Carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient found in many foods and beverages.
Carbohydrates by summation means that there are as many carbohydrates as there are carbohydrates in the source, multiplied by the percentage by which they are present in the source.
Carbohydrates are very common in our everyday diet and are found in a wide variety of natural and processed foods, and are probably the most abundant and widespread organic substances in nature.
Carbohydrates are often a big part of our diet. But it is important to understand that you need to have adequate protein and fat in your diet as well in order to be healthy and to avoid getting the wrong nutrients.
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Carbohydrates Give Energy
Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which converts to energy used to support bodily functions and physical activity. (source ◳)
Carbohydrates are subdivided into several categories based on the number of sugar units and how the sugar units are chemically bonded to each other. (source ◳)
Carbohydrates: Sugars, Starches, And Fibers
Sugars are mostly found in fruits and milk products. Sugars are also added to foods during processing and preparation or at the table.
The sweet taste of sugar is due to the presence of small amounts of molecules called sweet molecules.
The best known sweet molecules are sugars, such as glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, and galactose, and other molecules such as artificial sweeteners.
Added sugar in the US is a unique public health problem that, if left unaddressed, has the potential to seriously impact public health.
Added sugar in foods is linked to obesity and diabetes.
Starches are built of many glucose units linked together. They are found in many foods, including vegetables, legumes, and grains.
Starch is a major constituent of all plant tissues and is present in various forms, such as amylose, amylopectin, and glucan.
Starchy foods include grains, potatoes and corn, as well as many beans, peas and other vegetables.
Starches are also added to foods to provide viscosity to the food.
Starches are used in a wide variety of food products, such as breads, pasta, cakes, cookies, and breakfast cereals.
Fibers, such as starches, are made mostly of sugar units bonded together. Unlike most starches, however, these bonds cannot be broken down by digestive enzymes.
Fibers are found in a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, and meats.
You can find fiber in vegetables and fruits. Most of those fibers come from the outer layers of the plant. If you peel the vegetable, you lose a lot of fiber. The inner layers contain more water and starch.
Fibers are part of our normal diets. Most people eat at least some fiber every day. Some get too much of some of the fibers, and too little of others.