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Nutrients - Carbohydrates

CarbohydratesCarbohydrates are organic compounds which may be simple and complex. It include sugars and starches. All carbohydrates are eventually broken down into glucose which is absorbed and utilized by the body in various ways. Glucose is required by red blood cells and is the main source of energy for the brain. It is also essential for the oxidation of fat and for the synthesis of certain non-essential amino acids. Simple carbohydrates like sugar and sugar enriched food is broken down easily and soon absorbed into the blood stream whereas complex carbohydrates like starches take longer time to be broken down by digestive enzymes hence providing a slower and more gradual supply of glucose. modest style selections for prom and formal party

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy which provide about two-thirds of an individuals total energy needs. Sugars are found in glucose (its basic form) and sweets, biscuits, chocolates, pastries, honey, fruits etc. Starches are found in a wide range of foods including cereals, grains, pulses, bread, beans, potatoes, other vegetables and fruits which are far more useful as they contain accompanying fibre, vitamins and minerals. It is not sensible to eat more starch rich foods as excess sugar rich foods may lead to obesity, high blood sugar, tooth decay and a possible increased risk of developing diabetes in later adult life.

The percentage of calories derived from carbohydrates should be at least 40% in well balanced diets. But this consumption differs country wise depending on the difference in diets. While in developing nations it is as high as 60-70%, it is 40-50% in Europe and 30-40% in USA.