As we commemorate the World Diabetes Day, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk a little bit about sugar. Based on the data from World Health Organization, The number of people with diabetes has risen from 390% increase in the past 34 years. From 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. In 2030, it is projected to be the seventh leading cause of death in 2030.
This may be one of the reasons why more and more people these days are trying to avoid sugar completely. I saw some extreme examples taken by people, like having non-fruit diets for example.
While limiting sugar intake to our body is important, in my humble opinion, I think we must, first, understand the science behind sugar before we decide on making a drastic decision to cut sugar out of our lives completely. I sometimes wonder, how many people know what makes up sugar, how they are being being made and in what natural forms do they come from.
Fortunately, my mother is a food nutritionist with a degree in chemical engineering. Her specialization is in organic chemistry. So, I learned a lot from her about sugar and it’s function in my cake. So, in this blog, I’m sharing you all the things I’ve learned about sugar so far.
The sugar ingredients I use in my cakes and buttercream comes from coconut sugar and sugarcane syrup - which naturally contain sucrose. When sucrose is eaten, a certain enzyme in our body separates it into sugar units of glucose and fructose. Our body generally uses glucose as our main energy source, and fructose for the extra energy we need. However, when not used, fructose will be stored in our body into fat. This unused fat is what then turn into health issues, such as diabetes.
So, it’s important to limit the amount of sugar coming into our body and to make sure to use them by exercising and being physically active!
As for the coconut sugar I use, I wondered if it’s healthier than refined / table sugar. I did some research and found out some interesting facts about coconut sugar. Here they are:
#1 Coconut sugar has 50% lower glycemic index compared to refined sugar. Glycemic Index or GI is a measure of how quickly a food raises our blood sugar levels. Research says, coconut sugar has a glycemic index of about 35, whilst sucrose (which is table sugar) has glycemic index around 68. Which goes to ‘high’ category.
#2 Coconut sugar helps to ferment cake dough. Sugar is needed to be broken down into carbon dioxide and water, which in turns, raises the dough, making them easier for us humans to eat.
#3 Compared with table sugar which doesn’t contain any important nutrients, coconut sugar has quite a bit of nutrients. These are including iron, zinc, calcium and potassium.
These things make coconut sugar a better option than table sugar! However, we also need to still be mindful with the amount of coconut sugar we put into ur body. Because, you know, too much of everything is not good.
So, before we eat anything, we need to be mindful with the type of sugar being used and how much it is in one meal. As for mine, I only use the lowest amount of GI sugar products, like coconut sugar and sugar cane, and I make sure that I don’t put too much in them that it will be excessive for our body.