What is the difference between Sucrose, Glucose and Fructose?

Sucrose, glucose and fructose are 3 sugars found naturally in dairy products, grains, fruits, vegetables or processed foods. However, all three are different in their chemical structure, how your body digests and metabolizes them, and their impact on your health.

1. Sucrose is made up of Glucose and Fructose

Sucrose is the scientific name of table sugar. Sugars are divided into two types, monosaccharides and disaccharides. Disaccharides are made up of 2 monosaccharide molecules linked together, which are then broken down into monosaccharides during digestion. Disaccharides are composed of two molecules, glucose and fructose. This is a type of carbohydrate found naturally in fruits, vegetables, grains, and processed foods, such as candy, ice cream, breakfast cereals, canned foods, soda, and other sugary drinks. The sucrose in processed foods is usually extracted from sugar cane or sugar beets.

2. Glucose

Glucose is a monosaccharide (simple sugar), your body's main carbohydrate-based energy source. Monosaccharide is made up of 1 sugar molecule and it cannot be broken down into simpler compounds. They are the building blocks of carbohydrates. In foods, glucose is often linked with another simple sugar to form polysaccharides or disaccharides, such as sucrose and lactose. It is often added as dextrose to processed foods, extracted from cornstarch. Glucose is less sweet than fructose and sucrose.

3. Fructose

Fructose (fruit sugar) is a monosaccharide similar to glucose. Fructose is found naturally in fruits, honey and most vegetables. Additionally, it is often added to processed foods in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. Fructose is extracted mainly from sugar cane, sugar beet and corn.
Fructose và sucrose thường ngọt hơn so với glucose

4. How are Sucrose, Glucose and Fructose digested and absorbed differently?

Your body digests and absorbs monosaccharides and disaccharides in different ways. Monosaccharides are already in their simplest form so they don't need to be broken down before your body can use them, but are absorbed directly into your bloodstream, mainly in your small intestine.
On the other hand, disaccharides like sucrose must be broken down into simple sugars before being absorbed into the body. When sugars are in their simplest form, they are metabolized differently as follows:
Process of absorption and use of glucose Glucose is absorbed directly through the lining of your small intestine, enters your bloodstream, and is then transported to cells. Glucose raises blood sugar levels more quickly than other types, stimulating the release of insulin.
The hormone insulin is needed to help glucose get into your cells. Once inside the cell, glucose is used for immediate metabolism and energy or converted into glycogen.
The body tightly controls your blood sugar levels. When blood sugar drops too low, glycogen is broken down into glucose and released into the bloodstream to be used for energy. The liver will make glucose from other sources if it's not available to your body.
Process of absorption and use of fructose Similar to glucose, fructose is absorbed directly into the bloodstream from the small intestine. Fructose raises blood sugar more slowly than glucose and has almost no direct effect on insulin hormone levels.
However, fructose does not raise blood sugar immediately, but it can have negative effects on the body longer term. The liver must convert fructose into glucose before the body can use it for energy. Consuming too much fructose increases the risk of metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Process of Absorption and Use of Sucrose Sucrose is a disaccharide so it must be broken down before the body can use it. Enzymes in the mouth help break down some of the sucrose into glucose and fructose. However, most of the digestion of sugar takes place in the small intestine. The enzyme sucrase is secreted by the lining of the small intestine, which breaks down sucrose into glucose and fructose and is absorbed into the bloodstream.
The presence of glucose increases the amount of fructose absorbed and stimulates insulin release. Therefore, using fructose and glucose together may be more harmful to your health. This is why added sugars like high-fructose corn syrup have been linked to a variety of health problems.
In a nutshell, glucose and fructose are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, while sucrose must be broken down into simple sugars first. Glucose is used for energy or stored in the form of glycogen. Fructose is converted to glucose or stored as fat.

5. Fructose is the least beneficial sugar for health

Your body converts fructose into glucose in the liver for energy. Excess fructose will put a strain on your liver and can lead to a variety of metabolic problems occurring in the body.
In addition, consuming a lot of fructose will cause insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, obesity, fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, addiction and bad effects on your health.

6. How to limit the amount of sugar in the body?

It is not strictly necessary to avoid sugars that occur naturally in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and dairy products. These foods contain nutrition, fiber, and water, which help counteract any of their harmful effects.
The health harms associated with sugar consumption are due to excessive inclusion in the typical Western diet. The survey conducted in the US showed that the average person consumes 82 grams of sugar per day, approximately 16% of their total calories and much larger than the recommended daily intake.
As recommended by the World Health Organization, limit added sugars to 5–10% of daily calories. In other words, if you eat about 2,000 calories per day, keep your added sugars to less than 25–50 grams.
In addition, sugar is not only added to obvious foods such as soft drinks, ice cream and candies, but also in condiments, sauces, etc. Therefore, always read the nutrition facts list carefully. of each product.
In particular, sugar can be listed by more than 50 different names. The most effective way to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet is to use mostly whole and unprocessed foods.
Hạn chế lượng Fructose, sucrose và glucose đi vào cơ thể bằng cách sử dụng các loại thực phẩm nguyên hạt và chưa qua chế biến.

7. Conclusion

Glucose and fructose are simple sugars, which your body will absorb more easily than disaccharide sucrose (sugar must be broken down before absorption). Fructose isn't the healthiest type, but experts agree that you should limit your intake of any added sugars. However, it is not necessary to limit the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables.
Therefore, to ensure a healthy diet, eat whole foods whenever possible and use added sugars only occasionally.

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Reference source: healthline.com

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