Health

Sugar and Health

Sugar is a healthy part of a diet. Carbohydrates, including sugar, are the preferred sources of the body’s fuel for brain power, muscle energy and every natural process that goes on in every functioning cell.

Sugar is more than a “fun” food ingredient, it’s an essential one as well. Because it’s all-natural, you can consume it with confidence. As Nature’s preferred sweetener, sugar is present not only in nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, but is also a key component in foods as diverse as whole grain breads and cereals, yogurts and tomato sauces.

With only 4 calories per gram, sugar is no more fattening than any other 4 calories. Like all carbohydrates, the body converts sugar into fuel quickly. Fats, on the other hand, are stored in fat cells to be used later.

The keys to a healthy lifestyle are as much common sense as they are scientific. One should strive to maintain a diet that includes a wide variety of foods that contain a range of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and fats. When it comes to consuming these foods, think moderation and choose reasonable portion sizes.

To improve long-term health, an active lifestyle is as essential as sensible eating. Activities that increase heart rate, like climbing stairs in lieu of escalators, have been proven to be essential to help consumers maintain weight, build and preserve strong bones, control blood pressure and reduce risk factors for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Being physically active also promotes psychological well-being.

Nutrition experts consistently recommend increasing carbohydrates to achieve a healthful diet. Food rich in starches and fiber are usually low in fat while providing a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Since sugars are not uniquely fattening, replacing sugar with other caloric or artificial sweeteners is not a workable solution to weight management. Weight loss occurs by reducing the total amount of calories consumed or increasing caloric expenditure through regular physical activity. Common sense says that a combination of reduced calorie intake and increased calorie burning will be more successful than either single strategy.