Can You Live Without Sugar?

There are signs that there is going to be a sugar shortage. Are you prepared to stand in long queues hoping to get your ration of sugar? Now what could have happened to bring about this terrible situation?

World wide the sugar consumption this year is going to be more than the sugar available. Here are three possible reasons:

  • Hurricane Katrina managed to cripple two of the biggest sugar refineries in New Orleans.
  • She wiped out many sugar cane and beet crops. She had some help from other lesser hurricanes; so let’s spread the blame a bit.
  • The largest producer of sugar in the world is Brazil. But the Brazilians are using sugar in the production of ethanol that is used in vehicle fuels. This is obviously more lucrative than producing sugar for humans to consume.

So if There Is a Sugar Shortage Will You Survive?

If you have what is referred to as a ‘sweet tooth’ you are going to feel deprived. Are artificial sweeteners a good substitute? Common artificial sweeteners are sucralose and saccharin. These are much sweeter than sugar itself. Other sweeteners made quite often from cornstarch are used in the manufacture of foods. These are less sweet than sugar. Yet fruits have natural sweeteners in them for example Maple Syrup and how often have you added Honey to your porridge?

Why Is Sugar in Food?

Sugar in our food is of course as a sweetener and a flavour enhancer. It also does the following:

  • During cooking it interacts with molecules of protein or starch.
  • Acts as a tenderiser.
  • Is responsible for putting the air into the fat during the creaming process.
  • Caramelises under heat. This gives certain foods a lovely colour and a very pleasant smell.
  • Speeds the growth of yeast by providing nourishment.
  • Stabilises eggs when being whipped.
  • Delays the coagulation of egg proteins in custard.
  • Plays an important part in gelling of fruit jellies and jams.
  • Prevents jellies and preserves from spoiling.
  • Makes canned foods more tender and attractive.
  • Improves the flavour and smoothness of ice cream.

If there was no sugar, no doubt food manufacturers would use sugar substitutes – would we notice the difference? It would be quite something, if we got used to living without sugar and eventually when sugar becomes freely available again we won’t need it any more.


  1. I am trying to find out if having no sugar in your body is bad and this article does not explain that.

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