Sugar 101

What Is Sugar?

Let’s take a closer look at sugar to understand what it is from the most fundamental level–its origin and structure.

You may have heard the term “sucrose” at one point or another—but what is that, really? While it might sound overly technical or even man-made, sucrose is simply the chemical name for sugar, the simple carbohydrate we know and love that is produced naturally in all plants, including fruits, vegetables and even nuts.

Brought to You by Nature

All green plants make sugar through photosynthesis, the process plants use to transform the sun’s energy into food.

Of all plant types, sugar beets and sugar cane have the greatest quantities of sugar, which is why they make the most efficient choices from which to extract sugar. The sugar that’s extracted from sugar beet or sugar cane plants is identical to the sugar that’s still found intact when you bite into fruits and vegetables. It is completely pure, and contains no preservatives or additives of any kind. That means the sugar we keep in our pantry, the sugar added to bread to help it rise and the sugar in sweet treats we enjoy in moderation is exactly the same as sugar that’s naturally in peaches, almonds, sweet peas and more.

SUGAR/SUCROSE OCCURS NATURALLY IN FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND NUTS

(per 100 grams, edible portion-raw)

Source: USDA ARS Nutrient Data Laboratory, Food Composition Database

So, we know sugar is sucrose

Sugar is sucrose, but what does it look like? Sugar’s chemical structure is quite simple, as far as molecules go. It contains just two molecules, bound together by mother nature: one molecule of glucose is bound to one molecule of fructose.

Glucose and fructose?

What are glucose and fructose? Well, along with galactose, they’re the three building blocks that make up all forms of carbohydrates. These three simple sugars are also known as monosaccharides. They bond with each other and themselves to make more complex carbohydrates. All carbohydrates are made up of one or more molecules of sugars. No matter how complex a carbohydrate is to start with, once in the body, all carbohydrates are broken down to these three simple sugars: glucose, fructose and galactose.

 

Carbohydrates are the preferred energy source for the body because the majority provide glucose. Glucose is the fuel your brain, organs and muscles need to function and engage in everyday activities. Sugar & the Diet

So, in a nutshell, sugar is just a carbohydrate

Carbohydrates, along with fat and protein, are macronutrients that provide the body with energy. Carbohydrates are found in all plant and dairy foods and beverages that provide your body with calories.

Sugar 101
Sugar 101

A Crash Course on the Many Types of Sugar

All sugar is made by first extracting sugar juice from sugar beet or sugar cane plants, and from there, many types of sugar can be produced.

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Sugar & the Diet

A Balanced Life Is a Sweet Life

We crave variety, and everything has a place in moderation.

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