Carbohydrates are biomolecules that consist of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms. The ratio of hydrogen and oxygen in carbohydrate is 2:1, which is similar to water.
Carbohydrates are macronutrients which mean they are one of the three main ways that a body can obtain energy. Carbohydrates are converted into sugar and this sugar will be used by the cells for its energy.
Functions of carbohydrates
- These are the main source of energy.
- It retains protein from being burned so it can be used to build and repair.
- It is a part of some connecting tissues.
- The fiber in carbohydrates helps in lowering the blood cholesterol.
- These also help in maintaining healthy digestive system.
Types of carbohydrates
There are two types of carbohydrates:
- Simple carbohydrates
- Complex carbohydrates
Carbohydrates cannot be produced by the human body. So, they should be taken through diet.
Sources of Carbohydrates
There are both healthy and unhealthy sources of carbohydrates. Healthy sources include plant foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, corn, potatoes etc. Unhealthy sources include soda, white bread, artificial sugar, pastries and other highly processed foods.
Carbohydrates can be found in different forms, such as sugars, starch, and fibers. Here is a list of carbohydrates from different sources and different forms.
Fresh fruits like apples, oranges, banana, pineapple, sweet potatoes, berries are rich sources of healthy simple carbohydrates. Foods that have artificial sugars and highly processed foods are unhealthy sources of it. Milk is also a rich source of simple carbohydrates.
Grains are rich sources of carbohydrates. Grains include whole grains, grain bread etc. Some foods that are rich in carbohydrates are beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes and some nuts. Cereals are also a rich source of it.
Fibrous carbohydrates can be found in fresh vegetables like pumpkin, carrot, tomatoes, beans, broccoli, cucumbers, squash etc.
Complex carbohydrates are found in fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, honey, soy milk, barley, apples, oranges, grapes, wild rice, brown rice, etc.
Complex carbohydrates are good carbohydrates as they contain starch and fiber. Also, these carbohydrates do not spike sugar levels in the blood thereby helping in minimal sugar level in blood.
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