Sugar is a carbohydrate and carbohydrates are an essential requirement of the
human diet. There are different types of sugar, such as fructose and glucose
that are found in fruit and vegetables. Milk contains a sugar called lactose and
maltose is found in malted drinks, such as beer. The sugar that most people are
familiar with is table sugar, or sucrose. Sucrose is extracted from sugar cane
and can be found in some fruits and vegetables. It is usually this type of sugar
that is added to the sweet treats that most people love. All of the above types
of sugars are known as simple sugars.
The complex sugars are starches, which are found in grains such as wheat and
oats and starchy vegetables such as potatoes. In the body, these complex sugars
are broken down into simple sugars so that the body can use the sugar. Fibre is
also a type carbohydrate, although the body is unable to digest this, which
explains why the stomach feels full for a long time after eating a high-fibre
meal. Fibre is also essential for assisting the digestive system in its
The role of carbohydrates (or sugars) is to provide an energy source for the
body. Energy is required for all processes within the body, but especially
within the muscles, the brain and the nervous system. When the energy from
carbohydrate intake is not used within the body, it is converted and eventually
stored as fat.
This means that you do need sugar. Between 40% and 60% of the daily diet should
be made up of carbs, although it is important to eat a balance of complex carbs
such as wholegrains, fruits and vegetables and eat smaller amounts of the simple
sugars that are found in soft drinks and sweets.
For those who want to enjoy sweet treats, it is important to do so as part of a
balanced diet. Some choose to enjoy sweet treats after a meal in place of
desert, particularly as this will not disrupt blood sugar levels as much as
eating sweets during the day. Portion control is also important. Many
confectionary items have recommended portions printed on the packet and after a
portion has been enjoyed, the remainder should be put away for another day.
For those who particularly enjoy retro sweet treats such as love hearts,
refreshers, Parma violets and more, then retro-sweet.co.uk has a large selection
of these favourites as well as jars of sweets, sweet hampers and many other
great retro sweet gift ideas.
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