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. 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.
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The Nutrition Sources of Carbohydrates
There are both healthy and unhealthy sources of carbohydrates. Healthy sources of carbohydrates include both food sources-animal and plant products, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, corn, potatoes, milk and milk products. 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 fibres. Here is a list of carbohydrates from different sources and different forms.
Also refer: Nutrients
Types of Carbohydrates
There are two types of carbohydrates:
- Simple carbohydrates.
- Starchy Carbohydrates.
- Fibrous Carbohydrates.
- Complex carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates cannot be produced by the human body. So, they should be taken through diet.
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 carbohydrates.
Fibrous carbohydrates can be found in fresh vegetables like pumpkin, carrot, tomatoes, beans, broccoli, cucumbers, squash, etc.
Complex carbohydrates are found in beans, peas, whole grains, barley, oats, wild rice, brown rice, etc.
Complex carbohydrates are good carbohydrates as they contain starch and fibre. Also, these carbohydrates do not spike sugar levels in the blood thereby helping in minimal sugar level in blood.
Functions of Carbohydrates
Following are the important carbohydrates functions:
- These are the main source of energy.
- It is a part of some connecting tissues.
- These also help in maintaining a healthy digestive system.
- The fibre in carbohydrates helps in lowering blood cholesterol.
- It retains protein from being burned so it can be used to build and repair.
Frequently Asked Questions on Sources of Carbohydrates
What are Carbohydrates?
What are the best sources of Carbohydrates?
What are Macronutrients?
What are the main functions of Carbohydrates?
Involved in Lipid metabolism
Helps in building Macromolecules
Provide energy and stores energy
Regulation of blood glucose level
Prevent the degradation of skeletal muscles and tissues.