Sugar on Health an unbalanced diet with a high proportion of added sugar jeopardizes our health and increases the risk of overweight, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Yet sugar alone is not to blame. It comes down to overall eating habits and personal lifestyle. A balance between energy intake and energy consumption yields a normal weight. If the balance of energy is not in equilibrium and is combined with inadequate everyday physical activity, the risk of overweight as well as other diseases increases.
How Is Sugar Addictive?
Eating sweet foods does not need to be learned. We love sugar. The preference for the sweet taste is innate in humans and even breast milk tastes slightly sweet. It is assumed that the imprinting of taste perceptions already takes place in the womb. If sugar is then eaten again, a vicious cycle easily begins.
How Much Sugar Is Healthy? The Experts’ Current Nutritional Recommendations
The WHO issued guidelines on sugar consumption for adults and children, with the following recommendations: The daily intake of free sugar should be limited to <10% of the total energy intake. This recommendation is based on an analysis of the scientific evidence which shows that adults with a low sugar intake have a lower body weight, that weight increases as sugar intake increases, that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages by children is positively correlated with overweight, and that there is a connection between an increased intake of free sugar (>10% of total energy) and the frequency of cavities. It would be advisable to aim for a daily intake of free sugar of a maximum of 5% of total energy.
“Free sugar” refers to monosaccharides (such as glucose and fructose) and disaccharides (such as table sugar = sucrose) which are added to foods by manufacturers, cooks or consumers, as well as sugars inherently present in honey, syrup, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. The WHO guideline does not refer to sugars occurring naturally in fresh fruit and vegetables as well as in milk, since there are no indications that their intake leads to adverse health effects.