Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Glucose, Fructose, and Sucrose

Sugarcane image credit:

As a follow-up to my last post "For A Limited Time Only: Real Sugar!!", I hope I came across as tongue-in-cheek and not promoting the throwup throwback soda. I found the marketing humorous.

justjuliebean's comment helped clarify the difference between sucrose and HFCS. This is taking me on another path: the differences between some of the "-oses." I'm learning about this as I go and appreciate your input.

Here's some info I pulled from this article:

The three main types of sugar in question are:

  1. Glucose: made when your body breaks down starches

  1. Fructose: the sugar found naturally in fruits and widely used in the form of high-fructose corn syrup

  1. Sucrose: table sugar

...This news may compel you to begin searching for glucose-sweetened versions of your favorite desserts and sodas, but most sugary products are made with either sucrose or fructose, often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.

Sucrose is made of 50% fructose and 50% glucose, whereas high-fructose corn syrup can be either 55% fructose, 45% glucose, or 42% fructose, 58% glucose.

What this means is that you’ll be hard pressed to find products sweetened with glucose, and may risk the side effects discovered in this study no matter which type you choose. ...

I also found this website debunking the bad rap HFCS has been getting. Note: There is no date and it is backed by and Corn Refiners Association (could be a little biased). But I thought I'd give them a chance to say their piece:

High Fructose Corn Syrup FAQs by, no date that I could find.

It's kind of a moot point because my goal is to drastically reduce any kind of sugar consumption. I'm not sure how to tame that sweet tooth. I haven't officially attempted that, yet, on this journey, but I know I'm coming to that bridge. The advice I hear is to have a plan. I better get a plan quickly to control my fructose, sucrose, and glucose before I become comatose.


  1. Thanks for the mention. I'm always afraid that I'm goign to get attacked for being an industry apologist (not that I'm in the industry), when I'm contrary. Really, I just like being contrary. I do find the stuff fascinating, though, actually went to a talk at the school last week about K+ channels, sugar, and carbs, but it was way too much biology for my chemistry-trained brain to understand (as in I couldn't stay awake). I think, at the end of the day, cutting through all the hysteria, most sugar (salt, fat) isn't super-toxic or scary, but should be moderated and not abused. I sure wouldn't want to give any of them up, food would taste awful.

  2. A few weeks ago I had to make tomato soup from scratch (I live in Russia right now, where ONE can of Campbell's soup costs seven dollars!) But before I left the store, I looked at the list of ingredients on the Campbell's can.

    Second ingredient?? High fructose corn syrup!! In tomato soup, to be the second ingredient, that is A LOT!!!

    I couldn't believe it. Now I'll be making tomato soup from scratch every time. I don't know if I'm freaked out or just grossed out.

    Eye-opening, that's for sure.

  3. Julie and Ex - I'm coming to the realization that I'm going to have to start doing a lot more cooking-from-scratch so I can still eat what I want but be in control of the ingredients (quality and quantity).

  4. Hi, Gina. Thanks for visiting my new blog.

    I tremble at the idea of cutting sugar out of my diet. Oh, I've heard/seen the glowing testimonials! And I have made an effort to avoid packaged foods with gobs of sugar or other mystery ingredients. But, oooeee, I am not ready to take the big step away from crack, I mean, sugar.

  5. Great stuff Gina. I am an avid label reader & look for all this stuff although I don't try to be perfect with food but just good most of the time. My hubby hates to shop with me cause I read every single label! :-)

  6. Ha ha I loved the last line Gina, you're so funny! :)

    It's interesting when I think back before this round of healthy eating and how I NEVER looked at the labels of the foods I would purchase. Even when I was "dieting" before. It really makes you start to think if these sugars are so bad for us and in everything, in another 5 or 10 years what else are we going to find is harmful to our health?

    I still believe whole foods are the best answer. But then you have to be careful with those too sometimes, because you never know what pesticides are being sprayed on them. :(

  7. AFG- EEK! Pesticides! Yet, another battle in the forefront. So much to figure out.

    Jody - lol! I am much slower in the grocery store because I'm reading the labels and trying to figure out how to substitute.

  8. KathyR - "...crack, I mean sugar." ...funny!

  9. Did you by any chance watch Oprah today? The topic was "Diabetes - America's silent killer". That's motivation to cut down on sugar and live a healthy lifestyle!

  10. Anna- No, I didn't. I wonder if it's on her site. Thanks.

  11. yeah about that glucose... I just posted about how I ate too much bread the other day and about passed out from the low that went too low on my blood sugar. It is a horrible feeling and it scared me to death that I might have given into eating more than I could handle-- well I did cause I felt like crap after and even today... still feeling the effects. Wont do that again. Thanks for the great info you provided. I will go check out these sites. But most important, I will shoot for less refined carbs, less sugar and more "real" nutrition!!

  12. Terie - Do you get cranky/moody like I do during the low's? When I'm like that, I don't care what I eat, I can't think straight, and it's a vicious cycle.

    Thanks for visiting!

  13. "Gimme some sugar, Baby..." (Bruce Campbell in Army of Darkness)
    LOL. Hi Gina,
    If you haven't heard of the natural sweetener stevia, check out this site: We've been using it for ten years. Doug is diabetic and had switched from using cane sugar products to artificial sweeteners; when he learned how poisonous they reportedly are, he did a search for natural sweeteners and found stevia. Anyhoo, just wanted to pass that on to ya.