Did you know carbohydrates are primary fuel source of human body? In the digestive tract, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which provides energy for the body’s cells and tissues. Without carbohydrates there is no energy left for our body to work, which could be fatal. When carbohydrate intake is little, there is insufficient glucose production, which then causes the body to use its protein as a source for energy. This eventually prevents the body’s protein from performing its more important functions, such as maintaining the body’s immune system.
Carbohydrates are compounds that consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, bonded together by energy-containing bonds. There are mainly two types of carbohydrates: complex and simple. The complex carbohydrates are classified as polysaccharides. Simple carbohydrates are classified as either monosaccharides (one sugar molecule) or disaccharides (two sugar molecules).
Refined and processed carbohydrates contain: White bread, White rice, White potatoes, Sugary cereals, Sweets, Jellies and Candies.
Whole grain and high-fiber carbohydrates contain: 100% whole wheat bread, Oatmeal, Brown rice, Whole wheat pasta, Popcorns and Bran cereals.
One of the complex carbohydrates is fiber. The primary function of insoluble fiber is to bind bile acids, which reduces fat and cholesterol absorption. Sources of insoluble fiber include wheat bran, whole grains, and brown rice. Fiber is an important part of the diet. Suggested intakes of fiber should be about 27 to 40 grams per day.
A study recommends that 45–65% of total calories come from carbohydrates and that foods containing complex carbohydrates (such as whole-grains) are preferred over simple carbohydrates (such as table sugar and white flour.) As an example, one cup of whole-grain brown rice has a lot nutritional value and fiber that processed white rice. There are no known adverse dietary interactions associated with carbohydrates.
Diabetes is a disease in which the body cannot metabolize carbohydrates. Parents should consult their child’s paediatrician or endocrinologist if they are unsure the child’s diet has a nutritional balance of carbohydrates. A doctor also should be consulted before a child or adolescent goes on a low-carbohydrate diet (such as the Atkins, Zone, and Sugar Busters diets) for weight loss.