Sugar

A small sugar compendium: fructose, sorbitol and FODMAP explained

If you suffer from certain kinds of carbohydrate malabsorption you are often confronted with names of chemical compounds – it is often very easy to become confused. Therefore, we put together a small compendium that can be used, whenever needed.


Simple sugars

Glucose
Glucose
Glucose, a simple sugar, is the most important energy source in humans. It is readily absorbed in the small intestine. It is also known as grape sugar, corn sugar or dextrose.
Fructose FODMAP
Fructose
Fructose is a simple sugar that is slowly absorbed in the small intestine. The absorption rate is highest when equal amounts of glucose and fructose are present. When the amount of excess fructose is too high, fructose can reach the colon where it is fermented by bacteria.
Galactose
Galactose
Galactose is a simple sugar that occurs in foods like dairy products. In the small intestine, galactose is transported by the same carriers as glucose, therefore, the absorption is very fast.
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Do you know how much fructose you are eating?

From a historical point of view, fruits and honey were the only fructose-rich foods in our diet. In the 17th century the average sugar intake of each person was as low as 5 g per day.

Big changes of dietary habits only occurred after the industrial scale production of sugar from sugar cane, sugar beets and the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup. Suddenly sugar was available in large quantities and at low costs.

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