It can be found in the building blocks of life, and is a necessary ingredient in maintaining a properly functioning body. It has a history going back as far as 350 AD in India where it was originally chewed in raw form in order to extract it’s sweetness. Sugar; one if it’s many aliases has been in high demand since it’s discovery. Humans are naturally attracted to “sweet.” Lactose is the primary carbohydrate found in human milk. Lactose is derived from galactose and glucose. Too many -ose’s to keep track of? Don’t be intimidated, it can get a bit hectic. Basically lactose is only a few steps away from the most simplest form of sugar. From the get go we begin to crave sweet things. Lactose isn’t all bad it also helps to decrease the amount of unhealthy bacteria in the stomach, which improves the absorption of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. It helps to fight disease and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the stomach. Point is, sugar makes us crave more sugar. Unless you were raised as some sort of experiment it is almost impossible to escape copious amounts of sugar intake as a child. While a certain amount is necessary for your body, too much can cause some real issues, especially if it’s modified in any way.
There is nothing remotely newsworthy in suggesting that an excess of sugar is harmful to ones self. However sugar is merely an umbrella of a term, it covers so much. Most people don’t stop and wonder where the sugar came from before they eat it. Or in what form it came in. High-Fructose Corn Syrup was quickly introduced to the United States in many soft drinks and processed foods starting in 1975. In 1977 the US significantly increased the cost of imported sugar and producers naturally sought for cheaper sources. In order to yield HFCS, corn is milled to produce corn starch,then processing the starch into corn syrup. Corn syrup is virtually 100% glucose, manufacturers then add enzymes which turn some of the glucose into fructose making it approximately 42% fructose: HFCS 42. It is then purified into 90% fructose; HFCS 90. When you add the two, you get HFCS that is “edible.” After anything going through so many modifications, it hardly sounds worth eating.
It costs less for manufacturers to use HFCS’, in turn it is cheaper for us to purchase. Nobody is forced to eat HFCS but many don’t even know or realize it’s in most of what they eat. In the old days, rich people were fat. Poor people were thin. Today, the polar opposite is true. Several studies show that low-income children and adults are far more likely to be overweight than those of greater means. And statistical distribution fits a curve – as income falls, the rate of obesity rises. They pump HFCs into poor quality foods meant for people with little money. In short, HFCS make big companies more profits while the poor get sick. As the saying goes, pay the doctor or pay the farm. If you have the means to dictate what types of sugars and food goes into your body, do so with a watchful eye. Many labellings are just false. A ‘pure cane sugar’ label doesn’t really tell you if it was genetically modified before it was cultivated.
Don’t spend your whole life reading labels, but get to know the common names for sugar mentioned earlier in this article: Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, Galactose. There are others, just keep an eye out for the “OSE” suffix. Unfortunately in today’s world the government makes more money from keeping us sick and with little nutrition. Spreading awareness is the first step in getting to know what you put in your body and why.