Simple sugars (simple carbohydrates)


Simple sugars – what is it? 

Simple sugars are carbohydrates (formerly saccharides) – a group of compounds made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, which are primarily a source of energy for the body (kilocalories). Carbohydrates are, next to fat and protein, the basic nutrient of food. 

In the digestion process, carbohydrates are broken down into the basic molecule – glucose. This relationship is necessary for every cell of the human body as a source of energy. Carbohydrates are divided into simple carbohydrates (otherwise simple sugars) – made of a single molecule of simple sugar (monosaccharides, monosaccharides). Food monosaccharides include fructose (fruit sugar), glucose, galactose. 


Here you can find carbohydrates – CLICK


The simple sugars are also classified as disacchards, which consist of two molecules of simple sugar. These are lactose (milk sugar – glucose + galactose), sucrose (regular table sugar / beet sugar – glucose + fructose) and maltose (glucose + glucose). 

Complex carbohydrates – they are made of a chain of several dozen molecules of simple sugars connected together. 

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the consumption of simple sugars, mainly from processed products. This results in a higher incidence of overweight and obesity, as well as a higher risk of type II diabetes. 


Products with simple sugars 

Natural sources of simple sugar 

Simple sugars are found in nature only in fruits (glucose and fructose) and honey (fructose). They are also in small quantities in some vegetables, e.g. beetroot, horseradish, pumpkin, peas, carrots, maize (mainly sucrose); milk and dairy products (lactose). 

You should not be afraid of natural sources of simple sugar. Do not limit the consumption of fruit! Just watch out for honey! 


Processed sources of simple sugars – added sugar 

The most dangerous from the point of view of health is the so-called free sugar, added (free sugar). The definition of the World Health Organization (WHO) says that each simple sugar added at the production stage, during cooking or directly on the plate by the consumer. Free sugars also include simple carbohydrates from fruit juices and honey. Free sugars should be kept to a minimum in the diet. 


The effects of excessive consumption of simple sugars 

The World Health Organization recommends that daily consumption of simple free sugars should not exceed 10% of energy (calorific value). Specialists emphasize that greater benefits are achieved with an even greater reduction to 5% of energy. What does this mean for you? See! 

1 g of sugar is 4 kcal 

If you use a diet of, for example, 1500 kcal, with sugar you can eat up to 5% of calories, or 75 kcal. 

75 kcal is just 19 g of sugar, or 4 flat teaspoons of sugar! 

This is the amount you can eat with all the products that have added sugar. 


Excess sugars lead to 

increase in the risk of type II diabetes (simple sugar sources have a high glycemic index), 

fatty liver, 


overweight and obesity, 

an increase in the risk of heart and blood vessel disease. 


Simple sugars on the label 

On the label, in the nutritional table you will find the words carbohydrates, including sugars. Sugars means both simple sugars made of one molecule and disaccharides (eg lactose from milk). It is at this value that you should stay for longer. Earlier, you learned that by using a diet of 1500 kcal, you can eat a total of 4 teaspoons a day. You will find this amount in 

less than a glass of orange juice 

half of a chocolate bar 

5 pieces of oatmeal cookies. 


Examples of products that are a source of simple sugar can be used to multiply chocolate, cakes, chocolate bars, sweet rolls, jams, sweet sandwiches for sandwiches, sweetened drinks. 

The problem is that producers also add sugar to surprising products, such as bread, sausages, mixed spices, sauces. Simple carbohydrates are also a component of drugs! The composition of products is given in descending order, and the higher the sugar, the worse. If you see it on one of the first three items, put the product on the shelf. Under what terms is hiding sugar? Look for names on the packaging 


sucrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, galactose 


Brown sugar, 

sugar cane, 

barley malt, 

barley malt syrup, 

Barley malt extract, 

glucose-fructose syrup, 

glucose syrup, 

Maple syrup, 

agave syrup, 

corn syrup, 

date syrup, 


concentrated apple / grape juice. 


You can read also: Sugar – yes or no?

Posted on: March 26, 2019

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