Carbohydrates - Uses, Benefits, Sources and Dosage
What is Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are the main sources of energy in the body. These are macronutrients which means it is one of the main source to gain energy. There are three different types of carbohydrates – sugar, starch and fiber. These are found through different sources of food.
Carbohydrates provide glucose to body which is converted into energy that supports biophysical functions and activity. Carbohydrates are the main part of healthy diet.
Sources of carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are found through various food sources. The food diet which contains carbohydrates is known as healthy diet.
The main food sources of carbohydrates are given below:
- Whole grains
Functions of carbohydrates
These act as fuel for body and central nervous system which provides energy for working.
The main functions of carbohydrates in the body are given below:
- It regulates the blood glucose level and provides energy to the body.
- Carbohydrate prevents the use of proteins as energy source.
- Helps in fat metabolism.
- Prevents ketosis.
- Adds sweeteners and flavor to the food.
- It act as dietary fiber.
- Apart from dietary source carbohydrate helps in biological process in the body.
Types of carbohydrates
It is categorized into three classes which are given below:
- Sugars - It is the simplest form of carbohydrate which is naturally found in fruits, vegetables, dairy products. Types of sugar include table sugar (sucrose), fruit sugar (fructose), and milk sugar (lactose).
- Fiber - Are not digested by the body but is the requirement of the body to stay healthy. Fibers helps to maintain the healthy digestive system which helps to prevent constipation. The main sources of fibers are fruits and vegetables.
- Starch - It is a form of complex carbohydrate which is broken down into sugar units. Starch is found in certain vegetables like potatoes, beans, peas and corn. It is also found in bread, cereals and grains.
Benefits of carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are beneficial for good health.
Benefits of carbohydrate for your health:-
- Mental health - It is important for good mental health and also helps in memory.
- Weight loss - Helps to gain weight and also maintains the healthy weight.
- Good sources of nutrition - The vegetables like green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, fruits like apple, juicy berries are the good source of nutrition.
- Heart health - The fiber part of carbohydrates reduces the cholesterol level and improves the heart health.
Deficiency of carbohydrates
Human body is a machine which cannot move without sufficient fuel, Carbohydrate is the fuel for the body. The common symptoms of carbohydrates deficiency may be (without sufficient glucose to central nervous system) like dizziness, weakness which may be physical or mental. Deficiency of glucose is also called hypoglycemia.
In the absence of carbohydrates, body uses the stored proteins for energy which results in problems like stress on kidneys because the passage of byproducts of proteins are painful as compared to carbohydrates.
Insufficient carbohydrates and fiber may cause indigestion problems.
Dose of carbohydrates
Need of carbohydrates depend upon your work.
- For normal person - 1300 calories
- For Sports person - 3000 calories per day
Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan
MD (ALT. MEDICINE) View Profile