Sugar

Resource limited to what we believe we need to know about sugar in our daily life, based on our experience and readings.

Disclaimer: This may not work for you. If in doubt, double-check with your own trustworthy sources.

Contents: What is sugar ? - What is the purpose of eating an adequate level of sugar? - In our experience...

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What is sugar?

All words below in italic are quoted from the source sugar topic in wikipedia unless otherwise stated.
Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. The various types of sugar are derived from different sources. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose (also known as dextrose), fructose, and galactose. "Table sugar" or "granulated sugar" refers to sucrose, a disaccharide of glucose and fructose. In the body, sucrose is hydrolysed into fructose and glucose.

What is the purpose of eating an adequate level of sugar?

Glucose, one of the sugars, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies, including our muscles and our brain.

What is a reasonable daily intake of sugar?

There are many opinions out there which fortunately are started to match: 10% of your daily calories would be the maximum for added sugars.

  • Better Health Victoria advises that No more than 10% of your total energy intake per day should come from added sugars. That’s 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. read more... (live link)
    or read more ... (cache copy to cater for when the above link breaks or is updated)
  • The sugar topic in wikipedia reveals:
    On May 20, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced changes to the Nutrition Facts panel displayed on all foods, to be effective by July 2018. New to the panel is a requirement to list "Added sugars" by weight and as a percent of Daily Value (DV). For vitamins and minerals, the intent of DVs is to indicate how much should be consumed. For added sugars, the guidance is that 100% DV should not be exceeded. 100% DV is defined as 50 grams. For a person consuming 2000 calories a day, 50 grams is equal to 200 calories and thus 10% of total calories—the same guidance as the World Health Organization.

In our experience...

Based on a diet where nearly no processed food is eaten, I do not have to consider the sugar added to processed foods.
In 2012 I became quite sick. This led to many allergy tests, blood tests etc which did not lead to any obvious physical issues except for a weak intolerance to wheat. By that time I had become Gluten Free and had suppressed all added sugar. Now I eat minimum added sugar in the form of fructose. I use glucose instead (rice malt syrup at the moment). I find sugar being sucrose means that when my liver has to split the glucose from the fructose, I don't feel great unless I have expended a lot of energy. So I avoid overloading my liver with fructose related work - especially from straight added sugar! But I do eat fruit eg bananas. They have fructose but also other nutrients I feel I need such as potassium.
So I eat fruit in moderation especially fruit high in fructose. But if my body tells me I need it, I eat it.
When on our 70kms to 100 kms weekly bike ride, I take oranges and bananas in lieu of sugar.

Try and find out what works for you given your activity level, and the type of processed food ie added sugars you already eat.

   
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