The three main categories of sugar are monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polyols. Monosaccharides are simple sugars that cannot be broken down into simpler sugars. They are the building blocks of more complex sugars and carbohydrates. Examples of monosaccharides include glucose, fructose, and galactose. Disaccharides comprise two monosaccharide molecules joined together by a glycosidic bond.
Examples of disaccharides include sucrose (table sugar), lactose (found in milk), and maltose (found in grains). Polyols, also known as sugar alcohols, are a carbohydrate used as sugar substitutes. They are not actual sugars but have a sweet taste and are commonly used in sugar-free and low-calorie products. Examples of polyols include xylitol, erythritol, and sorbitol.
It’s worth noting that while polyols are generally considered safe and can be an excellent alternative to sugar for people with diabetes or those trying to reduce their sugar intake, they can have some side effects, such as digestive issues, when consumed in large amounts.