After yesterday’s mammoth post and the possible over load of information, I thought today we could have a slightly simpler discussion. Now please understand, if at any point in this series you feel like I have officially lost it and that my information is all of the place… reminder yourself of that time I said that I do in fact have a plan, and at the end, this all will make sense! – that time as now 😉
Sugar has many forms, many ways in which it shows itself in food. Remember how I told you all carbohydrates are sugars, well that’s because our friend sugar is sneaky. Ok, well not really but it does come in different forms.
We’ll be going over 6 of them; glucose, fructose, galactose, sucrose, maltose and lactose.
These 6 types of sugars are broken down into 2 categories based on their chemical make up. Glucose, fructose and galactose are monosaccharide sugars, while sucrose, maltose and lactose are disaccharide sugars. THe difference you ask… monosaccharide sugars are single strand sugars while the disaccharide suagrs are double stranded.
All this really means (for you and I at this point of our sugar investigation) is that the single strand sugar digest faster and easier delivering the sugar to our bloodstream faster (source).
How could this information be helpful to our diet and nutrition? Let’s go over where these sugars can be found and then we will look into that question.
Glucose: Glucose is sugar in it’s foundation form. All of the other 5 types of sugars (whether mono or di) are broken down into glucose within our bodies and this is the form of sugar that get’s delivered into our bloodstream. This is also the only form in which sugar is recognized by our brain and endocrine (hormonal) system, as well as other cell procedures.
Fructose: Fructose can be found in fruit! Well that was easy, wasn’t it! It can also be found in vegetables, sugar cane and honey as well. Although fructose can be absorbed directly into the blood stream, it cannot be used and recognized by our cells. The body can breakdown and use fructose to do this job, however it first must make it glucose.
Galactose: Galactose is the least sweet of the sugars we have talked about. It is usually found in baked goods and cereals. Just as fructose can be absorbed into the bloodstream, so can galactose. However it cannot be recognized for the same function as glucose within our body either.
Sucrose: Sucrose is the product of glucose and fructose. Sucrose is what we know as table sugar.Sucrose is a disaccharide and must be broken down (double strand) to be absorbed into the bloodstream as well as used by the body.
Maltose: Maltose is a double strand of glucose and is in foods such as barley (at times) and some seeds. Maltose is a slightly rare form of sugar as it is actually only in these foods at certain times during their life. Once broken down from it’s double strand, it can be used easily by the body. Maltose is also found in the canalization of sugars.
Lactose: Lactose is found in dairy foods, and is not tolerated in some individuals. Although it is a natural occurring sugar, the amount in which foods have it in themselves often varies based on the degree in which the food was processed.
Do you see the importance of know what you are putting in your body? We will dive into this more next week, however the rate at which these sugars get to your blood stream most definitely effects your bodies ability to do it’s job. Whether on a cellular level or just in terms of energy, these different sugars all have different roles. Let’s Start taking note of how often you are putting what types of foods into your body.
Ready for your assignment? Everyday, make note of what form of sugar you are consuming at least 3 times. If for breakfast you had a bowl of cereal with milk, then you had……. lactose and galactose. If you are picking up a fru-fru drink from Starbucks at lunch today, then you are probably going to be consuming lactose (the milk), maltose (the caramel and/or syrups) and finally, sucrose (the added sugar).
This means, that up to this point your diary should be on it’s 4th day. You should have sugar of any kind noted, you should have identified your blood type, your lectin foods, and noted those in your diary. And now, you will break down the form of sugars that you are eating 3 times a day.
Hope you are having a great week, and thank you to all of the comments and questions. As always, I love and appreciate them 🙂