20 January 2009

Almost all kind of food contain sugars from small dessert like ice cream, fruits, meals until your soft drinks. As part of a healthy, balanced diet, you can enjoy sugars in moderation.

What Are Sugars?
Sugars are carbohydrates. Act as an important source of energy for the body. per gram while alcohol provides 7 calories (29 kilojoules) per gram.

There are two type of sugar :

1. Single sugars (made from one molecule)
  • Glucose
  • Galactose
  • Fructose (fruit sugar)
2. Double sugars (made up from two molecules)
  • Sucrose (white sugar) : fructose + glucose
  • Lactose (milk sugar) : glucose + galactose
  • Maltose : glucose + glucose
Sources of Sugars
There are many other types of sugars. Some occur naturally in fruits, vegetables and milk. Sugars are also added as ingredients to many foods. Carbohydrate-rich foods include fruits, root vegetables, rice, noodles and bread. However, before the carbohydrates in these foods can be used for energy, they must be digested and broken down into sugars.

Sugars In Foods
  • Using sugars can improve the texture and colour of baked goods.
  • Sugars help produce the moistness of cakes and the golden-brown colour and crispy texture of biscuits.
  • Sugars are needed when baking bread to enable yeast to work.
  • Sugars balance the sour taste of tomatoes in sauce, vinegar in achar and tamarind in assam gravies.
These sugars often appear on food ingredient lists: Glucose, Fructose, Lactose, Maltose, Sucrose (white sugar), Corn syrup, Brown sugar, Honey.

How do sugars fit into a healthy diet?
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has indicated that sugars can play a role in a healthy diet. However, if your energy needs are very low or you are overweight, you should go easy on the total calories from all sources that you consume.

A healthy diet should include a variety of different types of foods such as :
  • Cereals and Cereal Products
  • Roots and Tubers
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes (Peas and Beans)
  • Meat, Poultry and Fish
  • Dairy Products
How does the body use sugars?
The body uses all types of sugars in essentially the same way. During digestion, all carbohydrates, including sugars and starches such as rice, noodles and bread, break down into single units of sugars which, in turn, are all converted to glucose. Glucose travels through the blood stream to body cells to provide energy or is stored for future use. Glucose is the only nutrient that the brain and red blood cells can use for energy.

Do sugars cause overweight?
Weight gain results when a person regularly consumes more calories than he or she expends. Excess energy may come from over-consumption of any food. Nutrients such as carbohydrate, protein and fat provide energy to the body. All carbohydrates, including sugars, provide 4 calories (16 kilojoules) per gram, which is the same as for protein. Fats provide 9 calories (37 kilojoules)

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