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The Sane View Sugar

It’s a subject so sticky even the experts are divided. Are all sugars the same? Are so-called ‘unrefined’ sweeteners healthier than the white stuff? Sue Quinn set out to find some grains of truth
PHOTOGRAPH: ISTOCK

We all enjoy sweet treats now and then, and even anti-sugar campaigners don’t begrudge us an occasional slice of cake. But most of us need to cut back on sugar – a hard task when it comes in so many forms and hides in unlikely places. The smart way to start reducing our intake – and navigate all the misinformation – is to be informed.

THE SCIENCE BIT

In order to function, our bodies need glucose, which is broken down from carbohydrates in food. Complex carbohydrates such as wholegrains and vegetables are converted into glucose and enter the bloodstream slowly. They’re also packed with nutrients. Added sugars, these days known as ‘free sugars’, are simple carbohydrates found in processed foods, cakes, soft drinks and the like. They add flavour and texture to food, and keep it fresher for longer – but nutritionally they’re bad news when we eat lots of them. Free sugars are loaded with calories, and nothing else of nutritional value; they're linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and tooth decay.

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About Delicious Magazine

Tuck into the January issue of Delicious – it’s packed with comforting recipes including Nigel Slater’s warming wonders, three-ways with meatballs, main-meal soups, Alpine recipes for mountainous appetites and a heartwarming mac ‘n’ cheese. Plus, there are great no-faff midweek meals, lighter recipes for the new year and foolproof guides to perfect Yorkshire puds, sourdough bread and pork wontons – satisfaction guaranteed.
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