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[Ult. fr. Arabic sukkar via L. succarum]
A sweet-tasting, low-molecular-weight carbohydrate of the monosaccharide or disaccharide groups. Common sugars include fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose, and xylose. Oral or parenteral administration of sugars can prevent hypoglycemia caused by insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents.

Sugars are classified in two ways: the number of atoms of simple sugars yielded on hydrolysis by a molecule of the given sugar and the number of carbon atoms in the molecules of the simple sugars so obtained. Therefore, glucose is a monosaccharide because it cannot be hydrolyzed to a simpler sugar; it is a hexose because it contains six carbon atoms per molecule. Sucrose is a disaccharide because on hydrolysis it yields two molecules, one of glucose and one of fructose.

SEE: carbohydrate

The World Health Organization recommends that the consumption of refined sugars be limited to less than 10%, and preferably less than 5% of all daily calories.

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