Sugar is found in many foods, both naturally or added. Sugar provides energy (calories) but no other nutritional value on its own. Foods that naturally contain sugar, like vegetables, fruit and milk, are also packed with important nutrients for health.  

Sugars are often added to foods to improve their flavour, colour, texture and shelf-life. Sugar is the number one food additive used in the food industry, and comes in many forms: white sugar, brown sugar, molasses, honey, maple syrups, and corn sweeteners.  It may also be listed on food labels as:  glucose, dextrose, fructose, maltose or sucrose. If any of these sugars are listed first or second on the ingredient list, the food is likely very high in sugar. Processed foods that are high in sugar are usually high in calories and often high in fat.

How much sugar should we eat?

There is no specific amount of sugar that is recommended for a healthy eating pattern.  However, Health Canada recommends we limit foods and beverages high in added sugar. These include foods such as baked goods, desserts and sweetened beverages. Foods high in sugar can be bad for our teeth, but because of the added calories many of these foods provide, they can be bad for our waist-line too.  It’s best to limit these types of foods and replace them with foods naturally sweet such as vegetables, fruit and milk.  

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