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Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose

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There’s some confusion about what’s in sugars, their sweetness, and calories.

The reality is, most caloric sweeteners contain both fructose and glucose, and are not exclusively one or the other.

Sucrose – regular table sugar, refined from beets and cane -- is 50 per cent glucose – brain cell fuel – and 50 per cent fructose, the sugar in fruits, honey, and root vegetables.

Another common commercial sweetener, high fructose corn syrup – HFCS for short – has a similar composition: it’s 55 per cent fructose, not 50- – and 45 per cent glucose.

The US leads the world in HFCS production. Corn is plentiful, making HFCS less expensive than regular table sugar, also easier to use in food and beverage manufacturing. That’s why it is in so many products – soups and soft drinks, breakfast cereals, breads, canned fruit, desserts, sauces, and even salad dressings.

But sweet is sweet. And both table sugar and HFCS have virtually the same amount of sweetness.

And sugar is sugar. All sugars, including table sugar and HFCS have 16 calories per teaspoon.

And calories are calories. Too many from any source, without exercise and activity to counterbalance them, mean added pounds. And those can mean trouble….Moderation is a very good motto.