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?
The body can use two main fuels for energy, glucose or ketones. The energy source is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies, including our muscles and our brain. In people who eat a diet moderate to high in carbohydrates, the brain's main energy source is glucose. In people who eat a low carb-ketogenic diet, the brain can use ketones to meet a major portion of its energy needs.
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.
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- 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.