ICMR says added sugar may be completely eliminated from diet: ‘It adds no nutritive value other than calories’ | Health - Hindustan Times
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ICMR says added sugar may be completely eliminated from diet: ‘It adds no nutritive value other than calories’

By, New Delhi
Jun 05, 2024 03:23 PM IST

ICMR advise limiting added sugar to 25 g per day or even completely eliminating it from the diet as it only adds to the calories but not to the nutrition.

ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) in its recent guidelines advise limiting added sugar to 25 g per day or even completely eliminate it from the diet as it adds no nutritive value to the food other than calories.

"Adding sugar over and above what is naturally/inherently present in foods increase the total calorie intake, but adds no nutritive value," says ICMR.(Unsplash)
"Adding sugar over and above what is naturally/inherently present in foods increase the total calorie intake, but adds no nutritive value," says ICMR.(Unsplash)

"Consumption of sugar in quantities that contribute over 5% of total energy intake per day or 25 g per day (based on average intake of 2000 kcal/day) is defined as 'high sugar'," says ICMR guidelines. (Also read | ICMR says labels could be misleading: 'Sugar-free foods could have hidden sugars')

WHO is considering revising its recommendation and reducing calories from sugar to less than 5% Kcal per day as per the apex medical research body.

"Limiting sugar to 25 g per day is better for health. If possible, added sugar may be completely eliminated from one's diet as it adds no nutritive value other than calories," reads the ICMR guidelines. (Also read | ICMR says overcooking pulses can reduce quality of protein, suggests how much water to use, in new guidelines)

Added sugars vs naturally occurring simple sugars: What's the difference?

Added sugar refers to sugar and sugar syrups added to foods and drinks during processing and preparation and they include sucrose (table sugar), jaggery, honey, glucose, fructose, dextrose etc.

Naturally occurring sugars are those that are inherently present in a food item. For instance, monosaccharides are simple sugars with single sugar molecules such as glucose or fructose in fruits. Disaccharides are two simple sugar molecules like sucrose (sugar) or lactose in milk.

ICMR says refined sugars have no vitamins or minerals.

"Adding sugar over and above what is naturally/inherently present in foods increase the total calorie intake, but adds no nutritive value," says the apex medical research body.

A diet high in added sugars could raise your risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and even dementia. A high intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains on the other hand can reduce risk of chronic diseases.

"Calories are healthy only when accompanied by vitamins, minerals and fibre," says the guidelines.

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