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A comparative study of the effects of white sugar, unrefined sugar and starch on the efficiency of food utilization and thermogenesis

Energy balance studies with weanling rats and mice were carried out to investigate the chronic effects of diets containing white sugar, unrefined sugar, and starch as sole carbohydrate on body composition and energetic efficiency. The results show no significant differences in energetic efficiency and in body composition of both rats and mice fed the different carbohydrate diets. However, there is a tendency for the sugar-fed animals to have higher metabolizable energy intakes, but rarely was this sufficient to increase body energy since there were corresponding increases in metabolic rate. These studies indicate that differences in energy balance between sugar and starch are small and that any increase in thermogenesis that occurred in some of the groups fed sugar-rich diets was in response to the higher energy intake rather than due to a lower efficiency of utilization of sucrose per se

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