Romain Behar, Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons
Sucrose--not to be confused with sucralose, the chlorinated version of sucrose, and the main ingredient in Splenda and Altern--is what most people refer to as ordinary table sugar. This sugar has been used in both homes and commercial enterprises for years to sweeten foods like cakes, cookies and drinks. However, using too much sucrose can induce some unpleasant side effects.
Concentrated sugar beet juice or sugar cane are the main ingredients of sucrose. Glucose and fructose are also part of sucrose's nutritional make-up. Confectioner's sugar, brown sugar, granulated sugar and raw sugar all contain sucrose.
Food Industry Sweetener
Sucrose is a sweetener that works as a stabilising agent in products like ice cream. Sucrose, according to Scott Hegenbart writer for "Dairy Foods,' "is a multifunctional ingredient. In ice cream, for example, it enhances flavour, contributes to smooth texture and modifies the freezing point in addition to adding sweetness to the finished product." While sucrose works well for the food industry, it should only be consumed in moderation to avoid side effects.
Sucrose can have some undesirable side effects when overly consumed. Eating foods that contain sucrose can lead to tooth decay, obesity, insulin resistance, elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure, hypoglycaemia, yeast infections, inflammatory bowel disease and the hardening of the arteries. Consumption of sucrose in excessive amounts can cause the body to store the sucrose in the form of fat inside the organs, body and blood. This is the leading reason why overindulgence in sucrose makes people fat.
According to Dr. Jason Barker, N.D., author of the article "The Adverse Effects of Sucrose," "sucrose is the largest of the sugars and must actually be split in half, or metabolised before it contributes to the energy systems of the body. This metabolic process slows the rate at which sucrose enters the bloodstream." Sucrose also retains water as it enters the stomach and intestines, which can cause bloating, gas and diarrhoea.
Since sucrose works so well as a sweetening agent in the food industry, it is often the main ingredient in junk foods. Almost all store-bought cakes, cookies, ice creams and chocolates contain high amounts of sucrose. Sodas are also loaded with sucrose. That is what gives them their syrupy flavour. Junk foods and sodas can cause weight gain and sluggishness when consumed. These foods should be eaten only in moderation, if at all.
- Romain Behar, Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons