Some sugars are unavoidable. The fructose in fruits, the maltose that comes out of the grains or even the lactose in the milk are the natural sugars that generally do not deserve great concern in your diet since these foods have other nutrients to offer. But a sugar cube provides nothing but glucose (and therefore calories), which then acts as energy. Even though natural sugars have the same number of calories as the granulated sugar in a sugar cube, the added sugars, gram by gram, are something that is best avoided in your diet.
Sugar and calories
For every ounce of sugar in a food, you'll get 4 calories. A cube of sugar weighs 2, 3 grams and has a total of about 9 calories. All types of sugar have the same number of calories. Whether you're eating a bucket of granulated sugar, honey, corn syrup, dextrose, maltose or other types of sugar, the amount of calories is the same per gram.
How much can be eaten
Excess sugar in the diet can lead to weight gain, which increases the likelihood of developing chronic diseases. The added sugars of processed foods should be the big concern, because these junk foods offer minimal nutrients. Limit yourself to no more than 100 calories of added sugar per day, which would be about 25 grams, if you are a woman. If you are a man, no more than 150 calories in your diet (38 grams) should come from added sugars, suggests the American Heart Association. Depending on which group you fit a single cube of sugar you can take care of 6 to 10 percent of your added sugar allowance for the day.
Considerations on carbohydrates
All types of sugar, added or natural, are carbohydrates. So if you decide to have a treatment on added sugar, you will have to account for it in your total carbohydrate intake. About 45 percent to 65 percent of the calories in your diet should come from carbohydrates, as indicated in the publication "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010." If your daily average tends to be 2,000 you will have 900 to 1,300 calories of carbohydrates, or 225 to 325 grams. If you use a cube of sugar in your morning coffee, you have already used 1 percent of your daily carbohydrate allowance. But those are empty calories, since you will not receive fiber, vitamins or minerals from sugar.
Detailed glycemic index
Although all sugars have the same calories, they do not affect your blood sugar in the same way. Most foods that contain carbohydrates have a glycemic index ranking, or GI, that deals with sorting foods according to how fast they increase blood sugar.Foods with a score over 70 can raise the blood sugar level quickly. Foods with a medium GI range from 55 to 70, while low glycemic index foods have a score of less than 55 and raise the blood sugar level bit by bit. The granulated sugar has a moderate rating of around 60 to 65. Opt for a low-GI sweetener instead. Honey is at around 50 on average, with some types of it going as low as 35. Agave nectar has a score of 11 to 19, depending on the variety. These low glycemic index sweeteners may be better alternatives to include in your diet if you are controlling your blood sugar.