Sugar is found naturally in certain foods such as fruit and vegetables, and often added during the manufacturing of food products.
Consuming excessive amounts of sugar or sugar substitutes with calories is not good for one's health. Here are some reasons:
- Sugar, natural sweeteners and sugar alcohols will raise blood sugar or glucose levels. High blood sugar levels can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes.
- Sugar can make you fat. Food and beverages with a lot of sugar are also often high in calories.
- Sugar can lead to poor nutrition. This can happen if it replaces more nutritious food, for instance, if you eat candy before dinner time so you are not hungry for real food.
- Sugar can cause tooth decay. The bacteria in your mouth is especially fond of sugar. It feeds on sugar, creating acids which destroy tooth enamel over time, causing tooth decay.
- Sugar can raise your triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood, which may put you at a higher risk of getting heart disease. Yet, sugar has its place.
It is used to flavour food, prevent spoilage of jellies and preserves, give baked goods texture and colour, among other uses.
As with all foods, the key word is moderation.
According to the Health Promotion Board, added sugar should contribute to no more than 10 per cent of dietary energy. This limit includes sugar added to beverages as well as food such as cakes and candies.
This translates to 40g--55g or eight to 11teaspoons daily.