What is sugar?


When you think "sugar," you probably think "yum!" Because it's so sweet, lots of kids like sugar and sugary foods. But what exactly is sugar, and where does it come from??

Sugars are organic compounds that occur naturally in most plants. The white granules of sugar that you're probably used to seeing are a type of sugar compound known as "sucrose." Most of the sugar we eat comes from sugarcane plants or sometimes sugar beets.

Sugar is typically used to add sweetness to the foods it is in and it is the main ingredient in most types of candy. When it comes to nutrition, it's important to know that sugars are simple carbohydrates which do not contain the nutrients of more complex carbohydrates such as those found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Additionally, excess sugar is converted into fat by the body. Sugar can also be a problem when it comes to your teeth: Sugars in the mouth which aren't properly brushed or flossed away cause the natural bacteria in your mouth to produce acid, leading to a greater chance of getting cavities. For these reasons, most nutrition experts recommend eating sugar in moderation.

Further Information

Scientifically-speaking, sugars are types of carbohydrates made up of certain combinations of the elements carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.