What is the difference between carbohydrates and sugars?

Carbohydrates are the main nutrients in our body, these being essential to provide energy to the body. There are three types of carbohydrates: fibers, starches and sugars.

What are carbohydrates?

Known as Carbohydrates that are sugar molecules formed by a maximum of 10 sugar elements . When they have less than that amount they are known as oligosaccharides, and when they have more they are polysaccharides. Carbohydrates are insoluble in water and cannot be digested into simple forms.

Carbohydrates are found in legumes, fructose, rice, cookies, soft drinks, bread, milk, pasta and white flour. When absorbed by the body, these are converted into simple sugars, which are processed by the large intestine.

The two main forms or types of carbohydrates are as follows:

  • Simple carbohydrates (or simple sugars): including fructose, glucose, and lactose, which are also found in nutritious whole fruits.
  • Complex carbohydrates (or starches): Found in foods such as starchy vegetables, whole grains, rice, breads, and cereals.

Carbohydrates can be divided into three groups:

  • Monosaccharides, example, glucose, fructose, galactose.
  • Disaccharides, eg, sucrose (table sugar), lactose, maltose.
  • Polysaccharides, eg, starch, glycogen (animal starch), cellulose.

What are sugars?

These are part of the carbohydrates, which are digested without difficulty, providing empty calories that do not have any type of minerals or vitamins, they make up a white substance with a sweet taste that is soluble in water, which are obtained mainly from beets and sugar cane.

This food is considered the drug of the 21st century since it generates great dependence on consumers. The excessive use of these can generate diseases such as obesity, dental deterioration, osteoporosis, asthma, allergies, and migraines.


It is essential to maintain a balanced diet to take care of physical, emotional and mental health. An adequate diet contains food in adequate amounts, with nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, lipids, carbohydrates and proteins, according to the physiological need of a person.

It is recommended to have a good diet to prevent diseases of metabolic origin such as obesity, overweight and diabetes, as well as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. A person should consume at least 55 to 69% carbohydrates, 12% protein, 25 to 30% fat.

Difference Between Carbohydrates and Sugars

  • Carbohydrates are not soluble in water, while sugars are easier to dissolve.
  • Carbohydrates must be processed to be digested, although sugars are broken down by the body itself.
  • Carbohydrates provide energy, while sugars provide calories.
  • Carbohydrates are not sweet, quite the opposite of sugars.

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