Sugars: Sugars and your health

Learn about sugars and how they affect your health.  

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About sugars

Sugars are a type of carbohydrate. They provide the body with energy.

Sugars are naturally found in:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • dairy products like unsweetened milk and yogurt, and cheese

These foods also contain other important nutrients such as:

  • fibre
  • vitamins
  • potassium

Sugars are added to many foods during processing or preparation in order to add:

  • texture
  • taste (sweetness)
  • colour (browning)

Sugars can also be used to preserve foods, such as fruit jams and jellies.

Sources of sugars

Sugars are found in high amounts in:

  • fruit juice
  • sugary drinks
  • chocolate and candy
  • bakery products such as:
    • cakes
    • donuts
    • cookies
    • pastries
    • granola bars
  • ice cream and frozen desserts
  • honey and syrups (like maple syrup)

Limit highly processed foods to reduce the amount of sugars you eat.

How sugars affect health

Consuming too many added sugars has been linked to an increased risk of:

  • tooth decay in children
  • excess calorie consumption

Excess calories can lead to overweight and obesity.

Obesity is a risk factor for chronic diseases such as:

  • type 2 diabetes
  • some forms of cancer
  • cardiovascular disease

Follow a healthy eating pattern where most sugars come from fruits, vegetables and unsweetened dairy products such as unsweetened milk or yogurt.

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