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Closeup of raw (unrefined, unbleached) sugar


Sugar is a type of carbohydrate that is commonly used as a sweetener in food and drinks. There are many different types of sugar, including table sugar (sucrose), fructose (found in fruits and honey), and lactose (found in milk).


Table sugar is made from sugarcane or sugar beets, which are processed to extract the sugar crystals. It is often used in baking and as a sweetener for beverages.

Health Effects

While sugar can add flavor and sweetness to food, consuming too much sugar can have negative effects on health. High sugar intake has been linked to a variety of health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. To reduce sugar intake, many people choose to use artificial sweeteners or natural alternatives like honey or maple syrup. Some also choose to avoid processed foods that are high in added sugars.

Culinary Applications

Sugar is a versatile ingredient and is used in a variety of culinary applications, including baking, cooking, and candy-making. It is also used to sweeten beverages like coffee and tea.

Environmental and Social Impact

There are also concerns about the environmental impact of sugarcane and sugar beet production, as well as the working conditions for sugar farmers and workers in some parts of the world.


Overall, sugar is a commonly used ingredient that has both positive and negative effects on health and the environment. Moderation and balance are key when it comes to incorporating sugar into a healthy diet.

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD, Spt