Periodic Table -> Simple Sugars

Simple Sugars

Simple sugars, which are medically referred to as “monosaccharides,” are basic units of carbohydrates and the simplest form of sugar. Simple sugars are normally water-soluble, colorless, crystalline, and at times have a sweet taste. The most commonly used examples of simple sugars are glucose, fructose, galactose, ribose, and xylose. Simple sugars are also the basic building blocks of more complex sugars including sucrose and polysaccharides. Simple sugars are fairly basic chemically speaking and do not contain too many molecules. Most simple sugars have a chemical formula of Cx(H2O)y.

Generally speaking, foods high in simple sugars are bad for weight loss. Foods that contain a lot of simple sugars are digested quickly because there are less nutrient filled molecules for the body to breakdown. When foods rich in simple sugars are digested, the pancreas creates a high level of insulin. When this excess insulin is created, the body does not know what to do with the excess and ends up storing the excess insulin in fat cells. This process leads to excess body fat.

To make matters worse, after a meal is completely digested excess insulin will continue to find sugar to be stored elsewhere. To do this, the insulin will have to take sugar out of the blood stream, which results in low blood sugar after about 30 – 45 minutes. Since your blood sugar level is now low, you will have the natural craving to consumer more sugar to replace it. This often leads to over eating which causes more fat gain and drastically alters your blood sugar levels.

While simple sugars are found naturally in many foods, they are frequently used unnaturally as well. Many simple sugars are unnaturally added to foods such as sweet refined foods, white flour based foods, white breads, white pastas, many low fat and high sugar foods, and canned fruits which sit in thick syrupy sugars. Most of these foods contain very low nutritional value and should be avoided if you are looking to lose weight. These foods often rate very high on the High Glycemic Index.

While many unnatural foods are high in simple sugars, many natural foods are high in simple sugars as well. Most natural fresh fruits, including apples, blackberries, peaches, pears, plums, and strawberries are very high in simple sugars. While these foods are high in simple sugars, they should still be incorporated into your diet because of all the vitamins and nutrients that they contain.

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