This article is about the class of sweet-flavored substances used as food. For common table sugar, see Sucrose. For other uses, see Sugar (disambiguation).

Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. There are various types of sugar derived from different sources. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose (also known as dextrose), fructose, and galactose. The "table sugar" or "granulated sugar" most customarily used as food is sucrose, a disaccharide of glucose and fructose. Sugar is used in prepared foods (e.g., cookies and cakes) and is added to some foods and beverages (e.g., coffee and tea). In the body, sucrose is hydrolysed into the simple sugars fructose and glucose. Other disaccharides include maltose from malted grain, and lactose from milk. Longer chains of sugars are called oligosaccharides or polysaccharides. Some other chemical substances, such as glycerol and sugar alcohols may also have a sweet taste, but are not classified as sugars. Diet food substitutes for sugar include aspartame and sucralose, a chlorinated derivative of sucrose.

Sugars are found in the tissues of most plants and are present in sugarcane and sugar beet in sufficient concentrations for efficient commercial extraction. In 2017–18, the world production of sugar was 185 million tonnes. The average person consumes about 24 kilograms (53 lb) of sugar each year (33.1 kg in developed countries), equivalent to over 260 food calories per person per day. Since the latter part of the twentieth century, it has been questioned whether a diet high in sugars, especially refined sugars, is good for human health. Over-consumption of sugar has been implicated in the occurrence of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and tooth decay. Numerous studies have been undertaken to try to clarify the position, but with varying results, mainly because of the difficulty of finding populations for use as controls that do not consume or are largely free of any sugar consumption.

Cooking oil is plant, animal, or synthetic fat used in frying, baking, and other types of cooking. It is also used in food preparation and flavouring not involving heat, such as salad dressings and bread dips, and in this sense might be more accurately termed edible oil.

Cooking oil is typically a liquid at room temperature, although some oils that contain saturated fat, such as coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil are solid.

There are a wide variety of cooking oils from plant sources such as olive oil, palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil (rapeseed oil), corn oil, peanut oil and other vegetable oils, as well as animal-based oils like butter and lard.

Health and nutrition

A guideline for the appropriate amount of fat—a component of daily food consumption—is established by regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration. The recommendation is that 10% or fewer of daily calories should be from saturated fat, and 20-35% of total daily calories should come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

While consumption of small amounts of saturated fats is common in diets, meta-analyses found a significant correlation between high consumption of saturated fats and blood LDL concentration,a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Other meta-analyses based on cohort studies and on controlled, randomized trials found a positive,or neutral, effect from consuming polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated fats (a 10% lower risk for 5% replacement).

Mayo Clinic has highlighted certain oils that are high in saturated fats, including coconut, palm oil and palm kernel oil. Those having lower amounts of saturated fats and higher levels of unsaturated (preferably monounsaturated) fats like olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, soy and cottonseed oils are generally healthier.The US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute urged saturated fats be replaced with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, listing olive and canola oils as sources of healthier monounsaturated oils while soybean and sunflower oils as good sources of polyunsaturated fats. One study showed that consumption of non-hydrogenated unsaturated oils like soybean and sunflower are preferable to the consumption of palm oil for lowering the risk of heart disease.

Peanut oil, cashew oil and other nut-based oils may present a hazard to persons with a nut allergy.

Types Of Rice: The Benefits, Differences And The Healthiest

Rice is a staple ingredient in a huge range of dishes, from stir fry to curry to sushi. It's carby, delicious and nutritious, too.

But is one type healthier for you than others? And is white rice really the devil it's made out to be?

"Rice is a great carbohydrate," Simone Austin, accredited practising dietitian and spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, told The Huffington Post Australia.

"Our body needs carbohydrates for energy so we should include it, even though people tend to demonise them. It’s about the quantity to suit your own energy needs."

Rice is also low in fat and a source of protein -- plus it's super cheap and versatile.

"Rice is really economical for anyone, especially to feed a family," Austin said.

"It’s easy to cook and really versatile, so it can help make good nutrition easy. You can use rice in a Mediterranean dish like risotto, in Asian cuisines like Vietnamese or Japanese, and in Spanish dishes."

Rice also contains essential nutrients such as iron, magnesium and B vitamins -- the content, however, depends on the type.

"You probably wouldn’t lump them all into the one category, but in terms of the main nutrient they provide, which is carbohydrates, yes they could be lumped together. However, there’s a few differences where some stand out," Austin said.

White Rice

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White rice has the husk, bran layer and the germ removed. As a result of this extraction, white rice contains less nutrients than brown, black or red varieties.

"White rice has the husk ‘polished’ off and, if we look at 100 grams of white rice, it’s got 6.3 grams of protein," Austin said.

White rice comes in short-grain (for example, Aborio), medium-grain (Japanese-style) and long-grain (Basmati, Jasmine and Doongara), and for each of these varieties, the glycemic index differs.

"If you choose a Basmati or Doongara rice, they are low GI, whereas some of the other white rices are higher in glycemic index," Austin said.

"Apart from the Basmati and Doongara, white rice is rapidly digested and if you overeat on white rice, it can be an overload of carbohydrates.

"However, you don’t tend to eat rice just on its own, you usually eat it in a meal. If you keep it to be a quarter or a third of the volume of your meal -- and then you’ve got vegetables and protein -- that means the whole glycemic index changes.

"Look at rice as a component of your meal, rather than just on its own."

One reason why white rice is seen as inferior to the other types is due to its lower fibre content.

"White rice has very little fibre because the outside husk is gone," Austin said. "White rice also contains iron but less than the brown rice."

Brown Rice

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While white rice is milled to remove the bran layer and germ, brown rice is whole grain rice with only the outer hull removed. Brown rice is chewier than white rice, has a more nutty flavour and is more nutritious.

As with white rice, brown rice comes in long-grain, medium-grain and short-grain varieties.

"In terms of protein, from white to black rice, brown rice sits in the middle at about 7.2 grams per 100 grams," Austin told HuffPost Australia.

"Brown rice is excellent for magnesium, which people are often looking for. It’s also a good source of thiamine and iron, and it’s got a moderate source of zinc.

"Because it’s got the outside husk intact, brown rice also has the advantage of having a high fibre content of 3.2 grams per 100 grams."

In terms of glycemic index, brown rice releases at a "medium" rate in the body, meaning it will keep you fuller for longer compared to white rice.

Black Rice

Black rice is a different species of rice compared to brown and white. It has a distinct nutty, earthy flavour and takes much longer to cook than white rice.

"While white rice has 6.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, the black rice has got 9.1 grams of protein," Austin said.

"Black rice also has a lower glycemic index, so it means if you’ve got diabetes it will be quite good as it’s slow releasing.

"Black rice is also high in fibre, it’s got 4.7 grams per 100 grams."


Red Rice

o RED RICE 570

Red rice has a unique colour due to its anthocyanin content, which also provides a big boost of antioxidants. This particular rice is available both hulled or unhulled.

Per 100 grams, red rice has seven grams of protein and two grams of fibre.

Both red and black varieties contain higher amounts of nutrients compared to white rice, however they do come at a higher cost.

The question we all want to know is: which one is the healthiest?

"I would go for brown and black rice," Austin told HuffPost Australia.

"You would get more fibre eating brown and black rice. Fibre helps us feel full for longer, and it’s also good for our bowels."

If you're not a fan of brown or black rice, Austin recommends mixing white (everyone's favourite) with the more nutritious varieties.

"I recommend mixing it up but going more for brown rice if you eat rice regularly and would like to feel fuller for longer," Austin said.

"I peronsally do a bit of a mixture. I put in the brown rice first, as it takes a bit longer, and then add the white rice in half way through. This works great for children. You could do the same with black rice too."

That doesn't mean, however, that you can't enjoy white rice -- just have it less frequently.

"For some dishes white rice is lovely and fluffy, so go ahead and enjoy it sometimes. But at other times try to get in some brown rice and try some black rice," Austin said.

"Brown rice is still economical and can be an easy way to increase your fibre intake, as well as your magnesium and B group vitamins."

As for those microwavable rice cups and sachets?

"Part of me thinks it’s an extremely expensive way to buy something that is pretty easy to cook," Austin said.

"However, in terms of ease and quickness, I would rather people use these than eat something that's deep-fried.

"If it means it’s going to make it easier to make a quick, balanced meal with veggies and egg or fish, then go for it. But economically and environmentally it might be better to cook your own rice."

Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans as food as part of a meal. The original term is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers, fruits, stems, leaves, roots, and seeds. The alternate definition of the term vegetable is applied somewhat arbitrarily, often by culinary and cultural tradition. It may exclude foods derived from some plants that are fruits, nuts, and cereal grains, but include fruits from others such as tomatoes and courgettes and seeds such as pulses.

Originally, vegetables were collected from the wild by hunter-gatherers and entered cultivation in several parts of the world, probably during the period 10,000 BC to 7,000 BC, when a new agricultural way of life developed. At first, plants which grew locally would have been cultivated, but as time went on, trade brought exotic crops from elsewhere to add to domestic types. Nowadays, most vegetables are grown all over the world as climate permits, and crops may be cultivated in protected environments in less suitable locations. China is the largest producer of vegetables and global trade in agricultural products allows consumers to purchase vegetables grown in faraway countries. The scale of production varies from subsistence farmers supplying the needs of their family for food, to agribusinesses with vast acreages of single-product crops. Depending on the type of vegetable concerned, harvesting the crop is followed by grading, storing, processing, and marketing.

Vegetables can be eaten either raw or cooked and play an important role in human nutrition, being mostly low in fat and carbohydrates, but high in vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Many nutritionists encourage people to consume plenty of fruit and vegetables, five or more portions a day often being recommended.


Nutrition and health

Vegetables play an important role in human nutrition. Most are low in fat and calories but are bulky and filling.They supply dietary fiber and are important sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. Particularly important are the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E. When vegetables are included in the diet, there is found to be a reduction in the incidence of cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic ailments. Research has shown that, compared with individuals who eat less than three servings of fruits and vegetables each day, those that eat more than five servings have an approximately twenty percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease or stroke The nutritional content of vegetables varies considerably; some contain useful amounts of protein though generally they contain little fat, and varying proportions of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin B6; provitamins; dietary minerals; and carbohydrates.

However, vegetables often also contain toxins and antinutrients which interfere with the absorption of nutrients. These include α-solanine, α-chaconine, enzyme inhibitors (of cholinesterase, protease, amylase, etc.), cyanide and cyanide precursors, oxalic acid, and others.[citation needed] These toxins are natural defenses, used to ward off the insects, predators and fungi that might attack the plant. Some beans contain phytohaemagglutinin, and cassava roots contain cyanogenic glycoside as do bamboo shoots. These toxins can be deactivated by adequate cooking. Green potatoes contain glycoalkaloids and should be avoided.

Fruit and vegetables, particularly leafy vegetables, have been implicated in nearly half the gastrointestinal infections caused by norovirus in the United States. These foods are commonly eaten raw and may become contaminated during their preparation by an infected food handler. Hygiene is important when handling foods to be eaten raw, and such products need to be properly cleaned, handled, and stored to limit contamination.


An apple is a sweet, edible fruit produced by an apple tree (Malus pumila). Apple trees are cultivated worldwide, and are the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse, Greek and European Christian traditions.

Apple trees are large if grown from seed. Generally apple cultivars are propagated by grafting onto rootstocks, which control the size of the resulting tree. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and uses, including cooking, eating raw and cider production. Trees and fruit are prone to a number of fungal, bacterial and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means. In 2010, the fruit's genome was sequenced as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production.

Worldwide production of apples in 2014 was 84.6 million tonnes, with China accounting for 48% of the total.


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The apple is a deciduous tree, generally standing 6 to 15 ft (1.8 to 4.6 m) tall in cultivation and up to 30 ft (9.1 m) in the wild. When cultivated, the size, shape and branch density are determined by rootstock selection and trimming method. The leaves are alternately arranged dark green-colored simple ovals with serrated margins and slightly downy undersides.

Blossoms are produced in spring simultaneously with the budding of the leaves, and are produced on spurs and some long shoots. The 3 to 4 cm (1.2 to 1.6 in) flowers are white with a pink tinge that gradually fades, five petaled, with an inflorescence consisting of a cyme with 4–6 flowers. The central flower of the inflorescence is called the "king bloom"; it opens first, and can develop a larger fruit.

The fruit matures in late summer or autumn, and cultivars exist with a wide range of sizes. Commercial growers aim to produce an apple that is 2 3⁄4 to 3 1⁄4 in (7.0 to 8.3 cm) in diameter, due to market preference. Some consumers, especially those in Japan, prefer a larger apple, while apples below 2 1⁄4 in (5.7 cm) are generally used for making juice and have little fresh market value. The skin of ripe apples is generally red, yellow, green, pink, or russetted although many bi- or tri-colored cultivars may be found.The skin may also be wholly or partly russeted i.e. rough and brown. The skin is covered in a protective layer of epicuticular wax. The exocarp (flesh) is generally pale yellowish-white, though pink or yellow exocarps also occur.


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