Sugars, and particularly
sucrose, are often referred to as 'empty Calories' because they lack
significant amounts of vitamins, elements (minerals) and trace elements
and just provide us with energy. Some people may overeat because of
their desire for sweetness. In trying to reduce weight, often the
most obvious foods to exclude are sweet foods and the use of sugar.
This lowers the energy intake without significantly affecting the
intake of vitamins and elements. But it is not the sweet foods and
sugar alone that cause people to be overweight, rather it is overeating.
People who do
not like or eat sweet foods can also be overweight. Indeed, obese
people often eat less sucrose than others. It may be harder for these
people to find a way to reduce safely their food consumption. It should
also be remembered that fat and alcohol have more energy per gram
than sugar and other carbohydrates. Sugar is often used to make fatty
foods, for example icecream, more palatable and interesting. Obesity,
resulting from excessive overeating, is associated with a number of
disorders, which include high blood pressure, gallbladder disease,
diabetes mellitus and heart disease.
and in particular sugar play an important role in tooth decay. Carbohydrates
allow certain micro-organisms present in plaque (a mass of micro-organisms
on the tooth surface) to produce organic acids, which demineralize
teeth and cause decay. It appears that the frequency of eating and
the form the sugar is in, are more important in causing decay than
the actual amount consumed. Sugar in sticky foods such as caramels
and toffees promotes tooth decay to a greater extent than when eaten
in meals or consumed in drinks.
are three steps that can help reduce the risk of tooth decay: