Overview

How much sugar is healthy?

Why is it so difficult to say no to sweet treats? Why does too much sugar harm our bodies? And why is Coke Zero not exactly the bee’s knees? You'll find these and other answers concerning sugar here.

Why is sugar unhealthy?
Sugar is not unhealthy per se. Quite the contrary: we need sugar to live, as it is an important supplier of energy. But too much sugar is unhealthy.
What is the risk of consuming too much sugar?
If you constantly snack on sweets, your pancreas will constantly produce the hormone insulin, which allows the cells of the body to take in glucose and thus builds up glucose in the blood. This increases the blood sugar levels. If the insulin levels in the blood are constantly too high, the cells no longer respond properly to this hormone. Experts describe this as insulin resistance, which is a precursor of diabetes.
How much sugar per day is OK?
The WHO recommends a maximum of 6 teaspoons per day (1 tsp = approx. 4 g). Swiss adults consume 32 teaspoons per day on average.
Why do we become addicted to sugar?
Sugar rapidly increases the blood sugar levels and gives us an instant high. The brain produces serotonin, our happy hormone. But the feel-good effect quickly tails off, and we need our next sugar fix.
Where does the sugar hide?
Two-thirds of the sugar that we eat does not come from chocolates and sweets, but from other products: soft drinks, baked goods, granola, spreads, snacks, tinned food, fruit yoghurt, convenience foods such as pizza or tortellini, salad dressings or ketchup.
Is brown sugar better for us than white sugar?
No. It is not the type of sugar but the quantity that counts. It therefore makes no difference if you use white sugar or an alternative. Natural sweeteners like maple syrup, agave syrup and honey also contain sugar. We should therefore use all kinds of sugar in moderation.
Is Coke Zero healthier than a normal soft drink?
Artificially sweetened drinks stimulate the production of insulin in exactly the same way as sugar. Our brains react to empty-calorie sweet snacks with a feeling of hunger. You just make up later for the calories you save with a drink like Coke Zero. The result: your blood sugar levels increase once again.
How “light” is light?
In food that is described as “light”, the fat is often replaced by sugar in order to add taste.
Why do we have a sweet tooth?
There are evolutionary reasons for this: there is hardly anything that tastes sweet but is poisonous, in contrast to the bitter tastes. A sweet taste therefore helps us to identify safe food.
Why do children eat more sugar?
Younger people have a higher sucrose detection threshold: food has to be sweeter before they can taste the sweetness.

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