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BUSTED: Myths about sugar and honey!

Last updated on: November 19, 2012 14:01 IST

BUSTED: Myths about sugar and honey!

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Preeti Desai

We had invited you to ask questions on how to deal with the disease on Rediff ZaraBol. Our in-house nutritionist Preeti Desai answered selected questions that address most of the issues that you brought up. Today she busts the myths around different types of sugar and honey.

Vijayalakshmi asked: Instead of sugar can brown sugar or palm sugar be used by diabetics in tea coffee and sweets?

Did you know that brown sugar and white sugar actually have about the same amount of calories and carbohydrate per serving?

All sweeteners like powdered sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, fructose, agave nectar, high-fructose corn syrup, and brown rice syrup are similar. So, replacing white sugar with any of these sweeteners will not change the amount of your sugar intake.

Cut calories on your carbohydrates intake with artificial sweeteners only on consultation with your doctor.

Artificial sweeteners may be zero-calorie or very low-calorie and you can use them to sweeten coffee or tea, sprinkled over fruit, and add them in some recipes with them.

Check with your doctor the amount you are allowed daily as there is a limitation of how much you should have in a day and it varies from person to person;

Calories in different types of sugars

  • 1 teaspoon of white sugar provides about 10 calories or 5 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar provides about 11 calories or 5 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 teaspoon of palm sugar provides about 10 calories or 5 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 packet of artificial sweetener provides about 4 calories

Photographs: Lauri Andler/Wikimedia Creative Commons

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What should you know about palm sugar or coconut palm sugar?

Coconut palm sugar is a sugar substitute and is made from sap that is extracted from the coconut tree. Palm sugar taste is similar to brown sugar. One can use Palm sugar for baking as it has a very low melt temperature and an extremely high burn temperature;

Individuals with diabetes can use coconut palm sugar as a sweetener, but they should not treat it any differently than regular sugar when planning meals. Coconut palm sugar provides just as many calories and carbohydrates as regular sugar that is about 10 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrate per teaspoon. Check the nutrition label as at times coconut palm sugar may be mixed with cane sugar and other ingredients.


Photographs: Badagnani/Wikimedia Creative Commons
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How much added sugar should one have per day?

Most individuals consume more sugar than they realize so it is important to be aware of how much sugar you consume; your body doesn't need added sugar to function properly since you get enough natural sugar from various foods

For healthy adults it is recommended that women have up to 100 calories per day or about 2 tablespoons a day of added sugar and men women have up to 150 calories per day or about 3 tablespoons a day of added sugar.

Diabetics should consult their doctor on the amount and type of added sugar allowed per day.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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