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Is sugar empty calories?

Whether sugar is “empty calories” depends on the composition of the food or meal.

The term “empty calories” describes the fat or sugar in a food that has no or limited nutritional value, for example soft drinks, sweets, cakes or snacks. These foods contain energy, but (generally speaking) no vitamins and minerals.

Whether the sugar is “empty calories” depends therefore on the composition of the food or meal.

Sugar is mostly used for sweetening and contributes to several of the food’s sensory characteristics such as: colour, texture, aroma and flavour. In this way, sugar can increase the selection of foods that you have a desire to eat. For example, sugar often makes high-fibre products or sour and bitter berries taste better. Studies have also shown that people with a moderate sugar intake rarely lack vitamins and minerals. 

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