Carbohydrates are also known as sugars. Carbohydrates are organic compounds which molecules are made by three biogenic elements: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
Carbohydrates appear as the main source of energy and are important building material of cells structures. Carbohydrates can be easily stored as reserve materials. They are the most important source of energy and provide 55 to 60 percent of total daily energy.
Found in two types:
- Simple – monosaccharides
- Complex – oligosaccharides and polysaccharides.
How Carbonhydrates Affect on System Function
Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides are composed of one molecule of carbohydrate. In food, monosaccharide can be found mostly in form of glucose (founded in corn and other vegetables) and fructose (founded in honey, fruit and fruit products, known as fruit sugar or grape sugar). Glucose is the major monosaccharide in our blood. The concentration of glucose always must be within certain limits (3-6 mmol / l) and can be a sufficient source of energy.
Oligosaccharides: Oligosaccharides are sugars composed of 2-10 monosaccharide units. Most important oligosaccharides in dietary are disaccharides, composed of two monosaccharide units and polysaccharides – complex carbohydrates built by large number of monosaccharides units.
The best-known disaccharide is sucrose. It is produced by sugar beet or sugar cane processing. Consumption sucrose in white sugar is dangerous. Intake minimum as much as possible or intake through honey or maltex. Recommended to eat is only unrefined, brown sugar.
Other disaccharides is lactose or milk sugar. It is the main sugar in the milk. Human milk contains 7% lactose, cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s contain from 4.5 to 4.8 percent lactose. Some people are lactose intolerant and this causes occurrence of allergic reactions.
Polysaccharides are synthesized by plants, animals and humans and are food rezerve, structural support, or for energy. Can be found in plants (starch) and in animals (glycogen). Potato, rice, wheat, maize are major sources in human diet. Glycogen can be found in small amounts in liver and brain. Glycogen is a polysaccharide that the body quickly converts back to glucose when carbohydrates are not immediately available from food.
It is important to note that any excess of sugar in the body, is not usable in a form of energy. These sugars are converted back in to fats and are responsible for obesity. This condition can cause pancreas damages. In impacts of stress and hereditary factors can cause diabetes and leads in to blood vessels damages and atherosclerosis.
Foods high in carbohydrates such as cereals, potatoes, fruits and some vegetables, provide a lot of energy for normal body function.