Disaccharides form when two separate sugar molecules, or monosaccharides, fuse together to form one molecule. Disaccharides are often called double sugars. There are many forms of disaccharides, but the most well known and commonly occurring are sucrose, maltose, and lactose. Sucrose is the table sugar we add to our coffee and cereal. Lactose is milk sugar, and maltose is malt sugar. In moderation, these simple carbohydrates are an important part of a balanced diet and contribute to the body's ability to regulate temperature and energy levels, as well as mood.
Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are high in lactose. One molecule of glucose and one molecule of galactose fuse together to form lactose, which has a less sweet taste than other disaccharides and tends to digest rather slowly. Slower digestion promotes a feeling of fullness and satisfaction.
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