|Is it safe to eat sugar while trying to conceive and while pregnant?
|Sugars are one form of carbohydrates and carbohydrates are good for you, when you eat the right kinds in the right amounts. Carbohydrates are actually built of sugar molecules, called saccharides. They're arranged like beads on a necklace.
Simple carbohydrates are those that contain only one or two saccharides or beads. Sucrose (includes all types of sugars--granulated, brown, powdered, raw, cane, etc.) and lactose (the sugar found in milk) are both examples of simple carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates are known as polysaccharides. They are made of long, complicated strings of simple sugars, and there are many different kinds. As a general rule, complex carbohydrates (or what your grandmother may have called "starches"), are the ones that are the most nutritious, because they are usually part of foods that contain a variety of other nutrients and not a lot of fat.
Fiber is also a complex carbohydrate, but human intestines do not contain the enzymes necessary to break down the fiber's long carbohydrate necklace so that it can be absorbed in the bloodstream. Because fiber cannot be broken down and used for fuel by the body, it is considered calorie-free.
Carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy. You couldn't live or work without them. However, which type of carbohydrate you select makes a big difference to your overall health. Simple carbohydrates like table sugar should be limited when trying to conceive or during pregnancy and only consumed as a treat after your other nutrient requirements have been met.
Tanya Jolliffe, BabyFit healthy eating expert