Sugar and nutrition
Sugar is a food product, whose nutritional value has been tested by recognized nutritionists and doctors. Neither a person's health nor vitamin supply is endangered by the amount of sugar typically consumed in Germany. The top American health authority also classifies sugar as a safe food.
In March 2000, the German and Austrian Nutrition Societies and the Swiss Society for Nutrition Research published the "D-A-CH Reference values for nutrient intake", thus updating the previous recommendations for healthy eating to reflect the latest scientific findings. According to the current recommendation by the nutritionists: "Sugar should be used in moderation." The experts at both the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have thus distanced themselves from the prior recommendation to strictly limit sugar intake.
Dental cavities (caries)
The idea that there is a direct correlation between sugar consumption and dental cavities is no longer supported by current scientific findings. Despite the fact that sugar consumption in Germany has remained constant, as it has in other developed countries, the incidence of dental cavities in children and young people has been declining sharply for several decades. Dental cavities occur when several events coincide: a coating on uncleaned teeth, acid-producing bacteria resident in the coating, fermentable carbohydrates and sufficient time for the acid or bacteria to attack the teeth. It is irrelevant whether the carbohydrates stem from fruits, honey, food containing sugars, snacks containing starch or breakfast cereals. The decisive factor is how long they remain on the teeth.
Brushing with fluoride toothpaste soon after eating to remove residual food from the teeth is the most effective way to prevent cavities.
The main cause of excess weight is energy unbalance. People who regularly burn less calories than they consume store excess fat that causes weight gain. Lack of exercise and excess energy intake are currently the main reasons for being overweight. On the other hand, individual foods do not play a role. However, it is known that when using energy from the food we eat, our body digests carbohydrates first - and sugar is a carbohydrate - while it finds it very easy to completely store fats. Even when there is a very large supply, all carbohydrates, including sugar, are the body's preferred source of energy. They may be stored in the form of glycogen, but are not converted to body fat. Only extremely high quantities of carbohydrates cause new fat to form in humans.
Furthermore, a study in Scotland that examined 11,000 adults determined that there was an inverse relationship between body weight and sugar consumption. The more sugar the participants consumed, the less likely they were to be overweight.
Like other carbohydrates, sugar supplies cells with energy. Diabetics may therefore include sugar in their diet if they limit their intake to no more than one-tenth of their total energy supply.
Several studies to address the concern that high amounts of sugar could block the absorption of essential nutrients from food concluded that there was no cause for alarm.
Sugar is converted to glucose in the body, which is consumed by the cells when it is in turn converted to energy. Body cells cannot distinguish whether a glucose molecule originated in bread, an apple or the sugar in a beverage.