A Value Is Not Available To The Formula Or Function The Function of Carbohydrates in Our Life

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The Function of Carbohydrates in Our Life

Carbohydrates are called carbohydrates because the carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen they contain usually form water with the general formula Cn(H2O)n. Plants use sunlight (photosynthesis) to convert water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen.

Carbohydrates are classified as mono-, di-, tri-, poly- and heterosaccharides. Smaller carbohydrates are monosaccharides such as glucose, while polysaccharides such as starch, cellulose and glycogen can be large and even of indefinite length.

Carbohydrates: mainly sugars and starches, which together make up one of the three main types of nutrients that the body uses as a source of energy (calories). Carbohydrates can also be chemically defined as neutral compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

Carbohydrates come in simple forms, such as sugars, and complex forms, such as starch and fiber. The body breaks down most sugars and starches into glucose, a simple sugar that the body can use to fuel its cells. Complex carbohydrates are obtained from plants. Eating complex carbohydrates can lower blood cholesterol if they are replaced by saturated fats.

Carbohydrates are classified as mono-, di-, tri-, poly- and heterosaccharides. Smaller carbohydrates are monosaccharides such as glucose, while polysaccharides such as starch, cellulose and glycogen can be large and even of indefinite length.

Basic functions of carbohydrates

  • When your body needs energy, it first looks to carbohydrates.
  • If you don’t consume enough carbohydrates, your body will look to other sources of energy, such as the proteins found in muscle tissue. However, proteins are not efficient sources of energy for the body.
  • Carbohydrates are the most abundant source of dietary energy for all organisms.
  • They supply energy and act as a form of energy storage.
  • Carbohydrates like glucose, fructose, starch, glycogen, etc. provide energy to living organisms.
  • Carbohydrates also protect your muscles and help regulate the amount of sugar circulating in your blood so that all your cells get the energy they need.
  • Carbohydrates are involved in cellular functions such as cell growth, adhesion, and fertilization.

Food sources of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates come in two forms: simple and complex. Both are made up of sugar units. The difference lies in how many sugar units they contain and how they bond together.

Examples of single sugars in food are fructose (found in fruit) and galactose (found in dairy products). Double sugars include lactose (found in dairy products), maltose (found in certain vegetables and beer), and sucrose (table sugar). Honey is also a double sugar, but unlike table sugar, it contains a small amount of vitamins and minerals.

  • Complex carbohydrates release energy slowly and often contain fiber. These “healthy” forms of carbohydrates include whole grain bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, grains, and legumes.
  • Simple carbohydrates are sugars that give you immediate energy and usually have no nutritional value. Simple carbohydrates, which contain vitamins and minerals, are found naturally: in fruits, milk and dairy products, vegetables. Simple carbohydrates are also found in processed and refined sugars* such as: candy, table sugar, syrups (except natural syrups such as maple syrup), regular carbonated drinks.

*Refined sugars provide calories but lack vitamins, minerals and fiber. Such simple sugars are often referred to as “empty calories” and can cause weight gain. Also, many refined foods, such as white flour, sugar, and polished rice, lack B vitamins and other essential nutrients unless they are labeled “enriched.” It is healthiest to get carbohydrates, vitamins and other nutrients in as natural a form as possible – for example, from fruits instead of table sugar.

Daily intake of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates typically make up 45-60% of your total caloric intake.

Allowable carbohydrate levels may vary depending on activity level. The range is 20 to 70 grams per day.

However, 70 grams per day is very generous and is usually reserved for those who do strength training in addition to cardio.

A normal low carb diet for weight loss is 20-50 grams per day. You need to determine how strict you need to be; the best way is to experiment and discover what amount works for you as an individual.

There’s actually no minimum daily carb requirement, but they’re high in beneficial phytochemicals and fiber, so they’re fine to eat (as long as they’re unrefined/processed).

Food security

If you consume too many carbohydrates and participate in little or no physical activity, those excess carbohydrates are converted into fat in the body, which can lead to weight gain and other health risks.

My next article entitled “Protein’s Function in Our Lives” explores the role of protein in good nutrition.

See you on the beaches of the world,

Kevin McNabb

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