10 interesting sugar facts

Sweet tooth? Here are a few things you didn't know about sugar:

  • Glucose is the most widely distributed sugar in nature, although we rarely eat it in its purified form.
  • Fructose, found in fruits and honey, is the sweetest of all the monosaccharides (sugar incapable of being hydrolysed to a simpler form). When tasted in crystalline form, fructose is twice as sweet as sucrose (table sugar).
  • Sugar cane and sugar beets are known to have the highest concentration of sugar. Sugar is simply separated from the beet or cane plant, and the result is pure sucrose.
  • Fruits don't only contain fructose – they also contain sucrose and glucose.
  • Pure fruit juice contains 12g of sugar per 100ml; a can of Coke contains 8g of sugar per 100ml.
  • When you consider the health of your teeth, it's better to eat 10 jelly beans all at once than it is to eat two jelly beans every hour.
  • Moderate amounts of most sugary foods do not produce dramatic rises in blood sugar as was always thought. Many starchy foods (bread, potatoes and many kinds of rice) are digested and absorbed at a faster rate than sugar.
  • During World War II, only 120g sugar was allowed to be bought per person per week as part of their rations.
  • When a spoonful of sugar is added to a vase, it prolongs the life of freshly cut flowers.
  • Sugar is used as a preservative in jams and jellies. In these foods, it inhibits the growth of microorganisms.

- (Carine van Rooyen, Health24, updated April 2011)

Read more:

The A-Z of sugar intake

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