’m here – I’m missing them! This will make do in the meantime, a Kashi Seven Whole Grain Almond bar and four egg whites with Frank’s hot sauce. Egg whites make a really good snack!
I originally thought my mother was going to make dinner. We started talking about how to use up the chicken breasts and eggplant that were in the fridge. Then I said I’d get started on it because I was hungry. 45 minutes I was calling her upstairs to come eat while it was still hot. How did that happen?
I then added that to a pot with a can of diced tomatoes and tomato soup, with the chopped eggplant, few pinches of basil, few shakes of hot sauce and a few cranks of the pepper grinder. Served on top of whole wheat egg white noodles.
Refined Sugar 101
As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to elaborate on refined sugars, what they are, and why I want to cut back the amount in my diet. It’s no secret I have a rabid sweet tooth. I can, and have, eaten sweets until I feel sick. I’m hoping by cutting back on refined sugars in particular, I can train my palette not to crave it, and hopefully do my body some good!
Refined sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets. The refining process begins by extracting the sucrose through a number of cycles including boiling, putting through a centrifuge and filtering. The result is called “raw sugar,” contains 95% sucrose, and sold as turbinado sugar (the larger, brownish crystals).
Table sugar is raw sugar usually bleached with lime or carbon dioxide. Water is then added and it is further whitened by being put through an animal char filter, which also removes any leftover minerals, further refining it to a near complete sucrose state. Bone char by the way, is charred animal bones, and also often used to remove heavy metals from water. This is also why strict vegans don’t eat white sugar or salt (and why I didn’t when I was vegan).
Table sugar is about 99.9% sucrose, and contains virtually no vitamins or minerals for its high calorie content. It’s high on the glycemic index, meaning it quickly affects your blood sugar levels and your body’s reaction to regulate them.
Molasses is the by-product of the second extraction of the refining process, and blackstrap molasses is the by-product of the third extraction. Brown sugar is simply table sugar with added molasses, and powdered sugar is pulverized table sugar.
Some terms you may want to know:
Saccharose – aka sucrose
Oligosaccharides – short-chain carbohydrates found in things like beans and onions. Not very sweet.
Glucose – a sugar found in many plants, as well as in blood. Sweeter than sucrose.
Fructose – sugar in mostly fruits and honey, almost twice as sweet as sucrose.
Dextrose – another term for glucose
Lactose – the sugar found in milk
Maltose – the sugar found in malt and beer
Palm sugar – the saccharose/sucrose from dates
So, I’m attempting to get my sugars from real foods and using things like maple syrup and honey which are sugar solutions made with water. I also use stevia, which is a whole other post!!
As always, read the ingredients labels to see what foods have sugar, and what kind of sugar it is. It has a funny way of sneaking into diets ;)
Pssst… don’t forget! I’m giving away a waffle maker!!