Everything You Need to Know About Sugar’s Role in Food and Health

Sugar continues to dominate the limelight for both consumers and policymakers, but these discussions can often leave us with many questions. What are the health effects of eating too much sugar? Does it matter what kind of sugar?

The consumer demand for products low in sugar can also be technically challenging for food scientists due to the functional role sugar has in many food and beverage applications. Other than sweetness, sugar can provide color, inhibit pathogen growth, or stabilize baking environments, among many other functions.

The review paper ‘Functionality of Sugars in Foods and Health‘, whose authors include Dr. Roger Clemens and Dr. Joanne Slavin of our Scientific Advisory Council, expands the conversation of sugar beyond its health implications to help provide the whole story on sugar for both food scientists and nutritionists. Areas explored by the review include:

  • Spoonful of sugarHistorical Use of Sugars
  • Naturally Occurring and Commercially Produced Caloric Sugars
  • Technical and Functional Roles of Sugars in Foods and Beverages
  • Digestion, Metabolism, and Physiological Functions of Sugars
  • Dietary Recommendations and Consumption of Sugars in the United States
  • Sugar Intake and Health Effects
  • Policy and Research Gaps