Short answer: in controlled amounts, yes. When many people think of “sugar,” they often think of added sugar found in processed junk foods and desserts. However, simple sugars and other carbohydrates are naturally found in many nourishing foods that are important to a healthy diet like fruits, vegetables, dairy, legumes, and whole grains.
Working to reduce the amount of added sugar you consume each day is a worthy goal, especially because many common foods and beverages provide extra sugar and calories but very little of the quality nutrition our bodies need.
On its own, sugar isn’t necessarily good or bad. It becomes a concern when you consume foods that are high in calories and added sugar but low in essential nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Many everyday foods, beverages, and condiments contain a surprising amount of added sugar without contributing much nutritional value. Cutting back on these sources of excess sugar is a good idea for both your well-being and your waistline.
But, there is no need to eliminate sugar completely, especially if you want to eat in a way that supports your health and wellness goals. Sugar and other carbohydrates are essential nutrients that play a vital role in many bodily functions, including in the nervous system and immune system. Not to mention that naturally occurring sugar is present in many of the delicious, nourishing foods we should enjoy every day.