The WHO recommends a maximum dose of 6 teaspoons of sugar per day (1 teaspoon = approx. 4 g), i.e. around 25 g per day. These 25 g also represent 1 heaped tablespoon of powdered sugar. This quantity corresponds to an average energy requirement for an adult whose activity is moderate. In fact, sugar, transformed into glucose during digestion, plays a role as a fuel provider for the proper functioning of the body, especially the brain. It is for this reason that it is essential, even if it is not the only one to occupy this role since other nutrients such as proteins and lipids also provide energy to the body. The more energy we expend, the more calories the body needs to support these efforts. In children, it is advisable not to exceed 3 teaspoons per day (12 g per day).
The recommended dose of 25 g per day of sugar does not include the sugars contained in the fruits if they are eaten whole because as they are surrounded by dietary fiber, scientists believe that this sugar is not harmful. On the other hand, fruit juices must be counted in these 25 g. Sugars found in milk such as lactose are also excluded from this maximum amount of sugar per day of 25 g.
If sugar is not converted into energy expended: weight gain and health risks
Absorbed in too large quantities, sugar promotes the production and accumulation of fat in the body and can be the cause of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. At the metabolic level, if the sugar is not immediately transformed into energy, it turns into fat in the liver.
Beware of hidden sugars in industrial preparations
In general, it is not fruits and vegetables, but it is added sugar or free sugar that predominates in excessive sugar consumption. Be careful with ready meals, because they hide a lot of sugar. There are several reasons for the high use of sugars in foods of industrial origin:
– Improved conservation,
– an antimicrobial action (especially in charcuterie)
– correction of the taste of food
But probably the main reason is for customer retention purposes. As sugar is highly addictive, the more a food contains, the more frequently the consumer will be tempted to buy it, which mechanically increases sales in the food industry. When consuming industrial or processed foods, care must be taken to look carefully at the amount of sugar contained in each food or drink. Be careful, sugar is sometimes hidden behind unfamiliar names such as: agave syrup, erythritol, honey, glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, etc. These names are common. These are marketing techniques used by the food industry not to use the direct term sugar. They are found in widely consumed products such as ice cream, drinks, even natural fruit juices, fruit yogurts, preserves, pizzas and tomato sauces also contain sugar and increase the amount consumed per day.