Looking at the labels of food can definitely be confusing, especially when it comes to things like sugar. A few things you might see listed on labels are sucrose, glucose, and fructose. I think it’s safe to say that most people will realize these are sugars and label them as such. But while they are all sweeteners and end in “ose” they are decidedly different to your body.
Let’s start with sucrose, since it’s a combination of glucose and fructose. Sucrose is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, including sugar cane and sugar beet, two things used to make refined sugar. As such, sucrose is also known as refined sugar, the same white sugar you add to your coffee or sprinkle on your cereal to make it a little bit tastier. Sucrose is actually made up of both glucose and fructose, and it’s separated by your body once you ingest it.
Glucose is more commonly known as blood sugar, because the sugar is absorbed into the blood. It’s used for energy, or when it’s not needed, stored in muscles for energy to be used later on. The body process carbohydrates into glucose and circulates it through the blood where it is then used or stored.
While fructose sounds similar to glucose, it’s actually handled by the body quite differently. Since glucose is the preferred source of energy for the body, fructose takes a back seat. Fructose also produces more body fat compared to glucose. This means that a diet that’s high in fructose could lead you to get gain weight. However, while fruits and vegetables do contain natural fructose, it would take a lot of apples and bananas for you to actually get fat from the amount of fructose found naturally in fruits and veggies.
The reason why so many people get fat from these sugars is because we consume so much of them. Sugar is added to most pre-packaged foods, and soda and fruit juice are two of the worst things you can have, especially when you’re drinking multiple cans or glasses per day. As you can see, with so much sugar in the things we drink and eat–despite being labelled as “light” or “fat free”–we can still gain a significant amount of weight, and it’s all because of sugar.