Sugar is a class of simple carbohydrate that can be further classified as monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides depending upon the number of combined sugar molecules.
Single sugar molecules (monosaccharides) include glucose, dextrose, fructose and galactose. Double sugar molecules (disaccharides) include sucrose and lactose. Polysaccharides have three or more sugar molecules joined together and include starch, xylose, cellulose and glycogen. Any substance ending in the suffix “-ose” is a sugar.
Food can naturally contain sugar or it can be added during preparation. For example, fruit contains the sugar fructose whereas you may like to add sugar to your tea. Some times of food and drink such as cakes and soft drinks contain a very high amount of added sugar. It is important to limit these types of foods as they do not have the added benefits of other necessary minerals and vitamins that food with natural sugar contains.
Here are some different types of sugars and their sources:
|Glucose||Fruits & vegetables. Refined/table sugar. Milk/dairy products. Cereal. Honey.|
|Fructose||Fruits & vegetables. Honey. Refined/table sugar.|
|Sucrose||Fruits & vegetables. Refined/table sugar. Honey.|
|Lactose||Milk/dairy products. Breast milk.|
|Galactose||Milk/dairy products. Breast milk.|
|Starch||Rice, potatoes, wheat, rice, corn, oats, barley.|
|Xylose||Fruits & vegetables.|
|Cellulose||“Dietary fibre”: Fruits & vegetables. Cereals. Nuts.|
Excess consumption of sugar can add to the cause of weight gain, obesity and dental problems like bottle caries.