Carbohydrates are the body’s largest source of energy, providing between 50 and 60% of the calories that must be ingested in the day. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates are absorbed quickly at the intestinal level, leading to an increase in the amount of sugar in the blood, and should be consumed with care by overweight people, heart disease, diabetics or those who have insulin problems. Some examples of foods rich in simple carbohydrates are white sugar, brown sugar and honey.
Other foods like bread, potatoes, rice, beans, and beets are sources of complex carbohydrates, which when digested also turn into glucose, however, they increase the amount of glucose in the blood more slowly depending on the food and the amount of fiber it has, they can also be included in a balanced and balanced diet.
Types of sugar present in food
Sugar can be found in various ways according to its chemical structure, having different names and functions in the body. The following list indicates the different types of sugar and their food sources:
Sucrose, better known as table sugar, is a disaccharide, formed by the union of a molecule of glucose and another of fructose. Currently, this compound is used as an additive in several processed products.
This type of sugar has a high glycemic index, so when it is absorbed at the level of the intestine, it quickly increases blood sugar, in addition to favoring the accumulation of fat in the body, and, therefore, its excess consumption is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.
Food sources: sugar cane, brown sugar, demerara sugar, beet sugar and products containing it.
Fructose is a monosaccharide, that is, it is one of the simplest molecules of carbohydrates and is the sweetest of all. Fructose is produced by altering the glucose present in corn starch. Like sucrose, its excessive consumption is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
Food sources: fruits, cereals, vegetables and honey.
Lactose, better known as milk sugar, is a disaccharide formed by the union of a glucose molecule with a galactose molecule. Some people have an intolerance to this type of sugar, so in these situations their consumption should be reduced or eliminated from the diet.
Food sources: milk and dairy products.
Starch is a complex carbohydrate formed by two polysaccharides, amylopectin and amylose, which are digested more slowly in the body and produce glucose as a final product.
This type of food should be eaten in adequate proportions in the diet, avoiding excessive consumption, thus preventing overweight and associated diseases.
Food sources: rice, potatoes, pasta, beans, peas, corn, flour and corn starch.
Honey is formed by a molecule of glucose and a fructose, mainly, being used as a natural sweetener, however, its consumption must also be limited to avoid being overweight.
Honey provides several health benefits, as it is rich in vitamins and minerals that help to increase the body’s defenses.
Food sources: bee honey.
6. Corn syrup
Corn syrup is a concentrated sugar solution that is used to sweeten various industrialized products. Due to its high concentration of sugar, the consumption of industrialized products that contain this syrup can result in some diseases, such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
There is also high fructose corn syrup, which is derived from corn syrup with only a higher concentration of sugars and is also used to sweeten industrialized products and drinks.
Food sources: processed foods, soft drinks and processed juices.
Maltodextrin is the result of the breakdown of the starch molecule, so it is composed of several glucose molecules. Maltodextrin is present in small portions and in industrialized products, being used as a thickener or to increase the volume of the food.
In addition, maltodextrin has a high glycemic index and is therefore not recommended for diabetics or people with insulin problems.
Food sources: children’s milk, nutritional supplements, hamburgers, cereal bars and other processed foods.
Foods high in sugar and fat
Many foods rich in sugar are also rich in fats, such as quindim, brigadeiro, condensed milk, cake, lasagna, biscuit among others. Therefore, in addition to favoring weight gain, it allows the emergence of diabetes, since blood sugar levels increase once it has a high glycemic index.
In addition, they also increase cholesterol, triglycerides and the risk of diseases such as atherosclerosis and heart attack, and should be consumed infrequently to keep the body healthy.