The most basic form of a carbohydrate, which cannot be broken down by water to simpler units, is called monosaccharide and includes glucose, fructose and galactose. (1)
Sucrose is a carbohydrate that combines one glucose and one fructose molecule and is, therefore, called a disaccharide (di=2).
Note: Other disaccharides include lactose (one galactose and one glucose molecule) and maltose (two glucose molecules).
Both, monosaccharides and disaccharides belong to a group of sugars called “simple sugars” which are also called “simple carbohydrates”.
The most popular form of sucrose in our diet is table sugar although it is also present in other sweeteners (e.g. agave syrup, maple syrup or honey) and whole fruit and vegetables. Table sugar is obtained either from sugar cane or sugar beets but the source is exactly the same.
When ingested, sucrose breaks down in the small intestine into glucose and fructose with an enzyme called sucrase, which is then absorbed through the intestinal wall to the bloodstream.
The breakdown process of sucrose into fructose and glucose in the small intestine is very quick. The result is that, whether we consume fructose and glucose in the form of sucrose or separately, it takes virtually the same amount of time for these simple sugars to find themselves inside our bloodstream and exert its effects on the body.