These sugars are no better than refined white sugar, which is a simple carbohydrate that is easily utilised by the body for energy but stored as fat if it is not needed.
“Essentially, all sugars are the same, with minor differences in terms of the presence of minerals, impurities and colouring,” said Ms Jenny Ng, principal dietitian at Mind Your Diet.
“Regardless of the type of sugar, it will eventually be broken down into glucose, which will enter our bloodstream and be used as energy by our cells.”
Sugar should be taken in small amounts as it provides empty calories and has no nutrients.
Ms Ng said people should watch out for hidden sugars in food and drinks. Soft drinks, in particular, have a lot of sugar – one can of drink can have as much as eight teaspoons of sugar, she said. And if you add sugar to your drinks or to your food while cooking, you may be increasing your caloric intake significantly without realising it.
Text by Mind & Body, Straits Times. Image: IStockphoto