Carbohydrates are divided into two groups: simple sugars and complex sugars. This division is the result of differences in the time needed for our organism to digest them. Carbohydrates belonging to the first group are commonly considered to have an adverse effect on the body, while complex carbohydrates are considered as healthy and it is their consumption that is recommended in the daily diet.
What are simple sugars
Simple sugars are made up of single sugar particles. When they are absorbed, they are not broken down into smaller particles, but completely assimilated by the body. This gives energy quickly but the effect is short-lasting. The consumption of simple sugars leads to significant spikes in blood glucose levels and a strong strain on the pancreas, which is forced to release large amounts of insulin.
The most important simple sugars are
- glucose – the basic ingredient of sugar produced from beets, as well as honey or fruit juices
- galactose – present in mammalian milk in the form of lactose
- fructose – otherwise known as fruit sugar, which is a component of fruit and the resulting juices
Simple sugars – dietary sources
In order to maximize the supply of simple sugars, it is necessary to be aware of their occurrence. Unfortunately, sugar or its derivatives are an addition to many food products, including those that are commonly referred to as healthy.
The primary sources of monosaccharides are
- Fruit – as the only product containing monosaccharides, is considered healthy and beneficial to the body due to its much lower monosaccharide content than other products
- sweets, salty snacks
- jams, chocolate butter to spread bread, honey
- sweet non-carbonated or carbonated drinks, nectars, fruit juices
- fruit preserves
Due to the addition of sugar during the production process, it can also be present in yoghurts and homogenized flavoured cheeses, ketchup, breakfast cereals and in ready-made sauces and dishes.
Simple sugars – the cause of overweight and difficulty in losing weight
Simple sugars are not a desirable ingredient in the daily diet, especially for people who care about their slim figure and lose weight. This is mainly due to the high glycemic index mentioned above, which products are their source. After the consumption of simple carbohydrates, strong fluctuations in blood sugar levels can occur, which may result in hunger attacks, even a constant appetite for food, resulting in frequent snacking between meals.
Although simple sugars give you an surge of energy, it is so short-lived that you are hungry again just an hour after eating a sweet bun. Reaching for another food of this type will give us energy, but again for a short time. The effect of the vicious circle is a simple way to become overweight and even obese.
It is also worth bearing in mind that excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates increases the risk of developing diabetes. Long-term loading of the pancreas will sooner or later lead to impairment of its function and production of less insulin, which will not be able to stabilize blood glucose levels.
It is important to be aware that sugar is addictive, even to the extent that it is drugs. It is therefore worth reading the labels on the product packaging carefully to ensure that you are buying good quality food.