20 Tips to Quickly Reduce Your High Blood Pressure Without Medications
Do you have a high blood pressure? And do you want to lower this blood pressure in a natural way without taking blood pressure reducing drugs as ace inhibitors? Then this article is written for you!
Remember, the subject of high blood pressure is quite complex and it contains a number of contradictions.
For example, there are doctors who are firmly convinced of lowering blood pressure with blood pressure lowering drugs (antihypertensive drugs) while other doctors find the whole idea of blood pressure reducers complete nonsense and money whiskers.
But do not worry, because this article is going to create a lot of clarity.
This is what you will discover:
Why blood pressure lowering medication does not cure anything
How often high blood pressure (hypertension) occurs globally
14 proven nutritional tips to lower your blood pressure
Which sites you can better skip when it comes to info about blood pressure
How many years of life will go off on average if the blood pressure is too high
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure or tension is the force with which the heart pumps blood into the blood vessels, ie the fluid pressure in the arterial system. Blood pressure is shown with upper pressure (systolic) and negative pressure (diastolic), separated by a slash, for example, RR (Riva-Rocci) 120/80 mmHg.
At the top pressure, the pressure is highest as the heart contracts and the blood pushes the body. In the case of underpressure, this pressure is lower since the heart then relaxes. In short, you have to see the heart as a kind of pump.
What is (too) high blood pressure?
A (too) high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, means that there is too much pressure on your blood vessels. The result is that the blood vessels become harder and stiffer and the elasticity deteriorates. This increases the chance of arterial calcification. The result is that blood vessels can tear more easily.
A high blood pressure is related to:
Heart and vascular disease
Damage to organs or vessel walls
Cerebral hemorrhages and strokes
Overweight and obesity
Diabetes type 2
Of course, we are talking about long-term / chronic high blood pressure, not about a temporary high blood pressure that we all have, such as during a stressful event or sports activity.
That is why you should always sit for at least 5 minutes before you can measure your blood pressure. Over a period of several months (with risk profiles faster), different measurements are made to get as accurate a picture as possible of the blood pressure.
Incidentally, it is arbitrary where the boundary lies between a ‘normal’ and ‘too high’ blood pressure. That is why a few guidelines have been drawn up. These come from the European Society for Cardiology.
For adults, high blood pressure (hypertension) means that the blood count is more than RR 140/90 mmHg.
In the previous guidelines, the blood value 130/80 mmHg was aimed for, but research showed that people did not benefit from these low values and that it was not a realistic goal.
That is why we now aim for the systolic blood pressure of less than 140 mmHg. With 80-year-olds, that value is 140 to 150 mmHg.
If blood pressure is measured at home, it should be less than 135/90 mmHg. This is because at home the blood pressure is slightly lower than when you visit a doctor.
You can also measure your blood pressure at home if you have a blood pressure monitor for home use. Choose approved and reliable meters such as Beurer, Microlife or Omron.
How often does high blood pressure occur globally?
The prevalence figures are as follows:
“There are almost 900 million people in the world with hypertension, and there are almost 3.5 billion people with elevated blood pressure that doesn’t quite meet the definition of hypertension,” said study lead author Christopher Murray. He directs the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle.
In the 30-70 age group, 31.4% of people have high blood pressure, which is about. A percentage of 37.4% applies to men and 26.2% for women.
The graph also shows the explosive growth in how often hypertension occurs in the past decades. Time for an action you will say!
As the age increases, the percentage of hypertension increases, which, incidentally, declines again at an advanced age (80 years and older).
It is noteworthy that blood pressure rises with age in Western countries. For example, a study from 1929 with participants of traditional African natives in East Africa shows that blood pressure in men decreases as age increases. Also in the traditional Inuit, you see the same trend, just like the Kuna.
When these Africans, Inuit or Kuna come into contact with the western lifestyle, this effect reverses and blood pressure rises as the age goes up.
Hypertension is also a major problem worldwide. According to estimates from the World Health Organization, 7.5 million people worldwide die from high blood pressure (source) every year. That is 12.8% of all deaths.
Symptoms of high blood pressure
There is a whole line of symptoms of high blood pressure. Here are the most important ones:
A headache and dizziness
Nausea and vomiting
Shortness of breath
Problem with visibility
Blood pressure lowering medication does not cure
You might think that you are using medicines to cure something, and finally, they are also called medicines.
But no, there is little of that. Almost all medication does not cure diseases, but suppresses the symptoms of the disease. It is symptom relief, often without looking at the underlying cause. Not only that, because almost all medicines lead to (annoying) side effects.
If you think about it, there is a cure for a disease by tackling the cause and not a revenue model. Because of this, you ‘lose’ the patient instead of being in the medication for the rest of her or his life (and therefore pay money).
The idea of symptom management without looking at the cause also applies to blood pressure lowering drugs. You do not cure high blood pressure.
For example, if you look at ‘calcium channel blockers’ at a molecular level, they cause them to disrupt certain mechanisms that allow blood vessels to relax and expand. The result is that blood pressure drops.
But other consequences are a series of side effects, such as fluid retention (edema), slight palpitations, intestinal complaints, headache, dizziness, gum problems etc.
In order to solve the cause of hypertension, particular attention must be paid to the dietary pattern.
8 Proven Health Benefits of Olive Oil + Best Variant
There is a lot of disagreement on fats in your diet on earth. From the seventies, there was a call for less fat to eat. They would cause overweight, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.
Nowadays many scientists come back to this and fats do not appear to be as unhealthy as they thought. But there is one type of fat/oil that everyone always knew is healthy, and that is olive oil.
There is actually no person on earth who claims that it is unhealthy. And that is because olive oil has many healthy effects on the body.
In this article, I will teach you all these benefits.
In addition, you will learn in this article:
What type of fats olive oil consists of
Why you can heat your olive oil perfectly
How this oil improves your cholesterol levels
Why olive oil reduces the chance of cancer
Which type of olive oil is the best
Why is olive oil so healthy?
There is always a lot of fuss about fats and oils. There has been a long time that fats oils have only been negative in the news.
This has had everything to do with the fact that there is one big study (Keys from the 60s) that has linked the eating of fats to cardiovascular diseases. And then it is mainly saturated fatty acids, which you mainly find in animal products. You can think of cream butter here. As a result, many people have started to eat more margarine and vegetable oils with the idea that this is much healthier.
If you look at olive oil, olive oil is indeed a healthy alternative. But people are also going to use a lot more sunflower oil, palm oil and corn oil.
In recent years, however, it has come to light that there is no scientific link between eating saturated fats and the risk of cardiovascular disease (source, source). But still, many people eat vegetable oils and use them for baking. And that while it has been found that just the most vegetable oils are not healthy at all. And that has everything to do with the ratio of omega-6: omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-6 ratio: omega-3
To understand why olive oil is so healthy, you first get a little insight into fatology.
You can divide fats into unsaturated fatty acids and saturated fatty acids. You can simply remember that saturated fatty acids are hard at room temperature and unsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature. An example of a saturated fatty acid is butter and an example of an unsaturated fatty acid in olive oil.
A small side notes: You also have margarine, which actually consists of unsaturated fatty acids but which is hard at room temperature. It has been chemically processed at the factory and mixed with trans fats, making it hard at room temperature. This actually shows how unhealthy this fat is.
8 Essential Tips to Eat Sugar-free + 3 Recipes and Schedule
Sugar-rich food products increase the risk of tooth decay, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and weight gain. Sugar-free food is good for health in that respect.
But even if you eat completely healthy, you still get sugars inside. In this article, I give you several tips to drastically reduce your daily sugar intake.
What you learn in this article is:
What I really mean with sugar-free food and drinks
Why sugar addiction is bad for your health
How you can avoid being fooled inside the supermarket with 2 tips
How many hiding names food manufacturers use for sugar (the number is higher than you think
3 Delicious sugar-free meal recipes
Why you want to eat sugar-free as much as possible
If you’ve ever tried to cut down on sugar, you know how incredibly difficult it can be. On some days it even seems impossible to eat sugar-free. Why is it that your brain has such problems with reducing sugar?
Sugar causes opiate-like effects and affects dopamine activity in the brain’s reward center. Sugar is admittedly not as addictive as drugs, but there is some resemblance (source).
Added sugar in food products is the worst ingredient in the modern Western diet. Sugar is preferably added in half of all foods in the supermarket. Added sugars have harmful effects on our metabolism and provide a greater risk of various diseases of the diseases (source).
Many inhabitants of Western countries consume enormous amounts of refined sugars, in some countries about 67 kg per year. That is on average more than 500 calories a day alone of sugar.
In the timeline below (source) you see that the consumption of sugar and the increase of obesity in the Western world are interrelated:
The exact amounts of sugar vary from research to research, but it is clear in any case that we eat more sugar than is good for us (source).
Several studies show that consuming large amounts of sugar can lead to serious metabolic disorders, including insulin resistance, bad cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and a disturbed blood sugar level (source, source).
In the video below the dangers of added sugars: “How sugar affects the brain – Nicole Avena”.
What I really mean with sugar-free food and drinks
Of course, total sugar-free life is nonsense, the main point is that you try to avoid fast sugars as much as possible and that is very different from being 100% sugar-free through life.
Something that is also virtually impossible.
The added, quick sugars in refined food are covered by simple carbohydrates and you want to reduce them. It would be absurd to demonize all foods with carbohydrates.
Multiple carbohydrates are full of nutrients and fiber and contribute to the supply of energy for the body and the brain. They also have a low glycemic index value which means that they are slowly broken down, causing the blood sugar level to rise and fall slowly.
Food sources rich in complex carbohydrates: vegetables, fresh fruit (with fiber), legumes, sweet potatoes, quinoa and oatmeal.
Fast sugars, or simple carbohydrates, are found in sweet drinks, fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, white rice, etc. The daily eating of large amounts of simple carbohydrates can lead to overweight and type 2 diabetes(source,source).
But fast sugars also cause large peaks and deep valleys in blood sugar levels. We also call this the blood sugar roller coaster. These fluctuations can result in you quickly getting hungry and eating again (source).
Refined products are almost always deprived of vitamins, fibers and minerals. The simple carbohydrates only deliver calories. In other words, they are empty calories and that is one of the reasons why they are so unhealthy (source).
Tip # 1: read the nutritional value table carefully
Many food labels of products in the supermarket are advertised as healthy, while they are actually rare.
Think of attractive and healthy eye packs that are often full of vitamin claims.
Often, in refined foods, consciously small amounts of ingredients are processed that are considered to be healthy. Think of vitamins, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids. This is done purely for marketing reasons (clean-labeling) so that they can advertise on the packaging.
In most cases, the amounts of these healthy nutrients are negligible and do not compensate for the harmful substances and sugar-rich amounts in this type of products.
In this way, smart marketers can deceive parents who think they are making healthy choices for themselves and their children.
Wellness: integral health and balance between body and mind
Wellness is a concept that is inextricably linked to well-being. Its purpose is to improve your quality of life and to prevent physical or psychological disorders by taking care of, treating and stimulating different aspects. These include your diet, body, emotions, relationships and environment. It is a concept of comprehensive health that is becoming increasingly popular and worth knowing.
You’ve probably seen a wellness center in your city. Usually, they are beautiful locations where they offer a spa, gym and sophisticated relaxation rooms. There is, therefore, no doubt that many hotel chains use this term for financial purposes and to expand their customer base. However, it is worth mentioning that the essential purpose for which the approach was conceived is sometimes somewhat forgotten. All the more because it was established more than 50 years ago.
“Life is not life without well-being. It is simply a state of lethargy and suffering. “
Wellness is not a new concept
Wellness is nothing new at all. This integral approach to well-being arose some years after the end of the Second World War. The social and economic model improved slowly, and with it, other types of needs came into effect. Needs such as personal growth, freedom and the possibility to choose, to develop ourselves psychologically and emotionally.
It was a fascinating and decisive moment. A moment when psychology became aware that its scientific model had to open up to other possibilities. For example, many professionals decided to no longer focus on treating mental illness simply by providing people with mechanisms, resources and strategies to learn to be happy. No, the goal now was to let people invest in their well-being, in their own self-realization.
Pioneer in this field and maker of the wellness movement was Halbert L. Dun, a physician and biostatist. In the fifties, Dun gained increasing popularity through his conferences and his books. His message was clear and incredibly inspiring: “People have to live in a world that is more aware, making optimum use of their potential.”
The 7 keys to understanding wellness
Previously, we already indicated how hotel chains or health centers offer weekends that are related to wellness. However, these centers sometimes show us a false picture of what this movement originally strived for. Wellness is not something you should really try out on an outing or during a vacation. It is a lifestyle that you should integrate into your daily life.
It is, therefore, to be expected that more and more therapists will specialize in this strategy that seeks to optimize the potential. We must know, however, that it is not an easy task. It is an extremely active process that requires willpower, perseverance, full awareness and decision-making.
Another aspect that is worth considering is that wellness is also integrated into what is known as ‘complementary medicine’. We expressly speak of ‘complementary medicine’ because this strategy is not an ‘alternative’ for ordinary medicine. It certainly does not try to replace ordinary medicine.
The purpose of wellness is to prevent the occurrence of certain diseases and disorders before the signs of it occur to some extent. It does this by reminding us, for example, how important it is to eat well and healthy, to exercise or to care for one’s own emotional world.
We, therefore, stand for a new concept of ‘spiritual and physical’ well-being that teaches the individual to create healthier and happier living conditions. Thus the individual will be able to reach his maximum potential and acquire a stronger health.
Let’s look at the dimensions that make up wellness.
1. Physical well-being
How would you define physical well-being? The first thing that comes to mind is undoubted ‘the absence of disease’. But for wellness, you have to go beyond that. After all, being healthy is not only limited to being disease-free, it also means ‘feeling good’.
For example, people who suffer from arthritis, osteoarthritis or lupus. As we know, these are chronic diseases. What wellness would strive for in these cases is to improve their quality of life as much as possible.
In order to be able to invest daily in our physical well-being, we have to unlearn unhealthy habits such as smoking, undergo medical checks and reduce stress. In addition, we need to know which diet is most suitable for us and discover which type of exercise would be the most beneficial for us.
2. Emotional well-being
When it comes to emotional well-being, a therapist who specializes in wellness will give us the right strategies and techniques to recognize our own emotions. He will help us manage them and thus invest much more and better in our own well-being.
3. Intellectual well-being
The ability to open yourself to new ideas, concepts, perspectives and experiences is the key to self-realization and happiness. Being active, curious and above all receptive to everything around you is a fantastic way to improve your quality of life.
4. Social well-being
Now let’s ask you a question. Do the people in your social environment really provide you with what you need? Sometimes you become so accustomed to a certain social dynamic that you no longer notice how it affects you. You do not realize how much stress it causes and how this influence contributes to your dissatisfaction.
Becoming aware and becoming selective when choosing the people around you is another essential, determining mechanism of wellness.
5. Environmental well-being
This aspect is not so well known. Or at least it is often overlooked. Environmental well-being refers to your ability to recognize your own responsibility for the balance of nature. By this, we do not mean that you have to avoid pollution in all respects or that you have to live in the wilderness.
No, we are talking about environmental awareness. The idea is that small daily gestures performed by each of us produce real results.
Wellness also teaches us how important it is to always opt for food that is organically grown. It teaches us how to make our home and our city more sustainable, how we have to take care of the planet, how we can recycle, how we can reduce the impact of plastics, etc.
6. Welfare in the field
Are you happy with and at work?Are you satisfied with the activity that takes up so much of your day? Because it takes a lot of your time and life to do that, you know that. In fact, it is often our work responsibilities that give us the most stress and anxiety. That is why it is so important to think about this aspect.
Wellness also tries to improve this area. It wants you to deepen your skills, essential goals and desires to create an authentic harmony between your personal and work-related spheres.
7. Spiritual well-being
Also, spiritual development within this approach is an important step. It stems from the need to develop that inner peace where your life is in accordance with your values. You must always have a purpose in life that encourages you to get up every day, to gather strength, hope and optimism.
Finally, with this set of practices, we integrate a very concrete philosophy in our lives. It is the same philosophy that Halbert L. Dun propagated in his time. A philosophy that emphasizes the personal responsibility of the person. We are a whole, composed of emotions, a mind, a body, our relationships and the environment in which we live. All these aspects form a unity. A unit that should understand every science in a broader and more inclusive way. Science … and also ourselves.
Let us, therefore, take care of ourselves better and let us invest time and willpower here. Take good care of all these areas that you sometimes neglect or overlook, without even realizing it …
Important: Leave your reaction and any additions below.
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Vitamin C: 12 Proven Benefits + What is it and What Is Too Much?
Disclaimer: Vitamin C is a very complex subject with many different opinions. The following is my vision. Everyone is free to have a different opinion.
Vitamin C is perhaps the most famous vitamin. This vitamin is essential for supporting the natural immune system.
A vitamin C deficiency occurs less and less in the Western world, but some groups of people are still at risk.
Given the benefits, it is not surprising that vitamin C is a popular supplement. But how much would you have to take each day? And what is the best form of vitamin C?
And how do you know if you have a vitamin C deficiency? In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about vitamin C.
You discover include:
The effect of vitamin C and what makes this vitamin so special
How much vitamin C you need for optimal health (hint: it is more than 15 times more than what most Nutrition Center would advice!)
The symptoms and consequences of a vitamin C deficiency
The 12 most important health benefits of vitamin C
The answer to the question “can vitamin C help with weight loss?”
And much, much more …
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid, is a vitamin and antioxidant that you ingest through food and is also used as a dietary supplement.
Important to know is that vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins are not properly stored in the body.
The concentration of vitamin C in the blood is controlled by the kidneys through a process known as renal absorption.
This prevents vitamin C from being lost in the urine. However, the body can not store and process large quantities of vitamin C, so the extra amount will leave the body through the urine within a few hours.
Vitamin C will, therefore, have to be sufficiently absorbed by eating certain food sources or taking supplements.
Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen synthesis, L-carnitine and certain neurotransmitters. Vitamin C is also involved in protein metabolism.
Where is Vitamin C more good for?
Vitamin C supports many essential body functions, including:
Antioxidant effect: the human body uses antioxidants to protect itself against oxidative stress (source).
Support collagen formation: without vitamin C, the body is unable to synthesize collagen, the most important protein in connective tissue. The result is that a deficiency affects the skin, tendons, ligaments and bones (source).
Support immune function: contain high concentrations of vitamin C. During an infectious disease, this concentration is quickly depleted (source).
In the past, vitamin C was used to prevent and treat scurvy.
Scurvy is a disease that arises as a result of a vitamin C deficiency. The deficiency of vitamin C leads to symptoms such as anemia, gum disease and skin problems.
This is because vitamin C is necessary for making collagen, an important protein that is used to make and maintain the skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels.
Vitamin C is needed for healing wounds and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth. Vitamin C also helps to better absorb the intake of non-heme iron from plant sources (source).
You do not have to worry about scurvy today. Scurvy is now relatively rare, but it used to be common among seamen and pirates who had to spend a long time on board a ship.
When the trips lasted longer than originally planned, the fruit and vegetables got lost and the sailors started to suffer from a vitamin C deficiency, which led to scurvy. More about this later.
Today, vitamin C is the most commonly used for the prevention and treatment of colds.
Sweet potato is a healthier alternative to the ordinary potato. In this article, you will discover why this is so and what the health benefits are.
At the bottom of this article, you will find 3 recipes so you can conjure up delicious dishes with sweet potato on the table.
What you will learn in this article:
What is sweet potato
What the nutritional value of sweet potato is
What the health benefits are
What is a sweet potato?
Sweet potato is a tuberous plant that belongs to the windefamily. These starchy tubers can be eaten cooked, fried, fried or raw. This tuber is also called sweet potato, sweet potato, sweet potato or yam.
The sweet potato can have a brown or purple skin. The inside can be orange, white or purple.
The variant with brown skin and orange inside is most common in Western supermarkets. You can find the purple at some shops or specialty stores.
This sweet potato is a vegetable (root vegetable) and no family of the ordinary potato. The similarities are the way you can prepare them and they are both good sources of carbohydrates.
In the United States, they often call sweet potato (sweet potato) often yam. The real yam, however, is another edible root tuber that only looks like a sweet potato in terms of preparation.
On the picture opposite, you can see a yam.
Traditionally, sweet potato is served in the United States with Thanksgiving.
Other foods that have similarities with potatoes in potatoes are taro and Jerusalem artichokes.
They are not, however, no family of the sweet potato or the regular potato.
Jerusalem artichoke grows just like potatoes under the ground.
They are sweet and have a slightly nutty taste.
Jerusalem artichoke is just like sweet and common potato a good source of carbohydrates and fiber.
Taro is heavy root tubers which can weigh up to 4 kilos.
They consist of 25% starch and can be prepared in the same way as ordinary and sweet potatoes.
In all likelihood, Columbus in 1492 took the sweet potato to Europe.
In Central and South America the sweet potato was cultivated for at least 10,000 years before it was brought to our continent.
From Spain and Portugal, the explorers took the sweet potato around the world.
At the beginning of the 16th century, the sweet potato had reached large parts of Africa, the Philippines, India, Indonesia and South Asia.
Large producers of sweet potatoes are China, Africa, Central and South America.
In European countries such as Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy they are grown on a smaller scale.
Most west-Europe countries, imports almost all of its sweet potatoes from the United States. In the Netherlands, experiments are being carried out on a small scale with the cultivation of sweet potatoes.
The sweet potato is gaining in popularity. More and more people see that the sweet potato can be a healthy alternative to the traditional potato. As a result, domestic sweet potato consumption is growing by 10% to 20% per year.
You do not expect it, but sweet potatoes are sweet. This makes them suitable for children who often prefer sweet.
They also have a little of a spicy taste. This made them suitable for both sweet and savory dishes.
So you can make sweet brownies but also a spicy curry. The recipes for this can be found at the bottom of this page.
Most people like sweet potatoes. They are even the dream of many vegetable herders; as sweet as candy and yet healthy.
Differences between a sweet potato and regular potato
A difference between the sweet potato and the normal potato is that the ordinary potato belongs to the nightshade family and the sweet does not.
Other known vegetables that belong to the nightshade family are tomatoes, eggplant and red and green peppers.
Ordinary potatoes contain the toxic alkaloid solanine that people who are susceptible to this can get complaints. These are complaints such as arthritis, painful knees and wrists and stiff joints.
When the potato plant came to Europe in the 17th century, it was initially thought that potatoes were not edible. This is because the berries, flowers and leaves of the plant proved to be very poisonous.
The potatoes also turned out to be poisonous, but not as bad as the rest of the plant.
A regular potato contains 40 mg of solanine per kilo. In places where the skin is green, or the potato is rotten, the potato contains more solanin. This can also be recognized by a very bitter taste.
An amount of 200 mg of solanine is harmful and a dose of 400 mg may even be fatal. This is equivalent to eating 10 kilos of potatoes.
Sometimes it is wrongly thought that only raw potatoes are poisonous. However, this is not the case. A potato is raw as poisonous as cooked.
Potatoes are not eaten raw because otherwise, they are not digestible. You can then suffer from abdominal cramps, flatulence and diarrhea.
Because a sweet potato does not belong to the nightshade family, it is well tolerated by people who are sensitive to it.
The sweet potato can also be eaten raw in contrast to the regular potato.
Nutritious sweet potato versus regular potatoes
Nice all those facts about sweet potatoes, but what you are really curious about is why you should swap your familiar potatoes for sweet potatoes.
To make the comparison with regular potatoes easier, I have put them together in the table below.
I started from peeled (sweet) potatoes that are cooked without salt. If they are raw, fried or fried, the nutritional value will be different.
Sugar is a natural ingredient that has been part of our diet for thousands of years.
Sugars are naturally present in foods (such as fruit, vegetables and milk), while refined sugar is manufactured and deliberately added to foods. As a result, more and more people get too much sugar.
Sugars are carbohydrates that deliver energy to the body. The most common sugar in the body is glucose, which your brain, organs and muscles need to function properly.
The body makes no distinction between the different types of sugar and breaks them down in exactly the same way.
What you will discover in this article is:
The most important functional properties of sugar in foods
The health effects of sugar on your body
How many grams of sugar is the maximum recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to eat per day
6 practical tips that can help you reduce sugar
And much, much more …
What is sugar?
Sugar is a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in plants, but is mainly extracted from sugar cane and sugar beet. It is used to make food and drinks taste sweet. Sugar is also the general term for all disaccharides and monosaccharides.
Eat a teaspoon of sugar and immediately recognize that intense sweet taste in your mouth. It is that sweet white powder that is inextricably linked to almost everything we eat.
At every birthday or holiday, we are confronted with it in large quantities.
There are different types of sugar derived from different sources.
Some foods contain simple sugars. Simple sugars do not have to be broken down during digestion. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose (also known as dextrose), fructose and galactose.
Glucose and galactose are easily absorbed, but some people have difficulty taking fructose if it is not accompanied by glucose or galactose.
Sucrose, popularly called table sugar or granulated sugar, is a disaccharide of glucose and fructose. Other disaccharides include maltose from malted cereals and lactose from milk. Longer chains of sugars are called oligosaccharides or polysaccharides.
Some other chemicals, such as glycerol, may also have a sweet taste, but are not classified as sugars.
In summary: We can roughly classify sugar into natural sugars (naturally occurring sugars such as lactose in milk) and refined sugars, including table sugar (sucrose) and concentrated sources of fruit juice.
Virtually all fibers, vitamins and minerals have been removed from refined sugars. Eating too many refined carbohydrates and added sugars can eventually lead to overweight and other health problems.
What is the function of sugar in foods?
Sugar has a number of properties that uniquely contribute to the appearance, texture and shelf life of food.
That is why it is an important ingredient in both the food we make at home and pre-manufactured food in the supermarket.
Apart from giving sweetening power, sugar has many more functional roles in our food.
Without sugar, for example, the jam would quickly spoil and bread lose its freshness and dry out. All these functional properties of sugar are not always well known and are sometimes even forgotten.
The most important functional properties of sugar are shown below (source):
Improvement of taste
Sweetness improves the taste of many foods. Besides sweetness, there are three other basic flavors: salt, sour and bitter. The sweetness of sugar is often used to balance and improve the basic flavors.
Filler and structure
Sugar contributes to the texture and color of food, such as in meringue and cookies. This is of great importance in most baking applications. Sugar also prevents baked goods from becoming dry or old and preserves the color of frozen fruit and jelly.
Caramelisation is important for the formation of color in various food products and can not happen without the addition of sugar.
This process occurs when sugar is heated to a certain temperature. It is used in a wide range of products, including sauces, sweets, bread, jam and dessert wine.
Sugar can be said to have a preserving effect, although sugar is not counted among the preservatives. Sugar helps to prevent or delay the growth of bacteria, fungi and yeast in canned and glass preserves.
Fermentation is a process whereby micro-organisms generate energy in the absence of oxygen by oxidizing carbohydrates, such as sugar.
Sugar helps in the fermentation of common food and beverage products, including yogurt, vinegar, sour cream, wine, beer, bread, cheese and sauerkraut.
The different types of sugar names
It is surprising how many foods do not have the word sugar on their packaging.
Does this mean that there are no added sugars in the food product?