Difference Between Sugar and Starch

Carbohydrate is one of the main nutrients that should be added to our daily diet because they provide enough energy for the whole day.


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Now, carbohydrates are sugars that come in two different types that are simple and complex forms.

The simple form of carbohydrates is also known as sugars, and the latter, which is complex, is known as starch.

There is a difference between the two because not all people can consume sugar and starch because of some illnesses.

Key Takeaways

  1. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate naturally found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, while starch is a complex carbohydrate found in grains, potatoes, and corn.
  2. Sugar is more easily broken down by the body and causes a quick spike in blood sugar levels, while starch takes longer to break down and provides a steady energy source.
  3. Sugar is often added to processed foods and drinks, while starch is used as a thickening agent and in baked goods like bread and pastries.

Sugar vs Starch

The difference between sugar and starch is the digestion rate or the absorption rate of sugars and starch by our human body. Well, it will depend on which kind of food you are consuming. Sugars are easy to digest, and the human body does not easily digest fibre. This is why diabetic patients are recommended not to consume sugary foods.

Sugar vs Starch

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The kind of intake of food decides the overall health of your body, and you should be aware of everything you consume. Too much of anything can harm the body, and too little of anything can also be harmful.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSugarStarch
Called asSugars are also called simple carbohydrates.Starch, on the other hand, starch can be digested further into simple sugars.
TasteSugar has a sweet taste.Starch, on the other hand, does not have a sweet taste.
Further digestionSugars are digested easily, but sugar monosaccharides cannot be digestedSugars are digested easily, but sugar monosaccharides cannot be digesteOn
Source of energySugars are considered to be a direct source of energy.Starch, on the other hand, is the storage form of energy.
ExamplesMonosaccharides and disaccharides.Amylase and glycogen.

What is Sugar?

Unlike starch, with no sweet taste, sugar is a form of carbohydrate with a sweet taste.

Sugar has energy for the human body and is easily digested, but too much can be harmful, leading to diabetes.

Diabetes is not rare at all because out of 10 people, 8 people have got diabetes or suffering from diabetes.

So, one should be careful about what they eat and how much they eat.

Sugar is a form of carbohydrate, and carbohydrates are mostly found in food sources like rice, bread, milk, beans, potato, and other such kinds of stuff.

Sugar is also known as a simple sugar or can also be called simple carbohydrates.

Sugar is considered to be in its simplest form when inside our body, which is why it is digested by our body easily.

They need not break down further for digestion. Before heading into the small intestine, sugars get mixed with the existing chyme.

Then the digestive enzymes in the human body’s small intestine transform that sugar into direct glucose. The walls of the intestines easily absorb this glucose.

Why do you think we should take sugar at least occasionally? It is because sugar produces or offers instant energy to the cells inside our body, which is utilised instantly.

When there is an excess of sugar, the excess is stored and can be used later on for further energy utilisation. The energy storage forms are of two types, namely glycogen and fats.

Muscles and the liver store glycogen, whereas fats are stored in the adipose tissue.

Sugars and starches are completely different, yet they are the two forms of carbohydrates.

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What is Starch?

A complex carbohydrate is also known as starch, and when they are consumed through different categories of food, they are broken down first and then digested by the human body.

Starch is not like sugar that can be digested easily because when you consume a rich in starchy food like bread or potatoes, the cells in the mouth of the person will release an enzyme that is also known as digestive juice for digesting.

Unlike sugar, starch is broken down into further simple sugars. Complex carbohydrate foods are rich in fibres, and the human body does not easily digest fibres because it takes some time.

Some of the sources of starches are fruits, nuts, vegetables, whole grains, and other such kinds of stuff.

This is why diabetic patients are recommended to consume fibre-content foods because fibre avoids the increase in sugar levels inside the body.

Since starch digestion takes time, the energy released is also slow, and the sugar provides instant energy to the human body.

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Main Differences Between Sugar and Starch

  1. Sugar is also known as a simple carbohydrate, whereas starch is a complex carbohydrate.
  2. Unlike starch, which the human body takes some time to digest, sugars are easy to digest.
  3. Sugar has a sweet taste, while starch does not have a sweet taste.
  4. Starch is rich in fibre; therefore, people with diabetes should consume fibre-rich foods.
  5. The human body directly absorbs sugar, while starch is broken down into simple sugar before digestion which is time-consuming.
Difference Between Sugar and Starch
  1. https://academic.oup.com/treephys/article-abstract/24/10/1129/1646984
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-67319-6_7
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