Carbohydrates, sugars or saccharides are biomolecules whose main functions are to provide immediate energy (glucose) and structural (starch and glycogen). 1 gram of carbohydrates provides 4 kcal.
The simplest carbohydrates, monosaccharides, are formed by a single molecule; They can not be hydrolyzed into smaller carbohydrates. They are the main source of fuel for the body.
Disaccharides are carbohydrates formed by two monosaccharide molecules and, therefore, upon hydrolysis produce two free monosaccharides. Some common disaccharides are:
Sucrose, it is the most abundant disaccharide and the main form in which carbohydrates are transported in plants. It consists of one glucose and one fructose molecule. And lactose, the milk sugar.
Oligosaccharides are composed of three to nine monosaccharide molecules that are released upon hydrolysis. But how long it should be a carbohydrate, to be considered oligo or polysaccharide, varies according to the authors.
Polysaccharides are chains, branched or not, more than ten monosaccharides, resulting from the condensation of many monosaccharide molecules with loss of several water molecules.
Carbohydrates, are surrounded by water particles occupying more space in cells and are more readily attacked by some enzyme proteins or fat and are therefore a source of quick energy production. Proteins and fats are vital to the construction of tissue and cell components, and therefore the body waste such resources prefer not to use them for energy production.
Carbohydrates help dematerialization of sugars in the blood and thanks to them, the average percentage of insulin remains in the blood.
It is proposed that 55-60% of daily energy should come from carbohydrates.
The distinction between “good carbs” and “bad carbohydrates” is a distinction unscientific. Although these concepts have been used in the design of ketogenic diets as diets low in carbohydrates, which promote a reduction in the consumption of grains and starches in favor of protein. The result is a reduction in insulin levels used to metabolize sugar and increased use of fat for energy through ketosis.
Sedentary lifestyle leads to poor metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.
Foods high in carbohydrates are pasta, potatoes, fiber, grains and legumes.