List of Foods That Contain Simple Sugars

Boy (2-4) licking ice cream, close-up, other children in background
Many junk foods contain simple sugars. (Image: Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Simple sugars are known as "monosaccharides," and are a carbohydrate found in may different foods, according to the Elements Database website. Simple sugars are digested quickly by the body because there are typically fewer nutrients for them to break down. Simple sugars include glucose, fructose and galactose. Excess sugar in your bloodstream means more insulin is needed to balance things out, which will eventually lead to increased body fat. Simple sugars can be found in both natural and processed foods.


Woman Smelling at Pear at Fruit Stand
Fruits contain simple sugars. (Image: Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images)

Fruits contain fructose, which is a simple sugar. The benefit of simple sugars derived from fruits is that fruits also contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and other elements that contribute to good health. Exercise caution when drinking fruit juices, which do not have to be digested and can result in a rapid rise in blood sugar. Canned fruits also contain simple sugars, but they are often sitting in a thick, sweet syrup which reduces the nutritional content of the fruit.

Junk Foods

Close-up of a young woman lying on the bed in front of a laptop
Junk food such as candy usually contains white table sugar. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Junk foods such as cakes, cookies, candies and ice cream usually contain white table sugar, which is the simplest form of simple sugar. Typical, sweet junk foods have no vitamin or mineral content, and are usually also high in calories and fat. Eating sweet junk foods on a regular basis can result in obesity, insulin resistance and tooth decay.

Dairy Products

Young woman drinking glass of milk
Dairy products contain galactose. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Galactose is a simple sugar that is most commonly found in milk. Galactose helps make up the milk sugar lactose, which also consists of glucose. During digestion, lactose breaks down into galactose and glucose. Glucose is then used as an energy source by your body, and galactose needs further breaking down before being utilized.


Honey is thought of as a healthier sweetener than sugar. (Image: grafvision/iStock/Getty Images)

Honey is a product of bees, and is often thought of as a healthier sweetener than sugar. Honey contains vitamins and minerals and is also considered a simple sugar. When carbohydrates have one or two sugars binding them together, they are considered "simple," according to MedLinePlus. When they have three or more sugars, they are considered "complex." Honey is a double sugar carbohydrate.

Load comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.