Is there a minimum amount of sugar needed per day?
Many websites talk about the maximum amount of additional sugar we should consume a day – and quote amounts ranging from 6 teaspoons a day for women, to 9 teaspoons a day for men on average.
However the question about whether there is a minimum amount of sugar needed per day still remains largely unanswered by most websites.
The simple answer is that sugar is a carbohydrate, and according to most experts, carbohydrates should make up 45 to 65% of your daily calories.
Sugar is however one of the most unhealthy types of carbs you can eat – because of its chemical structure and the way it is metabolised or broken down by the body.
Sugar metabolises into fructose and glucose in the digestive tract. The fructose has little effect on blood glucose levels, but the glucose element of sugar will cause blood glucose levels to rise, triggering release of insulin, that can cause the body to go into fat storage mode.
Too much blood sugar can trigger a dangerous condition called Hyperglycaemia. Many experts also warn us that sugar is highly addictive. Eating excess sugar on a regular basis can lead to insulin resistance, and even cancer.
The good news is that our bodies are always burning energy, even while we are resting. So as long as we don’t consume too much carbohydrates each day, we will not store additional fat.
It is very difficult to exercise off the fat that gets stored by the body. The best solution is to control the amount of carbohydrates you are consuming on a daily basis.
No sugar is actually biologically needed by the body. There are other ways that you can get your daily requirement of carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potato, whole wheat bread, oatmeal (porridge in the UK), pasta, fruits, green vegetables, carrots, pita bread, couscous, etc.
You can download the free My Fitness Pal calorie counting app for iPhone or Android devices to work out exactly what you are consuming on a daily basis, to monitor your sugar intake, and carbs as a percentage of your daily recommended calories. This is a great way of ensuring that you stay within safe levels.
Energy drinks are often a concern to people who are worried about their sugar intake, since many drinks such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, Rockstar Energy, and Red Bull all contain lots of sugar in the form of sucrose or HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). If you would like a healthier energy drink, please look at the new NEON Energy Drink.
Please let me know what you think about daily sugar requirements in the reply section below.