Sugar is a common component of many foods, including those that are considered healthy, such as fruits and dairy products. However, added sugars are those that are added to foods during processing or preparation, and consuming excessive amounts of them can lead to various health issues. Foods that contain high levels of added sugars are typically low in nutrients but high in calories, which can contribute to weight gain and other health problems. (Should I cut carbohydrates?) Several studies have linked a high intake of added sugars to health issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Hence, it is crucial to be mindful of our sugar intake and make informed choices when it comes to our diet. To help people make healthier choices, the American Heart Association suggests that men limit their daily intake of added sugars to no more than 36 grams (9 teaspoons) per day, while women should limit their intake to no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day. (Are carbs unhealthy?)
While it is essential to monitor our intake of added sugars, it is equally important to note that not all foods that contain sugar are unhealthy. Many healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, contain naturally occurring sugars that are accompanied by essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. So, it's crucial to choose nutrient-dense, whole-food sources of carbohydrates that provide our bodies with the nutrients we need to function properly.
In conclusion, added sugars should be consumed in moderation as excessive consumption can lead to health problems. People should aim to reduce their intake of added sugars by choosing whole foods that are naturally rich in nutrients and low in added sugars. By doing so, they can maintain a healthy diet and lower their risk of developing various health issues.