What It Is?

Sugars are the smallest and simplest type of carbohydrate. They are easily digested and absorbed by the body.
There are two types of sugars, and most foods contain some of each kind.

Single sugars (monosaccharides) are small enough to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. They include:

  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucose

Sugars that contain two molecules of sugar linked together (disaccharides) are broken down in your body into single sugars. They include:

  • Sucrose (table sugar ) = glucose + fructose
  • Lactose (milk sugar) = glucose + galactose
  • Maltose (malt sugar) = glucose + glucose

Where Is It Found?

Sugars are found naturally in many nutritious foods and beverages and are also added to foods and beverages for taste, texture, and preservation.

Naturally occurring sugars are found in a variety of foods, including:

  • Dairy products
  • Fruit (fresh, frozen, dried, and canned in 100% fruit juice)
  • 100% fruit and vegetable juice
  • Vegetables

Added sugars are often found in foods low in other nutrients, including:

  • Dairy desserts (such as ice cream, other frozen desserts, and puddings)
  • Grain-based desserts (such as brownies, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, pastries, pies, and sweet rolls)
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages (such as energy drinks, flavored waters, fruit drinks, soft drinks, sports drinks, and sweetened coffee and tea)
  • Sweets (such as candies, jams, sweet toppings, and syrups)

What It Does?

  • Sugars provide calories, or “energy,” for the body. Each gram of sugar provides 4 calories.
    – The human body breaks down sugars into glucose. Glucose in the blood (often referred to as “blood sugar”) is the primary energy source for the body.
    – Glucose can be used immediately or stored in the liver and muscles for later use.
  • Sugars are used to sweeten, preserve, and improve the functional attributes of foods and beverages (such as viscosity, texture, body, color, and browning

Source: “Factsheets Sugars.”

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