define carbohydrates and the basic functions of sugar and starch in the body
Carbohydrates are sugars that provide the body with energy.Carbohydrate rich foods in their natural state are low in calories and high in fiber.
Simple carbohydrates are single sugar molecules or two sugar molecules that have joined together whereas [ complex carbohydrates, otherwise known as starches, are comprised of many sugar molecules, which are all connected.
There are three main types of
carbohydrates, which are sugars, starches and fibre. Carbohydrates contain about 4 calories per gram.
The main function of carbohydrates is to provide your body with fuel and energy that is required to carry out daily activities and exercise.
When carbohydrates are in our body, they are being broken down and used as energy. When the body doesn't need to use the carbohydrates for energy, it stores them into the liver and muscles and is called glycogen. When the liver and muscles cells cannot store anymore glycogen, it is turned into fat.
When our body needs a quick boost of energy, it converts glycogen into energy. When it needs a prolonged burst of energy, it converts fat to energy.
Our bodies need a constant supply of energy to function properly and a lack of carbohydrates in the diet can cause tiredness or fatigue, poor mental function and lack of endurance and stamina.
Carbohydrates are also important for the correct working of our brain, heart and nervous, digestive and immune systems.
Fibre, which is also a form of carbohydrate, is essential for the elimination of waste materials and toxins from the body and helps to keep the intestines disease-free and clean.
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