• Sugar is the main component of the fuel used in rockets by amateur rocket enthusiasts. If you burn sucrose with some corn syrup and saltpetre, you get sugar propellant, which is used to power small rockets.
• Tooth decay isn’t caused by sugar, it is caused by the bacteria that feed off the sugar. These bacteria will actually feed off any carbohydrate, so starchy foods that can get stuck to your teeth can be just as damaging.
• When sugar was first introduced to England in the 12th century, it was grouped with other tropical spices like ginger, cinnamon, and saffron, and used by the very wealthy to season savoury dishes.
• Initially, sugar was so rare and expensive only royalty could afford it. In the 13th century, for example, British monarch Henry III once tried to order three pounds of sugar, but expressed doubts that so much sugar could even be found in England.
• Scientists are still studying why some animals have a preference for sweet foods and others don’t. They have found, for example, that dogs enjoy sweet foods while cats and other felines don’t have sweetness receptors in their brains. They have hypothesised that sweetness receptors are unnecessary for carnivorous animals, as well as for animals that tend not to chew their food at all, such as dolphins and sea lions.
• Worldwide, people consume 500 extra calories-a-day from sugar, which is roughly the amount of calories needed to gain one pound-a-week.
• Eating sugar can accelerate the aging process of cells. In a study, scientists found that excess consumption of sugar can result
in a loss of memory and a reduction in overall mental agility.
• A study carried out in 2013 estimated that almost 200,000 deaths worldwide can be attributed to people drinking high sugar drinks and soda. Did you know that a single can of regular cola contains the equivalent of more than twelve sugar cubes?
• Sugar is as addictive as cocaine. Brain scans after sugar consumption are very similar to when one does the drug. Dopamine floods the brain, resulting in one feeling good.
• It’s common knowledge that eating too much sugar can cause weight gain, but few people know it can also affect the elasticity of your skin. It turns out, overconsumption of sugar causes glycation – a process in which the sugar in your bloodstream binds to proteins, forming molecules that make the collagen in your skin more brittle – which, in turn, causes wrinkles.
• Sugar has been used as a preservative for hundreds of years because high sugar concentrations cause bacteria to lose water through a process called osmosis – and without water, bacteria can’t grow or divide.
Having a sweet tooth is not always just an excuse to eat too much candy. Scientists have found that some individuals have genetic variations that affect their production of a hunger hormone called ghrelin, which makes them want to eat more sugar.
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