Sugar

Plate

Sugar is a type of simple carbohydrate. As compared to starch (complex carbohydrate), sugar is digested and absorbed quickly, causing ‘spikes’ in blood glucose levels. It also contains little of other nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

Food and drinks loaded with sugar are dense in energy. An excessive intake of energy may lead to obesity and related health issues. Go for unsweetened drinks such as water, plain tea and plain coffee. Enjoy sweetened food like desserts, pastries and ice cream in moderation.

2 types of sugar in our diet

  1. Naturally Occurring Sugar
    • Fructose or ‘fruit sugar’ in fruits
    • Lactose or ‘milk sugar’ in milk and dairy products

    Other than the naturally occurring sugar, fruits and dairy products provide us with the necessary nutrients for good health. It is recommended to consume fruits and dairy products in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

  2. Added Sugar
    • Sugar and syrup added to food and drinks during preparation, or processing, or at the table
    • Contribute to intake of ‘empty’ calories, meaning that it provides mainly energy and minimal amount of other nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals

Consequences of excessive sugar intake

  • Overweight and obesity -> Increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers
  • Increased triglyceride levels in blood -> High risk of heart diseases
  • Tooth decay

Recommended daily intake
The Health Promotion Board recommends keeping sugar intake to no more than 10% of our daily energy intake. That works out to be about 45g to 55g or 9 to 11 teaspoons of sugar per day for adults.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information only, it is not meant to substitute direct medical advice from your doctor or clinician.

Click for more heart smart eating tips
Click here to see the sugar content of common local food and drinks.