Sunday, July 8, 2012

How does the sugar in fruit drinks differ from the sugar in sodas?

The sugar in fruit juices is predominantly fructose, which is a disaccharide, meaning that it contains two molecules of glucose joined together and must be bro- ken down to glucose in  order to be absorbed, which may cause a delayed or  muted  effect on  the  blood sugar. Fruit juices will also contain a moderate amount of some vitamins and minerals. Sodas do not contain significant amounts of vitamins or minerals. The sugar in  regular non-diet  sodas is glucose, which  is very readily  absorbed and sweeter tasting. The amount of sugar in a  standard 12-ounce can of regular soda is equivalent to about 9 teaspoons of table sugar (which is neither  glucose nor fructose,  but  sucrose, another disaccharide) and therefore provides a large amount of calories, which can raise the  blood sugar level very quickly. This is helpful if a low blood sugar reaction is being treated, but not a recommended part of the dia- betic diet, as it causes a very sharp rise in blood glucose to levels above those  recommended. This rise is hard to prevent with either pills or  insulin, without giving doses that will later lead to low blood sugar levels.

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