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 Sugar: Is it bad for you?

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King Veis
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PostSubject: Sugar: Is it bad for you?   Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:34 am

Sugar has been criticized by some as an unnecessary, even dangerous food substance. Others maintain it is an important and harmless source of calories. The truth lies somewhere between these arguments as with many nutrition controversies. It might help to know more about sugar so you can decide for yourself.

The term "sugar," in the scientific sense, may refer to any of several substances in the carbohydrate food class. What is commonly known as table sugar or "sucrose" is derived from sugar beets and sugar cane plants. In the refining process, juice from sugar beets or cane is extracted and converted to form crystals, known as raw sugar, or syrup (known as molasses). Brown sugar is made by spraying refined sugar with molasses. Corn syrup is commercially produced and is chemically similar to table sugar. Honey bees convert nectar from plants into honey which is also chemically similar to sucrose. Also included in this category are maple sugar and syrup from the sap of maple trees.

All these sweeteners provide similar amounts of calories, sometimes referred to as "empty" calories, because they provide few additional nutrients such as vitamins or minerals. Molasses and honey may contain traces of certain nutrients, but the amounts are insignificant. Therefore, though you may choose one type of sweetener for a desirable texture or flavor, none really has any nutritional advantage over another.

Since sweeteners are chemically similar, they are each handled by our bodies in much the same fashion. Sugar is an energy source for body tissues. When we eat more sugar than the amount needed for energy, the body converts the sugar to a storage form. This stored form is used to meet energy needs and maintain blood sugar levels within a narrow range. Excess sugar is converted to fat.

Consumption of sucrose in the form of table sugar has not changed significantly over the past century. However, the use of sweeteners deried from corn syrup has risen dramatically, particularly in soft drinks. Sweeteners are also "hidden" in highly processed foods such as ketchup, crackers, or salad dressing. Some sugars serve as natural preservatives, thickeners, and baking aid in foods. Sugars and most foods that contain them in large amounts supply calories but are limited in essentail nutrients. Therefore, they should be used in moderation by most healthy people and sparingly by people with low calorie needs.

Carbohydrates such as sugars and starches can contribute to the development of tooth decay.

U.S. Dietary Guidelines include recommendations to use sugars in moderation and to increase consumption of starch and fiber, which are known as "complex carbohydrates." Complex carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. In addition to calories, these foods provide vitamins, minerals and fiber in your diet.

Choose foods with the most nutrients per calorie and limit consumption of sugars that provide calories without other nutrients. Satisfy a "sweet tooth" with a piece of fruit rather than a candy bar. There is no need to eliminate sugars from your diet or to give up favorite foods, but you should be moderate in your use of sugars and sweeteners. Refined sugar is not essential to good health. But it is not detrimental if eaten in small amounts. Diets high in sugar have not been shown to cause diabetes. The most common diabetes occurs in overweight adults. Avoiding sugars alone, will not correct overweight.

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eloys

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar: Is it bad for you?   Sat May 10, 2008 5:05 am

yeah but... it's delicioussssss!!! i bet you also eat it every time?? right King Veis??? tongue
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.polie-sponge.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar: Is it bad for you?   Sun May 11, 2008 9:42 am

sugar is good for us! hahaha
we all need sugar haha ..
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