Glucose Molecule, Pink

Image Caption : Glucose provides energy for cells throughout the body. This simple sugar is produced through the digestion of carbohydrates (even complex carbohydrates, such as those in whole grains, must be broken down into simpler components). The body's ability to use glucose depends on the hormone insulin, produced by the pancreas. Blood levels of glucose rise after meals, but insulin keeps glucose levels within a narrow range; excess glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen, a chain of glucose molecules, to be used when food is not available or when extra energy is needed.


A primary source of energy for living organisms. It is naturally occurring and is found in fruits and other parts of plants in its free state. It is used therapeutically in fluid and nutrient replacement.


Sugars such as those responsible for the sweetness in fruit (fructose) and table sugar (sucrose) are called “simple sugars” or “simple carbohydrates.” Some simple sugars occur naturally in vegetables, milk, honey, and other unprocessed foods. Synthetic sweeteners such as corn syrup and high fructose are simple sugars as well.


A nonreducing disaccharide composed of GLUCOSE and FRUCTOSE linked via their anomeric carbons. It is obtained commercially from SUGARCANE, sugar beet (BETA VULGARIS), and other plants and used extensively as a food and a sweetener.

National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine


Also called: Carbs

Carbohydrates are one of the main types of nutrients. They are the most important source of energy for your body. Your digestive system changes carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar). Your body uses this sugar for energy for your cells, tissues and organs. It stores any extra sugar in your liver and muscles for when it is needed.

Carbohydrates are called simple or complex, depending on their chemical structure. Simple carbohydrates include sugars found naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables, milk, and milk products. They also include sugars added during food processing and refining. Complex carbohydrates include whole grain breads and cereals, starchy vegetables and legumes. Many of the complex carbohydrates are good sources of fiber.

For a healthy diet, limit the amount of added sugar that you eat and choose whole grains over refined grains.

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Consult a licensed medical professional for the diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions and before starting a new diet or exercise program. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.