But food producers around the world add sugar to their products, which can raise blood sugar levels.
The term added sugar refers to those substances that are not naturally found in foods such as baked goods, but are added to them.
Consuming large amounts of added sugar can carry health risks, so health instructions advise people to limit the amounts of sugar they eat, according to the health website Medicalnewstoday.
What is sugar?
Sugar is a form of carbohydrates, and the body works to convert all forms of carbohydrates into sugar, and there are different types of the latter, depending on the composition of their molecules.
Monosaccharides consist of one molecule, making them the simplest type of sugar. They include:
- galactose contained in milk.
- Fructose in fruits.
There are disaccharides that contain two or more molecules, and they include:
- Sucrose, otherwise known as household sugar.
- Lactose, commonly found in milk and dairy products.
The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which in turn enters the bloodstream and acts there as an energy source.
Many foods and drinks contain sugars that are high in highly processed sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup.
A person must be careful about sugar, as it appears under many names in the identification information on products, including:
- raw sugar;
- invert sugar.
- Fruit juice concentrates.
- Coconut sugar.
And carbohydrates in general are fuel that supplies the body with energy and turns it into glucose, after which it enters the bloodstream, and some of this glucose is necessary for the brain, nervous system and red blood cells to function properly.
The body has a natural mechanism to deal with high levels of glucose in it, which leads to an increase in the level of insulin, while low levels of sugar lead to a decrease in the levels of this hormone.
The body needs appropriate levels of insulin in order to function properly, so too little of this hormone or working in an erratic manner leads to diabetes.
And here we come to the central question: Does a person need sugar to live?
The American Heart Association says the human body does not need added sugar in any form to lead a healthy life.
Natural sugar comes from different sources of nutrients that a person needs to stay healthy.
For example, fruits contain fructose and other nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and other minerals.
Most foods and drinks that contain added sugar, such as chocolate, lack these nutrients.
The US National Academy of Medicine has set the recommended daily carbohydrate intake for adults and children from one year of age to be over 130 grams.
The Academy also advises that there be 45-65 calories that adults consume daily from carbohydrates.
Many people don’t care about health experts’ advice about excessive sugar intake, although it does carry risks of diseases such as:
- Having diabetes.
- heart disease;
- Colon Cancer.
- Liver disease.
- Retinal damage.
- Muscle and nerve damage.
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