Sugar Breakdown

Sugar Breakdown

Understanding the difference in sugars and the way sugar is processed in the body may be confusing.  All sugars are used as a source of fuel, but there are subtle differences in the way they are digested and absorbed.  Having the knowledge and understanding that everything we consume is broken down into sugars can help you understand the causes of diabetes and other health hazards.  You know that type 2 diabetes is linked to high blood sugar.  While sugar is not enough to cause diabetes alone, a healthy well-balanced diet along with reducing certain sugars could help reduce the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes.

Sugar is processed in the body in different categories depending on what you consume.

  • Glucose is the body’s main source of energy and is found in fruit such as pasta, whole grain bread, legumes, and a range of vegetables.
  •  Fructose is a ‘fruit sugar’ found in foods such as fruit, honey, some vegetables, and soft drinks
  • Lactose is referred to as ‘milk sugar’. Lactose is found primarily in dairy products but is often added to bread and baked goods, lollies, cereals, and processed snacks.
  • Maltose is referred to as ‘malt sugar’ and consists of two glucose molecules. Maltose is founded in cereals containing barley and ‘malt products’ such as malted milkshakes, lollies, and beer.
  • Sucrose is referred to as ‘table sugar’ and consists of glucose plus fructose. It is a common form of sugar found in sugarcane, some fruits and vegetables, and products that have been sweetened (e.g. cereal, ice cream, baked desserts and yogurt).

The sugars in foods are known as simple carbohydrates and are natural components of many fresh foods, such as the lactose in milk and the fructose in fruits. A healthy, well-balanced diet will always contain these natural sugars.

The problem with sugar is the sheer amount of it that’s found in the typical American diet, especially in the form of added sugars: the sucrose in table sugar, as well as sugars in foods such as sodas, cereals, packaged foods, and snacks. When consumed in excess, added sugars can cause weight gain, heart disease, mood swings, and more.  A high-sugar diet can certainly increase the risk of diabetes: Adding just one serving of a sweetened beverage to your diet each day ups risk by 15 percent.  It is important to understand the difference in the variety of sugar processed in the body for maintaining good health.

We live with it 24 hours a day. But how well do we really know our bodies? A book on human anatomy & physiology is a guide that takes you step by step through the major systems of the body, explaining exactly how things work and why they sometimes don’t.

  • Cardiovascular System:  Focusing on the heart, you examine its different parts, their responsibilities, and how the processes can break down.  Understanding the cardiovascular system with descriptions of the anatomy and physiology of the great vessels of the body, including arteries, veins, and their relationships can bring about more awareness towards healthy life choices.
  • Respiratory System: Tied directly to the structure and function of the heart and great vessels is the respiratory system.
  • Nervous System:  Explore the structure and function of the brain itself.
  • Digestive System: examine the anatomy and physiology of the upper portion of the gastrointestinal tract—the mouth, esophagus, and stomach, the pancreas, liver, and the biliary tree. .
  • Endocrine System: Study the anatomy and physiology of the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands, then move on to cover the anatomy and physiology of the endocrine pancreas  Study the endocrine system to look at the anatomy and physiology of the thyroid gland and the parathyroid glands.
  • Urinary System:  Learn about the kidneys, ureters, and bladder.
  • Reproductive System: Learn about your reproductive system and genetic inheritance along with its potential problems.
  • Musculoskeletal System: Learn the physiology and physics of the muscles.  Examine the anatomy of specific muscle groups.
  • Immune System: Learn the structure and function of the body’s major defense mechanism, the immune system.


  1. I completely agree that sugar is one of that major cause if our modern diseases. I’ve cut back on sugar a few years ago and can swear how my life and body is becoming better. My weight it’s decreasing, I’m moving easier and my mind is sharper. All in all, sugar is not a good thing for a human to consume.

    Perhaps one of the reason why people eat sugar is because of its convenience. It can be stored and make for a delicious taste. Due to this, I just don’t think the sugar epidemic is going anyway soon…..

    • The biggest problem of sugar comes from people who drink excess sodas and juices.  The consumption of Ice Cream and other comfort foods makes an overall unhealthy diet if you combine it with drinking soda. I must ask if the Sugars that you cut down on a couple years ago came from sodas or juice?  It is definitely bad calories that we consume with such a diet.

      Sugar is definitely addicting, but cutting back on certain sugars helps us live and feel better in the long run.

  2. Hi Max

    I have always been interested in understanding nutrition and having a healthy diet. I know that sugar intake is too high for many people. Most of my family members are definitely no exception haha.

    This was a really cool breakdown of the different sugars. Understanding the difference is very important. If I remember correctly the different sugars are also broken down differently in the liver, do you know if this should be a concern? I mean, is there some particular sugars we should be extra careful about not eating too much of?

    • Hello Marcus

      I have held on to the knowledge of different sugars since I was a kid because it amazed me to find out there were different kinds of sugars.  When you consider that everything is broken down into sugars lets you know why a person’s sugar intake can become to high. 

       Different sugars break down differently in the liver. Maltose and sucrose are overload concerns as maltose can come from beer and malt beverages, while extra unnecessary sugars can come from liquor along with the extra juice we use to dilute it. Those two sugars  can definitely have a negative effect on the liver.

  3. This is a very informative article. I guess many people like myself aren’t aware of this breakdown. I hope this article reaches a number of people. As many times these fancy terms are on packaged products and if not aware of these terms one may have misinterpretations.
    Good article Max, really appreciate it.

    • Thankyou I am glad you found this information useful and hope people will be more conscious in what we consume and how it effects us.

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