Simple Carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates, or simple sugars, are composed of monosaccharide or disaccharide units. Common monosaccharides (carbohydrates composed of single sugar units) include glucose, fructose, and galactose. Glucose is the most common type of sugar and the primary form of sugar that is stored in the body for energy. It sometimes is referred to as blood sugar or dextrose and is of particular importance to individuals who have diabetes or hypoglycemia. Fructose, the primary sugar found in fruits, also is found in honey and high-fructose corn syrup (in soft drinks) and is a major source of sugar in the diet of Americans. Galactose is less likely than glucose or fructose to be found in nature. Instead, it often combines with glucose to form the dis-accharide lactose, often referred to as milk sugar. Both fructose and galactose are metabolized to glucose for use by the body.

Oligosaccharides are carbohydrates made of two to ten monosaccharides. Those composed of two sugars are specifically referred to as disaccharides, or double sugars. They contain two monosaccharides bound by either an alpha bond or a beta bond. Alpha bonds are digestible by the human body, whereas beta bonds are more difficult for the body to break down.

There are three particularly important disaccharides: sucrose, maltose, and lactose. Sucrose is formed when glucose and fructose are held together by an alpha bond. It is found in sugar cane or sugar beets and is refined to make granulated table sugar. Varying the degree of purification alters the carbohydrate: food molecule made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, including sugars and starches energy: technically, the ability to perform work; the content of a substance that allows it to be useful as a fuel protein: complex molecule composed of amino acids that performs vital functions in the cell; necessary part of the diet absorption: uptake by the digestive tract glycolysis: cellular reaction that begins the breakdown of sugars oxygen: O2, atmospheric gas required by all animals metabolize: processing of a nutrient glucose: a simple sugar; the most commonly used fuel in cells diabetes: inability to regulate level of sugar in the blood hypoglycemia: low blood sugar level diet: the total daily food intake, or the types of foods eaten sucrose: table sugar

SUGAR COMPARISON

Monosaccharide or

Additional

Sugar

Carbohydrate

disaccharide

information

Beet sugar (cane sugar)

Sucrose

Disaccharide

Similar to white and powdered sugar, but

(fructose and glucose)

varied degree of purification

Brown sugar

Sucrose

Disaccharide

Similar to white and powdered sugar, but

(fructose and glucose)

varied degree of purification

Corn syrup

Glucose

Monosaccharide

Fruit sugar

Fructose

Monosaccharide

Ver y sweet

High-fructose corn syrup

Fructose

Monosaccharide

Very sweet and inexpensive

Added to soft drinks and canned or

frozen fruits

Honey

Fructose and glucose

Monosaccharides

Malt sugar

Maltose

Disaccharide

Formed by the hydrolysis of starch, but

(glucose and glucose)

sweeter than starch

Maple syrup

Sucrose

Disaccharide

(fructose and glucose)

Milk sugar

Lactose

Disaccharide

Made in mammary glands of most

(glucose and galactose)

lactating animals

Powdered sugar

Sucrose

Disaccharide

Similar to white and brown sugar, but

(fructose and glucose)

varied degree of purification

White sugar

Sucrose

Disaccharide

Similar to brown and powdered sugar,

(fructose and glucose)

but varied degree of purification

SOURCE: Mahan and Escott-Stump, 2000; Northwestern University; Sizer and Whitney, 1997; and Wardlaw and Kessel, 2002.

final product, but white, brown, and powdered sugars all are forms of sucrose. Maltose, or malt sugar, is composed of two glucose units linked by an alpha bond. It is produced from the chemical decomposition of starch, which occurs during the germination of seeds and the production of alcohol. Lactose is a combination of glucose and galactose. Because it contains a beta bond, it is hard for some individuals to digest in large quantities. Effective digestion requires sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase.

Supplements For Diabetics

Supplements For Diabetics

All you need is a proper diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and get plenty of exercise and you'll be fine. Ever heard those words from your doctor? If that's all heshe recommends then you're missing out an important ingredient for health that he's not telling you. Fact is that you can adhere to the strictest diet, watch everything you eat and get the exercise of amarathon runner and still come down with diabetic complications. Diet, exercise and standard drug treatments simply aren't enough to help keep your diabetes under control.

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