First and foremost, carbohydrates provide energy. Most dietary scientists believe that the human body is designed to get most of its energy from this food group. A young person who is growing and is physically active will need a lot of energy input to maintain their body and to feel well.
Carbohydrates are the only foods that include any significant amount of fiber. Fiber is important for the health of the digestive system. It keeps digested foods moving along in the large intestine. Diets high in fiber are believed to help protect against colon cancer, which is the third most common form of cancer.
"Good" carbohydrates also bring with them a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for ones overall health and well-being. This is not necessarily true of highly refined or sugary foods, which should be eaten in moderation. Whole grains and fruits and vegetables contain the healthy carbohydrates that everyone needs to be healthy.