University of Illinois Extension

HOT Project: Healthy Outcomes for Teens

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/hot

Is Sugar Bad?

Sugar is a carbohydrate. It has 4 calories per gram. A teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams.

4 grams x 4 calories = 16 calories in a teaspoon of sugar.

Sticky sugary foods like chewing gum or caramels can hurt your teeth if you don't brush them right away after eating these things.

Sugar doesn't make most kids "hyper." Usually it is the party, or the special occasion that goes with the party that makes kids "hyper." Some kids just have a lot of extra energy anyway.

People with diabetes have high glucose or sugar in their blood. Is eating sugar bad for people with diabetes?

No. Everyone needs glucose for energy. This includes those with diabetes. We need energy to play, exercise, and work. We also need it for everyday body functions. Our bodies need energy for things like breathing, digesting, and making blood cells. Most of the glucose in our body comes from eating carbohydrates.

People without diabetes can keep their blood glucose levels normal even if they eat a lot. However, for people with diabetes it is harder to keep blood glucose at a normal level. People with diabetes need to watch how much food they eat and how much exercise they get. They also need to balance their food with the diabetes drugs they may take.

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