Simple Sugars (Monosaccharides): Properties And Occurrence of Carbohydrates

Simple sugar, double sugar, multiple sugar? Isn’t sugar the same as sugar? We go on the trail of carbohydrates and explain where the differences lie.

Simple sugar simply explained

Simple sugars are among the carbohydrates that are among the main nutrients along with fat and protein. Their primary task is to supply the body with energy. The organism stores what is not used immediately as a reserve. The question “Do carbohydrates make you fat?” can always be affirmed if we constantly consume more carbohydrates than we consume. Simple sugars (technical term: monosaccharides) consist of one building block, hence the name. The best-known representatives are glucose and fructose, as well as sorbose, galactose, and mannose. Double sugars (disaccharides) are made up of two sugar building blocks, table sugar (sucrose), for example, from fructose and glucose. Finally, in the case of polysaccharides (oligosaccharides), several simple sugars are connected to one another.

This is how the body processes simple sugars

The structure of the carbohydrates has a direct effect on usability. While simple sugars enter the blood directly via the intestines and are immediately available there as a source of energy, di- and polysaccharides must first be broken down into simple sugars. This process takes significantly longer. In particular, multiple sugars (polysaccharides), which consist of at least ten building blocks, therefore fill you up much longer than monosaccharides. While pure dextrose (glucose) is ideal for getting out of a slump quickly, the complex, long-chain carbohydrates are intended for long-term supply.

Where are simple sugars found?

Simple sugars are mainly found in sweets, fruit, honey, or as mucus sugar (galactose) in milk. Cane sugar, on the other hand, like table sugar, is a double sugar. Both carbohydrate types can be recognized by their sweet taste. Since foods with simple sugars cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly, they should only be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. They are the first choice for low blood sugar – diabetics often have glucose with them for emergencies and athletes use sweet energy gels when their performance drops.

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