Sucrose vs. Glucose vs. Fructose: What’s the Difference?

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Sucrose, glucose, and fructose are three common types of sugar that are absorbed differently and have slightly different effects on the body. Whether they occur naturally in foods or are added to them also makes a big difference in how they affect your health.

Sucrose is made up of glucose and fructose

Sucrose is the scientific name for table sugar.

Sugars are categorized as monosaccharides or disaccharides. Disaccharides are made up of two linked monosaccharides and are broken back down into monosaccharides during digestion (1Trusted Source).

Sucrose is a disaccharide consisting of one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule, or 50% glucose and 50% fructose.

It’s a naturally occurring carbohydrate found in many fruits, vegetables, and grains, but it’s also added to many processed foods, such as candy, ice cream, breakfast cereals, canned foods, soda, and other sweetened beverages.


Glucose is a simple sugar, or monosaccharide. It’s your body’s preferred carb-based energy source (1Trusted Source).

Monosaccharides are made up of one single unit of sugar and thus cannot be broken down into simpler compounds.

They’re the building blocks of carbohydrates.

In foods, glucose is most commonly bound to another simple sugar to form either polysaccharide starches or disaccharides, such as sucrose and lactose (1Trusted Source).

It’s often added to processed foods in the form of dextrose, which is extracted from corn or wheat.

Glucose is less sweet than both fructose and sucrose


Fructose, or “fruit sugar,” is a monosaccharide like glucose (1Trusted Source).

It’s naturally found in fruit, honey, agave, and most root vegetables. Moreover, it’s commonly added to processed foods in the form of high fructose corn syrup.

Fructose is sourced from sugar cane, sugar beets, and corn. High -fructose corn syrup is made from cornstarch and contains more fructose than glucose, compared with regular corn syrup (3Trusted Source).

Of the three sugars, fructose has the sweetest taste but the least impact on your blood suga