Sugar as a commonly available food became common in the 18th Century. This was when sugarcane, which had been grown for aeons was cultivated in the Indies. This led to industrial scale production of sugar. It also spawned slavery at scale but that is a story for another day. Prior to this, people used honey to sweeten their food. The average person consumes 24 kgs of this stuff each year. In the most simple version, there are three forms of sugar. Sucrose, Glucose and Fructose. There are other forms of sugar and also substances that taste sweet but for now let us concentrate on the trinity.

Your body does not like sucrose. If fed sucrose, your enzymes break it up into glucose and fructose almost immediately. Sucrose is aka the sugar that you put into your coffee (really you my reader still do that?). It is refined from beet or cane sugar. The term sucrose was coined in 1857 by the English chemist William Miller. We produced about 175 million tons of this stuff in 2013.

Your body does not like fructose either. Your body can’t even really use it for energy. At least not directly. Therefore, any fructose consumed, is sent to your liver to be converted into stored fat. Thats not all, this causes a spike in the hormone gherlin which promotes hunger making you eat more. Fructose  is made from corn syrup and is commonly found in cola’s and processed foods. Essentially it is calories without equivalent energy. Just loads of fat for you to lug around.

Glucose is the carbohydrates found in most foods. This can be used immediately by our body for energy. Glucose causes your pancreas to release insulin which then goes to work to convert it into usable energy. Glucose or carbs also can be simple or complex. You are best served having complex carbs.

It does not take the intelligence of Einstein to figure out what kinds of sugar you should be eating.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.