Sugars are a type of carbohydrates. Similar to other carbohydrates, sugars in your foods are an energy source.
Although the word ‘sugar’ is usually used to refer to table sugar or sucrose, it actually covers all carbohydrates which are sweet. Carbohydrates is digested into glucose, which is a simple sugar, that is easily converted in the body into energy.
Many different sugars are found in our meals. Some are found naturally in such foods like dairy products and fruits. They are also mixed with many types of food. Sugar comes in various forms such as white, brown, or raw sugar, corn syrup or honey.
Two health problems arising from excessive sugar in food are tooth decay and obesity. Processed or refined sugar contains no nutrients like minerals and vitamins but it is a supplies energy to the body fast.
Since sugars give additional taste, bulk, thickness and color to the processed food industry products, they are popular with such manufacturers. Sugars also does the work of a preservative and prevent mold formation.
It’s alright to have a little bit of sugar
Having a moderate amount of processed sugar in your healthy diet is acceptable. Approximately ten percent of all energy taken in one day is considered a moderate amount by the experts. People ought to realize that taking lots of sugary drinks and food can be consuming ‘empty calories’, meaning that no nutrients can be available.
Putting a bit of sugar in nutritious foods like wholegrain cereals and bread to make the food tastier can get more people to like and enjoy such food.
Sugar and the problem of obesity
The experts have not come to an agreement concerning the connection between being obese or overweight and the consumption of too much sugar.
However, there is agreement that taking more carbohydrates or sugar than what is needed by the body will have the remainder kept in the body as fat.
Sugar is one type of carbohydrate and, like other types of carbohydrates you get from pasta, rice, breads and fruits, it gives the same quantity of kilojoules (kJ) or energy for each gram.
You get 16 kilojoules of energy from a gram of carbohydrates while each gram of fat gives you 37 kilojoules. Thus, fat gives twice the amount of energy than what you get from the same weight of sugar.
Diabetes and Sugar -Video Guide
It’s too easy to consume excessive sugar
Even though sugar gives less energy when compared with fat, it adds to a lot through drinks and foods because it is so easy to take too much food, more soft drinks, containing lots of sugar.
Excessive sugar is not the only cause of being overweight or obesity but it does give the body too many kilojoules and this together with insufficient exercise, will have you become overweight.
Too much sugar in soft drinks
Well-advertised, easily available as well as cheap, the drinking of sweetened soft drinks in Australia during the last 10 years, has risen by 30 percent.
The amount of soft drinks in one serving has gone from a 375ml can 10 years ago to the present commonly bottled 600ml which contains sugar not less than 12 to 15 teaspoons.
From this 600ml drink, a girl who is aged 14 will get not less than 12 percent of the total energy needed by her body. Thus, with just a bottled drink, she has taken more processed sugar than the energy intake recommended.
In the United States, the increasing number of children who are obese and overweight is connected to the consumption of soft drinks which have been sweetened, according to some studies. So, taking these drinks ought to be drastically lessened.
Limit your intake of fats and sugar
In foods such as chocolate, cakes and biscuits, you find both sugars and fats. Since fat contains lots of energy, lots of them probably help to bring obesity or being overweight. So, it is healthier to eat food containing less fat and sugar. Plenty of saturated fat can raise the levels of your blood cholesterol as well as the possibility of getting heart disease. And these saturated fats are used to produce lots of sweet foods commercially.
Glucose and Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are broken down during digestion into glucose, a simple sugar. Glucose is then taken by the blood to be sent to every cell in the body.
Glucose has to be constantly available to the cells.Some systems in the body make sure of the supply. One of these is the pancreas which releases insulin which is a hormone to control the quantity of blood glucose.
Glucose is only allowed into the cells with the help of insulin. Insulin assists the liver to keep the extra glucose so that the glucose can be used if there is insufficient levels of blood sugar. A diabetic suffers from not sensitive or not enough insulin, leading to too high levels of blood glucose.
A small amount of sugar is safe for people with diabetes
No evidence has ever been found to link type l or type ll diabetes with consuming plenty of sugar. Type ll diabetes’ risk factor is obesity. Of course, a person who is overweight can be eating plenty of sugar.
Before this, diabetics were told not to eat foods which contain processed sugar as it was thought that the effect of sugar on their levels of blood sugar was harmful. However, the latest glycaemic index research found that certain carbohydrate foods such as breakfast cereal and processed bread affect levels of blood sugar more than sugar.
Diabetics can consume a small quantity of sugar in their meals. It is suggested that diabetics add their sugar to healthy nutritious food. For instance, a teaspoon of jam could be spread on a slice of wholegrain bread.
Nevertheless, diabetics ought to eat as little as possible foods with sugar as the major ingredient, like cakes and sweets. A health weight has to be maintained to control blood sugar well.
The glycaemic index of a food is the speed with which its carbohydrate is digested and taken in as blood glucose. Compared to foods with low GI, foods with high GI go into the blood stream faster, increasing the level of blood sugar. This is called the glycaemic response of the body.
Lately, studies have connected high GI foods with some health problems such as:
- Type ll diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure (Hypertension)
- High cholesterol
- Abdominal obesity
Usually, there is no direct connection between the glycaemic index of a food and sugar found in food, the amount of fiber, or the processing of food. To get details on the GI for many food items, you can go to the internet or books.
A little bit of sugar and a number of foods with low GI can be used in a healthy meal plan.
Diabetics should eat more foods with low GI
To control their blood sugar levels, diabetics can use the glycaemic index. Since type 2 diabetics should have the sugar in their foods slowly absorbed into the bloodstream, they ought to consume low GI foods with a minimum of one food with low GI at every meal.
The amount of carbohydrates consumed will have an effect on the levels of blood sugar. Consult your dietitian regarding the right amount of carbohydrate foods you should take.
No matter what glycaemic index a food has, different foods have different effects on people. So, there is the necessity to check the levels of blood sugar regularly.
No obvious connection between ADHD ( or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ) and sugar.
No evidence has been found to link ADHD directly with sugar consumption.
Sugar and Tooth Decay
Sugar and tooth decay are connected as the bacteria existing in dental plaque need sugar to emit acids that eat away the enamel of the teeth to have tooth decay begin. Plaque is a sticky layer of mucus, food particles and bacteria.
All carbohydrates, not only sugar, contribute to tooth decay. The huge quantity of sugar found in soft drinks and sweets contributes the most to the process. Sugar in nutritious dried fruits also contributes by helping the bacteria to give out acids. Sugars which cling to tooth surfaces contributes to decay more than sugars which are quickly swallowed.
The following are ways to lessen the possibility of tooth decay:
- Consume less sugary foods which are clingy such as sweets.
- Drink more water and less of cordials, juices and soft drinks.
- Between meals, eat nothing for a minimum of two hours.
- Floss and brush regularly as well as after each meal.
- Consume fluoridated water or make use of fluoride treatments.
- Regular dental examination is required.
- Sugar is also a carbohydrate which is converted to glucose in the body.
- Since soft drinks are connected to child obesity, limit them.
- It is alright to consume small quantities of sugar in a meal.
- Take less drinks and foods which have large quantities of added sugar. Go for foods with sugars naturally found in them.