Each unmarked corner is a carbon. Can you count all 6 carbons in Glucose?

Glucose is our primary source of chemical energy.

Plants take in CO2, and use the energy from photons of light to break up those bonds and form higher energy C-C bonds. After more chemical reactions take place in the Calvin Cycle within the plant, the plant synthesizes sugar molecules in the form of Glucose. We consume this glucose in its pure form or attached to other molecules, and it drives all of the energy demands of our bodies.

In chemistry, saccharide is another word for "sugar." Glucose is a monosaccharide.

Here are some of the mono-saccharides (think mono = one!) Glucose is the primary monosaccharide our body metabolizes, but the chemical structures of other saccharides only differ in a few atoms and can be rapidly converted to Glucose in the body.

Fructose is a monosaccharide produced in fruit, and it gets metabolized a little differently than Glucose, usually in the liver.

Mono = 1; Di = 2; Tri = 3; Poly = 4+

Lactose is a disaccharide.

People with Lactose intolerance don't have enough enzymes to break this down into the monosaccharide pieces of Galactose and Glucose. Instead, tiny microbes get to eat on Lactose, which in turn produce methane gas responsible for other digestional issues.

Sucrose is a disaccharide.

Sucrose is the molecule that makes up granulated table sugar. Sucrose is a natural 50/50 combo of Fructose and Glucose. Hi-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is 55% Fructose/45% Glucose. Both HFCS and Sucrose are added in a lot of foods we eat. The huge amount of Fructose we consume in the Standard American Diet (SAD) has been shown to be responsible for a number of our national dietary issues.

Cellulose is a polysaccharide

Cellulose is polymer of Glucose that plants produce to make their cell well more sturdy and rigid. On the macro scale, this ultimately becomes the hard shelled bark that protects a tree. Humans do not produce the enzyme needed to break down Cellulose into Glucose, so it passes through our digestive system as fiber.

Saccharides have a lot of polar chemical bonds that attract water. Because these carbon-compounds are often found in a hydrated environment, saccharides are also known as "Carbohydrates".

Glucose is overwhelmed by his Water stans. What a chad.

Foods rich in carbohydrates. Yes, even the paper bag is a carb (Cellulose)

Biochemistry is the field of chemistry that pertains to biological compounds. Biochemists analyze chemicals to predict how they will interact within other living environments.

If you plan to major in Biochemistry, you will have to know all of the structures, names, and numbers of each of the cycles below for Carbohydrate metabolism. Every doctor has to know these for the MCAT! Do you think you can memorize them all?


In Glycolysis (pictured above), Glucose is converted into Pyruvate. This process creates 2 ATP for the cell and often occurs in the cytosol.

Citric Acid Cycle

In the Citric Acid Cycle (aka Kreb's Cycle/TCA), pyruvate is further metabolized to harness more chemical energy. This cycle produces more ATP and high energy molecules (NADH and FADH2) that get processed in the Mitochondria. This is also where protein and fat are metabolized.

Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose to enter cells to be metabolized for energy.

When we consume glucose, our body produces more insulin to compensate for the higher concentration in the blood. The Pancreas secretes insulin into our bloodstream from special islet cells to orchestrate the delicate balance between sugar in the blood and sugar in the cell.

Blood Glucose monitors usually measure concentration in mg/dL. A normal range is 80-120 mg/dL.

Diabetics have a malfunctioning pancreas, and can not easily regulate their blood glucose levels.

Type 1 Diabetics (Juvenile Diabetes) have an autoimmune disease where a person's immune system attacks the Pancreas in early age, destroying islet cells and making it production of Insulin impossible. These people need to supplement their own blood with synthetic Insulin or they risk becoming hyperglycemic (too much blood-sugar; sick) or hypoglycemic (too little blood-sugar: comatose).

Type 2 Diabetics still have a functioning Pancreas, but because of genetics or environmental factors, can not produce enough insulin to meet the bodies needs. These people need to supplement themselves in insulin if they do not regulate their diet.

Even in non-diabetics, Glucose spikes cause insulin spikes, which leads to hypoglycemia.

When a non-diabetic has a rapid uptick in blood sugar, the pancreas releases insulin in high concentrations to help process all of that glucose. When that initial dose of glucose is fully processed, the remaining insulin sticks around and continues to shuttle glucose into our cells. This causes an inevitable crash in blood glucose levels. After you eat a big meal, you might feel lethargic (tired) in part because of this hypoglycemia.

The rate at which certain foods affect blood glucose is defined by the Glycemic Index

The rapid increase in insulin and the associated crash in blood sugar is responsible for a number of metabolic issues. While certain foods might contain the same amount of glucose once they are fully digested, the speed at which they are digested also plays a large part in metabolism. Fruits are high in glucose and sucrose, but they are trapped in large networks of fiber which slow digestion. This is why fruits are considered a more "healthy" alternative to corn and potatoes, even though they might contain similarly high levels of saccharides.

High glycemic index foods cause fast spikes in blood sugar. Avoid those items if you want to give your pancreas a break.

Macronutrients are chemicals that give us biological energy.

Carbohydrates are 1 of the 4 main macronutrient groups. If you reduce your carbohydrate intake, your body still needs energy. Some alternative diets, like Paleo or Keto, usually recommend consuming more of the other macronutrients to compensate for the reduced calories from lowering Carbohydrate intake.


4 kCal/g


4 kCal/g


9 kCal/g


7 kCal/g

Diet can be a very personal topic, since everyone has different nutritional needs.

People may be quick to tell you to eat one way or another depending on your body goals, ethics of certain food sources, or environmental and financial constraints. Seen here is an example of some popular nutritional diets, in which the infographic suggests using low carb energy sources to lose fat, but more carbs to build muscle.

Just remember, nutritional science changes very frequently and everyone works differently, so there is no "best diet," just one that works best for you. While many of us probably eat something similar to the Standard American Diet (50% Carbohydrates), some would prefer to eat Vegan to ease their conscious and others may prefer a high-fat Paleo/Keto approach to food.

When we consume more calories than we burn, that mass is conserved in our body.

If you want to put on mass, you must consume an excess of calories. Without an excess of calories, there is no way to gain mass because the universal laws of conservation of energy and mass.

Unfortunately for us, our bodies prefer to store these excess calories in the form of fat. Fat requires far fewer calories to maintain and is a fast source of energy for our bodies in a deficit. It requires a massive amount of muscular stress to promote the anabolic production of muscle. 1 pound of lean muscle is 700 calories, while 1 pound of fat is 3500 calories packed into a similar space.

1 lb of fat = 3500 kCal

My Glucose (10 points + 10 points EC)

"We have to cook."


(5 points) Find a picture and a name of at least 5 of your favorite food dishes. Inspiration!

Select a recipe (either online or made by yourself) with at least 5 ingredients.

(5 points) Create an MSDS Compliant Reagent List for your ingredients. List out the primary chemical in the ingredient (can be found via Google), and use that chemical to search for an MSDS of that item. List out general hazards.


(4 points) Create your recipe IRL. Pics or it didn't happen. Take at least 4 snapshots during the building process. Instructions would be helpful!


(6 points) Complete the macronutrient breakdown sheet for your created dish. Link the spreadsheet.

(5 points) Find a picture and a name of at least 5 of your favorite food dishes!

Kung Pao Chicken

Carne Asada Tacos

Fettuccine Alfredo

Sarma (Grape Leaves)

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Chicken Kabob

(5 points) Create an MSDS Compliant Reagent List for your ingredients

Glucose Page: *Insert Dish* Reagent List

(5 points) Create your recipe IRL. Take at least 5 snapshots during the building process.

Step 1

Boil & salt water

Step 2

Boil pasta and drain when ready

Step 3

Melt 6 tbsp of butter

Step 4

Add 1 tbsp of minced garlic and 2 tbsp of All purpose flour and whisk

Step 5

Pour in 1 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1 1/2 cup of milk and whisk

Step 6

Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and season to taste

Step 7

Pour sauce into noodles and mix until all noodles are covered

Step 8

Top with parmesan cheese and parsley flakes and serve

(5 points) Calculate the macronutrients in your final food product in the supplied table:

Glucose: Nutritional Sheet (Tashjian)