What is sugar? Is it necessary for us?
Glucose- nature's sugar that comes mainly from fruits, belongs to the category of carbohydrates and plays an important part of our diet since, together with proteins and lipids, they are the main macronutrients of food.
They are the basic and necessary source of human's energy and add sweetness to food, causing a pleasant feeling in the consumer.
There are two types of "sugar", the natural ones (fructose, lactose, glucose) found in nature, such as fruits, vegetables and dairy products. On the other hand, there are artificial or added sugars, which sugar is added during the production process of ready-to-eat foods, such as sweets, ice creams and soft drinks.
At this point it is worth noting that not all calories are the same and it is recommended to prefer the consumption of foods from the first category- rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals, trace elements and plant fibers. On the other hand, the intake of added sugars, which are found in foods of the second category, should be limited as they provide low nutritional value, are rich in calories and fat and may contribute to weight gain and the risk of cardiovascular problems. Thus, it is recommended that their intake does not exceed 5% of the daily caloric intake.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends limiting sugar consumption to less than 12 teaspoons per day.
If this amount seems too much to consume in one day, consider that one soft drink contains almost 9 teaspoons of sugar.
Finally, 1 gram (g) of sugar yields energy equal to 4 calories (kcal) and 1 teaspoon of sugar in coffee weighs about 5 to 6 grams.
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