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Sugar and health

Interest in health is greater than ever. Almost every day you can read about health in the media: new studies are reported; experts give their opinions; facts and figures are reproduced; and there is no shortage of people telling you how they found the way to a healthier life.

The health debate has many aspects, but not all of them are equally well informed scientifically. We would like to do something about that. On this website we are therefore seeking to shed light on typical questions about sugar in order to contribute to a more balanced debate..

  • Why is there sugar in food?
    Why is there sugar in food?
    Besides bringing sweetness, sugar also contributes to several of our food’s sensory properties such as colour, texture and taste. In some products, sugar can act as a natural preservative.
  • How much sugar do fruit, berries and vegetables contain?
    How much sugar do fruit, berries and vegetables contain?
    Sugars occur naturally in varying amounts in fruit, berries and vegetables. Sugar beet and sugar cane are the only plants that contain so much sugar that it is worth extracting.
  • Are sugars in fruit and berries healthier than added sugars?
    Are sugars in fruit and berries healthier than added sugars?
    The body cannot distinguish between added sugars and naturally occurring sugars from fruits and berries.
  • Does sugar make you fat?
    Does sugar make you fat?
    If you consume more energy than your body use in the course of the day, you will become overweight. It’s all about finding your energy balance.
  • Do we eat more sugar now than we used to?
    Do we eat more sugar now than we used to?
    The debate may give the impression that we are eating more sugar than we used to, but statistics show otherwise. Although it varies from country to country, overall we are not eating more sugar.
  • Is sugar unhealthy?
    Is sugar unhealthy?
    It is far more relevant to look at eating habits and lifestyle as a whole, rather than focusing on one single ingredient or food product.
  • Is sugar empty calories?
    Is sugar empty calories?
    Whether sugar is “empty calories” depends on the composition of the food or meal.
  • Does “reduced sugars” mean fewer calories?
    Does “reduced sugars” mean fewer calories?
    “Reduced sugars” or similar claims in food do not necessarily mean fewer calories. It is important to read nutrition declarations on food and drinks, which compare the total energy content per 100 grams or ml.
  • Does sugar cause cavities in your teeth?
    Does sugar cause cavities in your teeth?
    Frequent intake of food products containing fermentable carbohydrates like sugar and starch may increase the risk of developing dental caries, especially in people with poor dental hygiene.
  • Can you get diabetes from eating sugar?
    Can you get diabetes from eating sugar?
    Type 2 diabetes is a so-called “lifestyle disease”. Sugar has not been established as a direct cause of diabetes. Obesity and lack of physical activity are reported to be major risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
  • Does sugar cause large blood sugar fluctuations?
    Does sugar cause large blood sugar fluctuations?
    Blood sugar fluctuations after a meal are natural. It is nothing to worry about if you are otherwise healthy. The body regulates itself between meals.
  • Do children become hyperactive from too much sugar?
    Do children become hyperactive from too much sugar?
    Scientific studies have found no relationship between children’s sugar intake and problems in their concentration or behaviour.
  • Can you become addicted to sugar?
    Can you become addicted to sugar?
    Specific foodstuffs, nutrients or food additives do not cause addiction in the sense of substance-based addiction.
  • Is brown sugar healthier than white?
    Is brown sugar healthier than white?
    Brown cane sugar contains small quantities of minerals. However, its contribution to the recommended daily intake is negligible. Therefore brown cane sugar is not healthier than white sugar.

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