Carbohydrates are made of sugars, when these sugars are singular, i.e on their own and not joined to another molecule, they are known as simple sugars or officially 'monosaccharides'. You've probably heard of these, they are: Glucose, Fructose and Galactose. These simple sugars, especially Glucose and fructose, are the ones found in your cakes, biscuits, chocolates, sweets and fizzy drinks etc.. (generally the ones to avoid).
These monosaccharides can also join to each other in certain ways to form pairs, which are known as 'disaccharides'. These disaccharides formed by two monosaccharides are: Maltose, Sucrose (table sugar), and Lactose. Disaccharides are also simple sugars and once again found in the the sweet things that we really should limit, especially 'sucrose'
These simple sugars can also link together to form chains of thousands of sugar molecules which are much longer and bound to other elements such as water, fibre, vitamins, minerals and other healthy foods, and now called 'Complex Carbohydrates' These take longer to break down in the body and generally keep your blood-sugar levels more stable.
Carbohydrates are so named because they contain the elements Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. All monosaccharides are made from these compounds, although the order of these compounds vary, which changes the structure, giving us their different types.
How Disaccharides are made:
Glucose + Glucose = Maltose
Glucose + Fructose = Sucrose
Glucose + Galactose = Lactose
More next time....
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