What is the significance of carbohydrates?

Expert Answers
justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy in the body. Each gram of carbohydrate provides four calories of energy. Carbohydrates are of many types ranging from the simplest form which is glucose to more complex forms. The digestive system breaks down all the carbohydrates that are consumed to glucose.

Glucose is used by the cells of the body to provide energy for them to function. All muscular activity requires glucose. Glucose is also the only source of energy for the brain which utilizes a large amount of the glucose that is produced during digestion for it to function.

When enough carbohydrates are not available for the energy requirements of the body, the body breaks down proteins and fat. This could be from the protein and fat that is consumed or the last option is for the body to utilize fat deposits stored in the body and protein from muscles.

The amount of carbohydrate that needs to be consumed depends on the activity level of people. Just as eating too little carbohydrate can force the body to break down the proteins that muscles are made of, eating too much carbohydrate can lead to the storage of excess carbohydrates as fat deposits and leads to obesity.

ujoarder | Student

Carbohydrates are normally sugars that give our body energy, which helps the body to perform and do various tasks. Good carbohydrates (carbs in their natural state) are good for the body. They are not processed and can easily be broken down quickly and efficiently by the human body. They provide body with high fiber and give the body a high energy level. Higher fiber helps the body in lowering cholesterol levels and in removing toxins. Good carbohydrates also have low glycemic index which hamper the rise in blood sugar level, which is helpful to the diabetic patients, who have to monitor their blood sugar level regularly.

vtormey | Student

Nowadays, we hear about carbohydrate all the time.

Foods that contain carbohydrate raise blood glucose. By keeping track of how many carbohydrates you eat and setting a limit for your maximum amount to eat, you can help to keep your blood glucose levels in your target range. You may also be interested in our book, Diabetes Carbohydrate and Fat Gram Guide, 3rd Edition.

Did you know there are three main types of carbohydrate? There are

  • Starches (also known as complex carbohydrates)
  • Sugars
  • Fiber

You'll also hear terms like naturally occurring sugar, added sugar, low-calorie sweeteners, sugar alcohols, reduced-calorie sweeteners, processed grains, enriched grains, complex carbohydrate, sweets, refined grains, and whole grains.

No wonder knowing what kind and how much carbohydrate to eat can be confusing!

On the nutrition label, the term "total carbohydrate" includes all three types of carbohydrates. This is the number you should pay attention to if you are carbohydrate counting


emilymisquita | Student

Carbohydrates, also known as saccharides, are classified according to the number of single carbohydrate molecules in each chemical structure.

Without carbohydrates we would not be able to think or move and our heart couldn't beat.Even the process of digestion could not occur without the energy provided by carbohydrates.

Whether it be digestion or circulation, thinking or walking, all life activities are dependent upon carbohydrates. When insufficient carbohydrates are available from the diet, the body converts fat reserves to carbohydrates for its use, and amino acids are utilized as carbohydrates instead of being used to make body protein.

The one basic role of carbohydrates in the human diet: to supply energy.The body uses carbohydrates directly from the monosaccharide glucose.Energy is derived from glucose by the splitting of the glucose molecules into smaller compounds and oxidizing these to form water, which frees quite a large amount of energy.

Carbohydrates Provide Fuel for the Central Nervous System and Muscular System.Carbohydrates Supposedly Spare Proteins.