Sugar Consumption And Health

Sugar is pure carbohydrate and a source of high energy food. Complex carbohydrates (starch) and fiber are other kinds of carbohydrates. During the digestion, all kinds of carbohydrates except some fiber elements turn into sugar in the human body. Sugar and starch naturally exist in other foods. Different kinds of bread, other cereals, leguminous seeds, nuts, dried fruits, milk, fruit and vegetable are some basic examples.
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Sugar Containing Foods

Sugar and syrup can be added to foods during the preparation process. This addition is not a kind of sugar that naturally contains in the foods. For a body, it is chemically difficult to define the difference between natural sugar and the sugar that is added to foods from outside. To add sugar to foods from outside increases the energy content. In our country, pastries, milk deserts, jam and marmalade are favourite foods so that they are frequently consumed. In addition, soft drinks, fruit juices that are ready to consume, candies, ice cream, cake and cookies are produced through adding refined sugar. These foods are frequently and particularly consumed by children and young people. Consuming much sugar and sugar added foods are the basic reason for taking excessive energy and causes to increase the body weight (fatness). This situation also reduces to consume foods that are rich with respect to nutritive value. Henceforth, to reduce consumption of these foods bear great importance. Sometimes the phrase of “sugar free” and “diet” can be seen on the labels of some foods.

Instead of sugar, artificial sweetener such as saccharin, aspartame, xylitol, sucralose are used for sweetening the foods. Some of these foods also contain energy. Thus, if they are consumed much, they can cause risks for health.

Example of Sugar Containing Foods

• Pastries, milk desserts, desserts prepared by using fat, sugar and flour.
• Jam, marmalade, honey, pekmez ( concentrated grape juice) etc.
• Soft drinks,
• Lemonade and sugar added fruit juices,
• Ice-cream,
• Cake and cookies,
• Candies, (Turkish delight, sugar candy etc.)
• Chocolate.

Artificial sweeteners instead of sugar do not cause tooth decays. They also do not provide energy and are used in low energy diets for the diabetes. Sorbitol as an artificial sweetener contains energy. Consequently, it should be paid attention to the sort of the artificial sweeteners used in the label of the food. In some product labels, it is stated that the sugar content of the products is little. Nevertheless, if the fat content of these products is high, the energy content of these products can also be high as well. It is not probable for an individual to lose weight or protect his/her health without increasing the physical activity and decreasing the energy intake merely through consuming these products.

RECOMMENDATIONS

* Restrict the beverages and foods containing much sugar.
* Most of the energy need should predominantly be met by cereals (whole cereal products), fresh fruits and vegetables and products that are fatless or containing little fat such as milk of which the amount of fat reduced, lean meat or the products that can be used instead of fatty meat.
* Instead of sugar added soft drinks please prefer skim milk, ayran (watered yogurt) and kefir.
* Instead of drinking beverages containing sugar, water should be preferred.
* Drink sugar free tea and herbal teas.
* Do not forget brushing your teeth just after the consumption of sugar containing food.






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