Food photography and styling

Carbohydrates and Added Sugars

© Elena Schweitzer/

WHY this topic?

As a clinical research assistant, Diabetes is usually one of the inclusion criteria for our medical study. My grandmother and my aunt passed away because of diabetes. Sugar became a sensitive word to me. Let’s explore more about carbohydrates and added sugar!

Carbohydrates are essential for our body. It fuels our cells, tissues, and organs. We can divide carbohydrates into 3 main types: Sugar, Starches and Fiber. To absorb good carbohydrates, we should avoid adding sugar to our diet.

Foods High in Carbohydrates

Foods High in ADDED SUGAR:

Added (extrinsic) sugars usually refer to sugars and syrups that are added to foods during processing or preparation. (Rachel K. Johnson,2009) The following are examples that are have added sugar.

Research about the negative health effect of eating too much sugar

Samir Faruque(2019)’s research team has reviewed previous data about the relationship between obesity and sugar consumption, found that the more sugar consumes, the higher number of obesity.Obesity is one of the major drivers of preventable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. (Faruque,2019)
Lee S Gross(2004) compared the per capita nutrient consumption in the United States from 1909 to 1997 and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. A significant correlation between high sugar intake and Diabetes were confirmed.

Whole-grain food and the benefit.

Whole-grain food including brown rice, barley, Oats and Quinoa. The outer layer “bran” not only is fibre but also supplies vitamins B, iron, zine etc. It also can slow down the breakdown of starch in to glucose, which helps us to maintain a steady glucose level. The “germ” is the core of the seed, contains vitamins E, B and antioxidants. It’s more complete than refined grain. (Harvade T.H Chan, 2022)

Finding Carbohydrates in local grocery store

2 Examples of Whole-grain food

Foods contain carbohydrates

Food with added sugar, 54g sugar were added.

Recipe of “The Rainbow Quinoa”


  1. Wash and dry Romaine Lettuce and Kale, cut to roughly around 5mm, mix and set aside.

2. Peel Daikon and sweet potato, cut to 5mm dice.
Boil with salted water separately for 3-4 minutes until medium soft.
Ice bath, drain, set aside.

3. Boil Quinoa with water for 5 mins, drain, and set aside.

4. Drain the canned corn, and set aside.

5. Cut bacon to 1cm dice, and brown it.

6. Cut Cumber to 5mm dice, and set aside.
7. Mix Daikon, kale and corn in a bowl, set aside.

8. Place the ingredients in a glass container in the following order:
a)sweet potato
b)mixed Daikon, kale and corn
d)Mixed Romain lettuce and Kale.


  1. Faruque S, Tong J, Lacmanovic V, Agbonghae C, Minaya DM, Czaja K. The Dose Makes the Poison: Sugar and Obesity in the United States – a Review. Pol J Food Nutr Sci. 2019;69(3):219-233. doi: 10.31883/pjfns/110735. PMID: 31938015; PMCID: PMC6959843.
  2. Gross LS, Li L, Ford ES, Liu S. Increased consumption of refined carbohydrates and the epidemic of type 2 diabetes in the United States: an ecologic assessment. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 May;79(5):774-9. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/79.5.774. PMID: 15113714.
  3. Harvade T.H Chan. (2022) The nutritional Source: whole grain. School of public health, Harvade T.H. Chan.

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