Medical myths: All about sugar

 

we discuss some of the many misunderstandings surrounding one of the sweetest nutritional topics: sugar.

Today is the first day of Sugar Awareness Week. With this in mind, the Medical Myths truth wagon will take a cruise to Sugar Town via Misconception Lane.Over the centuries, this crystalline sweetener has invaded everyone’s snacks, drinks, guts, and minds. It has caused its fair share of controversy, too. Although everyone is familiar with sugar as a concept, we’ll start with a brief explainer.

What is sugar?

Sugar is a soluble carbohydrate — a biological molecule consisting of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Other carbohydrates include starch and cellulose, which is a structural component of plant cell walls.

Simple sugars, or monosaccharides, include glucose and fructose. Granulated sugar is a compound sugar, or disaccharide, known as sucrose, which consists of glucose and fructose. During digestion, the body breaks down disaccharides into monosaccharides.

Still, the chemistry of sugar does not explain its infamy. The substance gained its dastardly reputation because it tastes delicious and, if consumed too freely, is bad for our health.