Carbohydrates- definition, sources, types and functions


What are carbohydrates?

If you’re a beginner in choosing only healthy carbohydrates to eat, the information provided in this article can help. We will examine carbohydrate type, function, and benefits of certain types of carbohydrates. What are the carbs that we eat? What are the carbs that we do not eat? From the beginning of this article we discuss carbohydrates- definition.

Carbohydrates are the major nutrient that mainly give energy to our body to maintain human life. It refer to the materials that help in supplying energy to the human body.

Sources of carbohydrates in food

There are carbohydrate types that affect the body differently than others.

– Fruits and vegetables are generally good sources of these carbohydrates.

– Grains such as rice, wheat, pasta, bread contain carbohydrates. Starchy vegetables, juicesand sweets also contain carbohydrates.

– Carrots, for example, contain a lot of fructose, which is very high in glucose.

– Green vegetables, on the other hand, contain a complex group of carbohydrates that are broken down into simple sugars by the body. This type of carbohydrate is also very useful for energy.

– Some fruits, such as strawberries, are low in fructose but are high in glucose, which is used for energy.

What are the two types of carbohydrates

There are two types of carbohydrates–simple and complex. Carbohydrate is a simple sugar molecule that provides fuel for the human body. Simple sugars are digested more easily by the body, so they are used immediately as a source of energy. However, excessive amounts of simple sugars can cause a person to feel unsatisfied and have a poor appetite. This is why many people choose to eat more carbohydrates like potatoes and rice instead of the fruit. Carbs are classified as complex or simple based on how they are broken down. When an individual consumes more complex carbohydrates, the body will use more energy to break them down and the body will feel satisfied even if they eat a small amount.

How do we get energy from carbohydrates

The body releases energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate or ATP. This ATP is lost when the body becomes tired or does not work properly. The body uses stored energy to replenish the ATP. Muscle fibers break down during the rest to make room for the replenished ATP. This process of replenishing ATP is called Glycogen. Read also: Why do we get instant energy from glucose?

Glucose is the main source of energy for the human body. When the liver breaks down glycogen to produce glucose, the energy level is restored to normal. However, unlike many other energy producing molecules in the body, glucose is broken down slowly and requires more time to be absorbed and used.

Storage forms of of carbohydrates or glucose in animals is glycogen. When the body do not need glucose for energy then it stores it in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscles. Glycogen is made up of many glucose units. Excess of carbohydrates are stored in liver and muscles in the form of Glycogen.

Storage forms of of carbohydrates or glucose in plants is starch. Plants also synthesize glucose, and excess glucose is stored in the form of starch in roots and seeds.

Low carbohydrate diet food

A carbohydrate diet is one in which the body produces energy by the use of carbohydrates. The body can use any number of carbohydrate types and there are basically six different types of carbohydrates. Some of the more popular and common carbohydrates are: glucose, fructose, galactose, lactose, corn syrup, sucrose, and lactose.

Low carbohydrate food means restriction of carbohydrate food items such as sweets, sugary food, pasta, wheat, processed food. It is recommended to eat fruits, milk, meat, fish and vegetables. Read: Metabolism and weight loss

Carbohydrates- definition


Functions of carbohydrates in the body

Carbohydrate intake determines how the body utilizes glucose for energy. Excessive intake of a particular carbohydrate type may lead to health problems or possibly to diabetes. For example, an excessive consumption of simple sugars such as glucose and fructose is associated with type II diabetes, while an excess intake of complex carbohydrates such as glycogen is associated with conditions such as diabetes type I.

The main function of the carbohydrates consumed in the diet is to provide fuel or energy for the body. When the body has no immediate need for energy, the brain retires. This is why carbohydrates are used as the primary source of energy in most cases.

Carbohydrate provides energy and sustains the body through basic functions like giving you the energy to move from one place to another. Carbohydrate provide the fuel for the brain and nervous system. Carbohydrate that comes from plants (such as glucose) and legumes (such as rice) provide fuel for the muscles.

Why do we need to replenish the glycogen in our muscles when we are sleeping?

In the between sleep cycles the body releases energy in the form of glucose. The problem is that this energy, which is glucose, is quickly lost if we do not get enough rest. If we do not replenish our body’s supply of glycogen, our body will run out and we will feel tired and weak. Glycogen is broken down by the body into two main forms, glucose and Glutamine. These two forms of glycogen are then used in the different bodily functions and processes in the body.

How do you determine your blood sugar level?

When you ingest food, whether it is carbohydrate or other material, the digestive system breaks it down so that it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. When the blood sugar in the blood rises, it stimulates the pancreas to release insulin. The insulin will move glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body, where it is used by the cells for energy. The glucose that is not immediately used is stored by the liver as glycogen, and eventually turns into glucose to be used by the muscles, liver, and brain.

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