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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sugars and Starches, what's the difference?

Written by Tena Moore



Believe it or not, sugars and starches aren’t that different, since they are both carbohydrates. There are many different forms of sugar. It is also referred to as glucose, fructose, lactose, sucrose, etc. Sugar is a monosaccharide, oftentimes referred to as a simple sugar, and it can be found naturally in milk and most fruits. It can also be added to foods, as I’m sure you are aware of. When you see sugar grams listed on the nutritional information of food items it includes naturally occurring and added sugars.

Starch is a polysaccharide, meaning that it is a complex carbohydrate> that consists of many different glucose units bonded together, from 300 to 1000. Starch is made of sugar. Starch is also naturally occurring in many foods, from potatoes, peas, pinto beans and corn, to oats, barley, rice, wheat, pasta, and lentils. Starch is also the most important carbohydrate for the human body and a major source of energy. Since starch is made of glucose, it breaks down into glucose (sugar) units.

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate and starch is a complex carbohydrate made of many sugars. Both sugar and starch are needed for the body to be provided the energy needed to function properly.



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