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What exactly do we mean by sugar Most people would answer by describing the white granulated sugar found on the meal table That is however only part of the answer Table sugar is sucrose and is only one of a number of different sugars all of which belong to the carbohydrate group of basic energy foodsSugars are a major form of carbohydrate and are found in probably all green plants They occur in significant amounts in most fruits and vegetables There are three main simple sugars - sucrose fructose and glucose Sucrose is in fact a combination of fructose and glucose and the body quickly breaks it down into these separate substancesLactose another sugar very similar to sucrose is an important component of milk and other dairy foodsTo understand the role of sugar as a foodstuff one needs to look more closely at carbohydrates These are the basic energy foods which provide most directly the energy that all green plants produce and store The two main carbohydrate categories are sugars and starchesThe sugars are the simpler of the two Starch molecules can be considered as sugar molecules strung together rather loosely in chains These more complex starch carbohydrates are found in potatoes rice bread pasta and cerealsAll sugars and starches are broken down and used by the body as glucose which is the bodys primary energy sourceAll food energy derives originally from the sun and its effect on green plant life The suns energy acts upon the green chemical chlorophyll in the leaves of plants to produce sugars and starches from the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the water from the roots These carbohydrates starches and sugars act as the plants food and energy supply The scientific name for the process is photosynthesisThe human body which has a constant need for energy cannot obtain it from photosynthesis and so it is largely dependent on the carbohydrates energy that are derived from plants Energy for
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