What Are Carbohydrates?

What are carbohydrates? Carbohydrates are essential nutrients for life. Carbohydrates are produced by plants and supply the body with energy necessary for metabolic activity. Fruit, for example, is rich in sugars, which belong to carbohydrates, and this fact catch the attention of birds, animals, and humans. Sucrose is accumulated in the stems of sugar cane and in the roots of sugar beet making them the plants of great industrial significance.

What are carbs from the standpoint of structure?

From the biochemical standpoint dietary sugars are monosaccharides and disaccharides formed of a single or two molecules. Glucose enters into the composition of table sugar sucrose as well as milk sugar lactose. Starch is a polysaccharide and contains numerous molecules of glucose. To be digested and absorbed the complex carbohydrates must be separated into simple sugars. In the process of food preparation the starch granules attract water and it makes the digestion easier. The cell walls of plants are composed of cellulose. Cellulose is as well created from glucose unites, but its chemical conformation is different from that of starch and therefore humans are unable to digest cellulose being deprived of necessary enzymes. The plant cell walls also include other polysaccharides such as pectins and hemicelluloses, which are composed of xylose and arabinose. Structures that make the plants rigid contain lignin. All these compounds compose dietary fiber.

What are carbohydrates and digestion?

Carbohydrates are assimilated by the body in the form of monosaccharides such as glucose, fructose, and galactose or disaccharides such as sucrose, lactose, and maltose. These monosaccharides are obtained due to polysaccharide break-down. The starch digestion starts owing salivary amylase; however the larger part of it is digested by pancreatic amylase in the duodenum. Amylase destroys complex carbohydrates to disaccharides and trisaccharides. Then special enzymes hydrolyze maltose and dextrins to glucose, galactose, and fructose.

What are carbs transformations after digestion?

Fructose is assimilated by straightforward diffusion; however, glucose and galactose require energy for transportation due to binding to a particular protein carrier. Glucose and galactose are then released inside the enterocytes with subsequent diffusion into the bloodstream. In the liver cells, glucose forms complexes with phosphate and is transported to tissues participating in metabolic processes. Glucose may also be stored in the liver cells in the form of animal polysaccharide starch known as glycogen. The liver cells can also convert some amino acids and glucose metabolic products into glucose.

What are carbohydrates and health?

Dietary requirements embrace simple sugars, starches, and dietary fibre. The cells need glucose as fuel to cover energy demands. If dietary carbohydrate is deficient, glucose formation depends on amino acids from body protein, dietary protein as well as from fat glycerol. Carbohydrate shortage leads to amplified ketone production. Unwanted ketosis can be barred by the consumption of 50 to 100 grams of carbohydrate daily. Experts, however, recommend covering the half of the daily energy requirements from carbohydrates. It is good to consume as a minimum 250 grams of carbohydrate getting 1000 carbohydrate calories in a diet of 2000 calories. A diet including fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grain cereals provides necessary carbohydrate intake.