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What are carbohydrates and their types

 What are carbohydrates and their types

What are carbohydrates and their types

The importance and benefits of carbohydrates and starches are mainly the most important sources of energy for the body, as the digestive system converts carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar), and the body then uses this sugar to energy for cells, tissues, and organs. It also stores any extra sugar in the liver and muscles when needed.

But what are carbohydrates and starches? What are their types and sources? And what are the benefits of carbohydrates? This is what will be answered in this article.

What are carbs?

Carbohydrates are organic compounds and one of the main types of nutrient. Carbohydrates include many types of foods including sugars, starch, and fiber.

Carbohydrates are one of the most important nutrients the body needs in large quantities, as well as protein and fat. As mentioned, they are the primary source of energy in the body, supplying it with calories, as 1 gram of carbohydrates and starches contains 4 calories.

About where carbs exist, in general carbs and starches can be obtained from plant sources or milk derivatives

What are the types of carbs?

The three types of carbohydrates, the difference between these types of carbohydrates is that some are naturally present in foods such as fruits and vegetables, and others are artificially obtained through repeated processing of certain foods.

The following are the three types of carbohydrates:

Simple carbohydrates or sugars

Simple carbohydrates consist of one or two sugar particles. It is simple carbohydrate types:

  • Monosaccharides, such as glucose, fructose, and galactose.
  • Bilateral sugars, such as sucrose, lactose, maltose.

Complex carbohydrates or starches

Complex carbohydrates are long chains of simple carbohydrates, with complex starches containing three or more sugar particles. Examples of complex carbohydrates include:

  • starch.
  • Glycogen.
  • Cellulose.


It is a healthy carbohydrate that is not digested or dismantled inside the body and proven to be useful for heart health and weight management, and what makes it as a healthy carbohydrate is to contain a number of vitamins and minerals

What are the sources of carbohydrates?

The answer to the question of where carbs exist depends on the type of carbs, as simple carbs can be found naturally in several confiscations including:

  • Coarse sugar and brown sugar containing sucrose.
  • Milk and dairy products, as they contain lactose.
  • Fruit, juices and corn juice, they contain fructose.

But these simple sugars can be replicated and manufactured, and from refined and industrial sources of carbohydrates soda and baked goods.

The most common sources of complex carbohydrates are cereals such as whole wheat, barley, lentils, oats, brown rice and corn, as well as vegetables such as potatoes, legumes such as beans and peas.

Fiber is abundant in fruits, vegetables such as leafy vegetables, nuts, dried figs and raisins, as well as in legumes and cereals.

How much daily allowable share of carbs?

According to US dietary directives, carbs are supposed to account for about 45-65% of a person's total calories per day.

For a person who eats 2,000 calories a day, this means that carbs may constitute about 900-1,300 calories, equivalent to about 225-325 grams each day. However, each person's carbohydrate quantity varies depending on individual needs.

What are the benefits of carbohydrates for the body?

Carbohydrates are essential to help the body perform its functions properly. Carbohydrate benefits include:

  • Carbohydrate Benefits in Energy Saving and Blood Glucose Regulation.

Carbohydrates are the body's most important energy source and are one of the most important carbohydrate benefits. They motivate the body to perform physical and mental tasks, help with cell growth, repair, and much of its function.

Glucose is the only sugar the body uses to provide energy to its sensitive tissues and organs. Therefore, eventually all digestible sugars should be converted to glucose sugar by different liver enzymes.

Given its great importance in different vital functions, normal blood glucose levels must be maintained and remain relatively constant.

  • Carbohydrate Benefits to Prevent Cracking Proteins for Energy.

In cases where glucose is unavailable, i.e. during fasting periods, hunger, or low-carb diets, the body can use other carbon compounds in the body such as amino acids (main units of protein formation) and ketones as sources of energy.

The process of obtaining energy from amino acids leads to thinness and atrophy of organs. Therefore, it is a benefit of carbohydrates that eating enough carbohydrates will prevent the degradation of the base structure of other muscles and tissues such as heart, liver, and kidneys.

More importantly, taking carbohydrates and starches prevents the occurrence of ketosis or hyperketone of the body, which occurs as a result of obtaining energy from ketogenic compounds.

Although the brain will adapt to the use of ketones as fuel, it prefers the use of carbohydrates and requires a minimum of circulating glucose in the blood to function properly and does not enter into coma (loss of consciousness). However, before this adaptation process occurs, low blood glucose levels may lead to headaches in some individuals.

To prevent these ketogenic symptoms, it is recommended that the average person consume at least 50 to 100 grams of carbs per day.

  • Carbohydrate Benefits in Cell Biological Identification Processes.

The benefits of carbohydrates to the body are not only nutritional functions, but also play an important role in cellular identification processes. For example, many immunoglobulins (antibodies) and peptide hormones contain protein sequences associated with a series of sugars.

The existence of this correlation determines the path that a compound will take in the body, for example when it crosses the liver.

Also, these carbohydrates are arranged by a particular system on the outer surfaces of cells, and this varies from cell type to cell, which is how the immune system can identify foreign objects in the body.

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