A variety of carbohydrates used in food production and home cooking as sweeteners. They include simple sugars (mono-saccharides) such as FRUCTOSE and GLUCOSE, and the more complex disaccharides, like SUCROSE (table sugar).
Table sugar is highly purified from sugarcane or from beet roots. Other processed sugars are chemically prepared; corn sugar (glucose, “dextrose”) yields high-fructose corn syrup. Syrup and molasses are partially purified mixtures. Even honey is considered a refined carbobydrate because it is processed by bees from nectar. Naturally occurring sweeteners are found in fruits, fruit juices, and some vegetables, such as beets and carrots.
Carbohydrate sweeteners account for about 25 percent of the total calories of the typical American diet. Regardless of their source, carbohydrate sweeteners are converted to glucose before they can be burned as fuels. Because they are purified substances, not whole foods, they supply only CALORIES.
Two-thirds of the sugar consumption in America represents sugar added by food and beverage manufacturers and processors. Sucrose and fructose (FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP) are the two most prevalent sweeteners and are among the most common FOOD ADDITIVES. Sucrose is added to foods ranging from catsup to gelatin desserts. Current U.S. guidelines recommend decreasing sugar consumption while increasing consumption of complex carbohydrates (starches and fiber).