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You, Life, and Sugar

“Sugar has been part of our lives for centuries and can be enjoyed as part of a balanced lifestyle”

This is about eating a variety of foods, drinking clean water, partaking in physical activity and maintaining healthy body weight.

In addition to the role of sugar in food preparation, production and its functional properties, sugar is used to create foods that are an integral part of cultural activities. Festive foods, such as sweetmeats and fruit cakes, come to mind. It would be difficult to imagine many cultural and religious events without the special foods that contain sugar. Sugar is used in baked goods and sweets, and these are associated with happy occasions such as birthdays and weddings.

So with sugar being part of our lives, we need to understand how we can enjoy it in a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has been established that obesity causes lifestyle diseases. The World Health Organisation states that obesity is caused when there is an imbalance in calories consumed and calories expended. So when you eat more food than your body needs, the extra energy is stored in your body as fat. If you keep on eating more than you need over a period of time, you will probably become obese. You, diet and sugar look at all the different aspects of weight.

Our Bodies are Designed to Turn Glucose into EnergyCarbohydrates provide energy or fuel which is required – not only when exercising – but when going about our daily activities. Sugar is a carbohydrate and, as with all carbohydrates, it is a source of energy. The energy value of sugar is 16.8kJ (4 calories) per gram whereas fat has 37.8kJ (9 calories) per gram.

Our bodies convert sugar into fuel quickly unlike fats that are stored to be used later. Our body is designed to use glucose as the preferred source of energy and is the only source of energy for the brain. Glucose is found mainly in carbohydrate foods including sugar, bread, rice, cereal and potatoes. Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle because you use energy and this will help you to create that energy balance.

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