Science of Sugar

Science of Sugar - IFIC EVIEW R EXECUTIVE SUMMARY...

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IFIC R EVIE W International Food Information Council Foundation The Science of Sugars The Science of Sugars Sugars are carbohydrates that play many roles in our food supply and in our diets. They are a natural part of many foods and are a functional ingredient in others. Sugars bring sweet pleasure to eating but they also have more to offer than just sweetness and calories. Almost everyone enjoys sugars and sweets, but many consumers wonder whether consumption of sugars affects health. This review examines recent science concerning the nutrition and health aspects of sugars consumption and explains how sugars fit into a healthful eating plan. Sugars are Carbohydrates As the main energy source for the body, carbohydrates are an important part of a healthful diet. Carbohydrates are found in a wide range of foods that bring a variety of other important nutrients to the diet, such as vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and dietary fiber. Fruits, vegetables, grain foods and many dairy prod- ucts contain carbohydrates in varying amounts. Sugars are carbohydrates that add or provide taste appeal to a nutri- tious diet and play other important functional or organoleptic roles in foods. Carbohydrates get their name from the fact that they contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Carbohydrates have approximately a 1:2:1 molecular ratio of these elements, which is represented by the general chemical formula CxH2xOx. The ratio of hydrogen to oxygen is always 2:1. General types of carbohydrates include sugars, starches, saccharides, and polysaccharides. The simplest carbohydrates are monosaccharides (single sugar units). The primary monosaccharides are glucose, fructose and galactose. Disaccharides are composed of two simple sugars that are joined together by chemical bonds. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY T his paper examines recent research concerning the role of dietary sugars in nutrition and health. The nutrition and policy recommendations of the scientific community are summarized and their conclusions are related to support- ing research. As carbohydrates, sugars play many important roles in our food supply.They are a source of calories and, in addition to sweetening, perform many essential technical functions both in processed foods and in foods prepared in the home. Available data show no direct link between moderate consumption of sugars and serious diseases or obesity. Sugars and all fermentable carbohydrates contribute to the multi-factorial etiology of tooth decay. Recent research has focused on indirect sugars/health relationships, such as the possibility that excessive intake of sugars contributes to obesity and/or nutritionally inadequate diets. These concerns are about over-consumption of sugars, and over-consumption can be a problem with any food or nutrient. High fructose corn syrup and sucrose (table sugar) have minimal differences in com- position, and no discernable differences in how they are metabolized or in their overall effects on the body.For dietary guid-
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2011 for the course SMHM 1450 taught by Professor Craft during the Spring '08 term at North Texas.

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Science of Sugar - IFIC EVIEW R EXECUTIVE SUMMARY...

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