Search This Blog

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Understanding Glucose, Fructose and Sucrose

The importance of understanding all about sugar is key to surviving diabetes.


For much too long, experts said eating much sugar does not exactly cause diabetes but now research has shown that increased sugar consumption is linked to diabetes. That is why it is important for us to understand this all important link to diabetes rates.

What You’ll Learn:

1. How Do We Differentiate the Main Sugars?
2. Beware of Natural Beet Sugar
3. Be Careful With the Sugar Content in Foods. Why?
4. Too much Fructose Sweetener and Heart Risk Linked in Teenagers
5. Can You Live a Year Without Sugar?
6. Breaking News That Matter to Diabetics

How Do We Differentiate the Main Sugars?

What's the difference between the main sugars? Why try to understand them at all? Well, they are considered to be the enemies of the diabetics and so it is important that we understand them especially we cannot taste the difference at all. And they play different roles in the body.

Glucose affects the blood sugar level so the diabetics have to pay close attention to it. Glucose is the most important simple sugar and it is the choice source of energy. Most carbohydrates we consume are processed into glucose that can either be used right away for energy or stored in the muscle cells or as glycogen in the liver to be used later.

The blood sugar rises and falls during the day and usually becomes low during exercise and between meals. Insulin has the duty to keep it at a healthy level converting starches, sugars and other foods into energy to maintain life. For some people, the body does not produce enough insulin to do the job so the glucose is not maintained at a healthy level.

When the blood sugar drops too low (below 70 mg/dL), it results in serious health risk like hypoglycemia. The opposite of this is when the sugar level becomes too high (anything above 200 mg/dL). This causes hyperglycemia which is also a health risk.

Another form of carbohydrate is fructose but this does not lead to such peaks in the blood sugar level. This is the natural sugar found in honey, fruits and vegetables. Some make the mistake of thinking that fructose is high fructose corn syrup when actually this is more like sucrose than fructose.

The main difference between fructose and glucose is that the former does not lead to the release of insulin. Nor does it trigger the production of leptin, a hormone that helps balance the energy levels.

Sucrose on the other hand is usually called table sugar. It comes from sugar beets or sugar cane. Sucrose is found in fruits and vegetables. Actually, the chemical composition of sucrose shows it is made from both units of glucose and fructose which an enzyme divides into individual units of glucose and fructose when sugar is consumed.

To better understand the three main sugars, here’s a video on the Sucrose, fructose and glucose: Part 1

Beware of Natural Beet Sugar

It is not really as healthy as we think it is despite the USDA having deregulated it. The trouble is that it is genetically engineered and then sold in grocery stores as real sugar. The diabetics might think it natural but the truth is that it has the same glycemic index as cane sugar.

Be Careful With the Sugar Content in Foods. Why?

It can affect our health for one thing. If it is labeled as real sugar, more than likely it contains beet sugar which is taken from beet roots that contain pesticide. This hinders the valuable gut bacteria in people. Around 95% of sugar beets in the US are genetically modified. So unless it is certified organic it is more than likely at least partially if not totally genetically engineered.

Trying to avoid products that list high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient? Well my advice is to take care. Be very careful because you may just be replacing that ingredient with another product in beet sugar. And therein lies the problem. Most people believe there’s nothing natural in it.

A Tale of Two Odd Couple: Too much Fructose Sweetener and Heart Risk Among Teenagers

A new study has found that too much consumption of fructose sweetener in food and beverage is tied to heart risk among the teens. The research is done among 559 teenagers who are 14 to 18 years old. They were found to have diets that are high in fructose which shows proof there is cardiovascular and diabetes risk in their blood.

There is fructose in fruits and a form of fructose called high fructose corn syrup which is used in processed beverages and food. It is believed that the growing bodies of these teenagers hunger after sweets. And the researchers from the Medical College of Georgia say the advertisements target these young people.

What did the researchers find? They found that these diets high in fructose are linked to higher blood pressure, higher insulin resistance and fasting glucose and inflammatory conditions that are factors in the development of vascular and heart disease. They are also found to have lower levels of the good cholesterol or HDL.

The link between high fructose consumption and cardiovascular risk is even higher among the teenagers who have excess belly fat. This study was published in the Journal of Nutrition. It is therefore crucial to make sure there is a high quality of foods in our children. The way to do this is to be good role models.

Can You Live a Year Without Sugar?

This is a difficult question to answer unless we try it ourselves. Well, a family tried it and lived to tell the tale of their grand adventure. The mother started thinking of why she lacked energy and gathered information as to the cause and found the culprit to be sugar.

So she thought of how her family will survive a year without sugar. She put together all the information she gathered and made a plan to spend a whole year avoiding sugar. They cut out all items with added sweetener like honey, molasses, table sugar, maple syrup or even fruit juice. The only one they kept was if the sweetness was from the original source as in fruit.

They were surprised to find there was sugar in chicken soup, tortillas, sausages, salad dressings, crackers, cold cuts, mayonnaise bread and bacon and even baby food. So despite the curiosity on what would happen without sugar for a year, they were finding it not easy to do it because of all the foods they found that contained sugar.

But they continued on with this adventure with the grocery shopping changed along with the cooking. As the days passed, they were convinced that removing sugar in their diet will make them all healthier. But there was more! What they didn’t expect was that they will feel better in the real sense of the word.

So What Happened a Year Later?

They felt more energetic and enjoyed less the once a month treat of a dessert with sugar in it. This was the rule they decided to follow when they embarked on this no-sugar adventure. The thing was, as the months went by, they enjoyed the treat less and less until they gave up the monthly treat altogether.

They counted the number of days the kids were absent from school due to sickness during the year the family went without sugar and the previous year. One daughter just missed two days of school compared to the previous year of missing 15 days of school.

Breaking News That Matter to Diabetics

1. Inhaled insulin Is now available in US pharmacies.

This is such an important news for diabetics. Now they can have insulin without shots. How will this happen? Well, that’s because inhalable insulin is now available. And it is called Afrezza! Needless to say, this has taken the diabetics by storm!

2. Do you suffer from diabetes burnout? Here’s how to fix it.

Dealing with diabetes is stressful and this feeling could build up over time. There’s help from the experts: Prevention is key to avoiding burnout. Think positively. Be patient for this will lessen the stress. Be flexible and accept you can’t move forward. Talking to friends and family will help and so will getting help from mental health professionals.

3. Reaching Out to the Traveling Diabetics Among You

We have extra preparations to do before embarking on a trip. It’s fine; we understand that. What we have to do is for our safety. Not only will it keep us safe but also it will keep us enjoying the life we deserve despite diabetes. So if you need the traveler’s checklist that I was fortunate to come across, just say so in the comment box below and I will gladly send it to you.


There you have more information on the sugars and why we have to be careful with them as content in our food. Understanding all these will put us in the right direction. We know what we have to beware of , what beet sugar is like and the link between fructose sweetener and heart risk for teenagers.

Your Turn

What do you think of all of these? Did you learn something new? Do you have any information on this issue to contribute? What strategies do you use to avoid diabetes burnout? What’s your view on this? Love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment below and I’ll know.

By Roger Guzman, M.D. and Evelyn Guzman

Discover The Amazing Power of coconut oil Finally, the secret of coconut oil is exposed!

Refresh Understanding Glucose, Fructose and Sucrose

Blood Sugar Control All About It - Part Two

Disclaimer: This is not a medical advice column. We are PWDs or long time interested on learning as much as we can on this issue and freely and openly sharing the wisdom of our collected experiences — our been-there-done-that knowledge from the trenches. But we are not MDs, RNs, NPs, PAs, CDEs. Bottom line: we are only a small part of your total prescription. You still need the professional advice, treatment, and care of a licensed medical professional.

References share
Beware "Natural" Beet Sug hatar: Not as Healthy as It Sounds sounds?ugc=true#comments&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=DCN_20150214
Discussion: Could You Last a Year without Sugar?
Afrezza Inhaled Insulin Now Available
Diabetes Burnout: How to Find It and Fix It
Traveling Checklistfor Diabetes