What is added sugar, and why is it not healthy in food?

Medically Reviewed by Checkmark Medically Reviewed By: Sheela Krishnaswamy

The FSSAI states that “Total sugars refer to the total sugar content of the food product, whereas added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation. They do not include naturally occurring sugars.”

Similarly, the FDA states, “Added sugars are those sugars that are added during the processing of foods (such as sucrose or dextrose), foods packaged as sweeteners (such as table sugar), sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices.”

According to the NIN, “The recent WHO guidelines recommend the adults and children to restrict sugars to less than 10% or more of total energy intake and to less than 5%, for additional health benefits. Diets high in total sugar would not necessarily result in lower diet quality, whereas there is evidence showing a significantly decreasing trend of nutrient intakes and food groups by children with increasing added sugar levels.”

The Daily Value for added sugars is 50 grams per day for someone on a 2,000-calorie daily diet. Added sugars do not include naturally occurring sugars such as those found in milk, vegetables, and fruits. The most common sources of these sugars are baked goods, sweets, desserts, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

These are not considered healthy as they don’t contain any nutritional value. The body digests it quickly and if consumed in large quantities and for a long period of time, it can very easily lead to weight gain, which further contributes to obesity. It further makes a person predisposed to various diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, etc.

Therefore, one must be vigilant in what one is consuming and how much-added sugars are added to it.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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