Sugar is often in the news and being written about extensively. A while ago we posted on the code words for sugar… today I thought I would post on the key types of sugar.
The key types of sugar
There are four key types of simple sugars: glucose, dextrose, fructose and lactose. Table sugar, which is known as sucrose is a sugar compound of fructose and glucose. These key types of sugar all different so here is a run down on them.
Glucose is our body’s primary source of energy. Most of the glucose in our diet comes from the sugar and starch found in carbohydrates. This is the type of sugar that diabetics can’t naturally regulate.
Rice, grains, potatoes, pasta, fruits and some vegetables are all rich in carbohydrates. This means they are also sources of glucose. Once a carbohydrate is converted to glucose, it is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it combines with the chemical insulin. Together, they enter the body’s cells and provide the energy needed to power our bodies.
Dextrose is a form of glucose and works in the same way on our body. When we have consumed too much dextrose, our bodies convert it to fat or glycogen. Glycogen can later be used by muscle tissue as a direct energy source for muscles. Dextrose is about half as sweet as sucrose.
Fructose is found in most fruits and is the sweetest of the naturally occurring sugars. Fructose has a low glycemic index which means that there is a slow release of this type of sugar into the body, rather than the sudden rush that comes with glucose. These types of sugars are better for diabetics.
Lactose is found in milk, including human milk and is not found naturally in any other types of foods beyond dairy products. Lactose intolerance occurs when our body doesn’t produce enough of an enzyme called lactase that assists in the breaking down of the milk sugars.
Sucrose, or table sugar is a compound of fructose and glucose and naturally occurs in sugar cane. It is high in calories but has no nutritional value at all. Other than supplying energy, sucrose does nothing to support the body.
Want to know more about what Munch has previously written on sugar? Why not check out reducing the white stuff in your family’s diet or about diabetes awareness? Or check out our review by Melissa Jack on the Natvia Sugar Free baking mix.
Mummy to three small boys