What Are Monosaccharides?

Monosaccharides are simple sugars that are derived from plants, not to be confused with refined sugar. These sugars are absorbed into the body and stored and used later for energy.

What It Is

Monosaccharides are comprised of three sugar forms: glucose, frutcose and galactose, which is found in fruit and milk. Glucose, sometimes called blood sugar, is the primary source of sugar that is stored in the body for energy. Diabetics know the importance of monitoring their glucose intake to avoid the rapid rise in their blood sugar levels. Frutcose is found in fruit, honey and corn syrup. Frutcose and galactose together form into glucose, which is processed by the liver and used as fuel for the body. Monosaccharides are the simplest forms of sugar, and are colorless, water soluable and sometimes have a sweet taste. They are the main source of simple carbohydrates.

Uses

Monosaccharides which are not utilized by the body will eventually turn to fat if they are stored for too long. We get our energy from these sugars, so therefore monosaccharides can aptly be called the fuel for our bodies. Eight sugars are contained in the make up and are most commonly derived from foods that grow on trees, branches, vines or plants. These sugars are essential to our everyday diet.

In the Body

Our body utilizes needed nutrition to build healthy new cells. Monosaccharides aid in the replacement or renewing of these cell structures. They give us energy and stamina and also improve the body’s ability to consume and exert oxygen, strengthen the heart and improve circulation. There are no toxic side effects in the consumption of monosaccharides. Our body needs these simple sugars to help dispose of wastes. Fruits and vegetables contain the monosachharides we need in our daily diet. We should be consuming 5 to 9 servings of these foods on a daily basis. This is a contributing factor to some people being overweight.

Diet

Our daily diet sometimes is lacking in the monosaccharides we need because we simply do not have the time, nor do we carefully select the proper types of foods that we consume. Many people believe that ‘sugar is sugar’ and do not know the difference in what is ‘good’ sugar, and what may not be so good for you. They also dono’t realize that they are consuming sugar in some of the foods they eat, just because it does not have that sweet taste that is associated with sugar. In their purest forms, monosaccharides are only slightly sweet. Many people become addicted to sucrose, or refined sugar, not realizing that they are actually doing their body harm. This addiction can lead to obesity and diabetes.

It is extremely important to learn about the carbohydrates we need and those that we do not, if we are to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Yes, sugars are important to the body’s structure, but in moderation only.

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