About sugar

Topic Selected: Food and Diet

General Article icon Type: General Article

What is sugar?

Sugar is the naturally-occurring nutrient that makes food taste sweet. Sugar is a carbohydrate along with starch.

Carbohydrates are our main source of energy. Starch-rich foods include bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes, whereas sugars are found in fruit and vegetables, honey, jam and many soft drinks.

There are a number of different sugars:

  • Glucose and fructose are found in fruit and vegetables
  • Milk sugar is known as lactose
  • Maltose (malt sugar) is found in malted drinks and beer
  • Sucrose comes from sugar cane or beet and is often referred to as ‘table’ or ‘added’ sugar. It also occurs naturally in some fruit and vegetables.

These different types of sugar have the same nutritional value.

  • Starches and sugars provide about four calories per gram.
  • A level teasp

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