What Is The Primary Function Of A Carbohydrate?

What Is The Primary Function Of A Carbohydrate?
What Is The Primary Function Of A Carbohydrate?

Carbohydrates are necessary molecules needed support functions in the body. The body breaks down carbohydrates into sugar to produce energy needed for growth daily activities brain activity and to maintain overall health. Carbohydrates are consumed mainly from plant sources and is broken down and stored in the body as glycogen to be used later when needed. Other carbohydrates are needed to extract cholesterol from the body and add bulk to the stool
Definition and Types
A carbohydrate is a macronutrient helps energy to the body cells with the brain being the only body relies solely on carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are made from plants in the form of sugars starch and cellulose which are further classified as simple or complex according to the size of the carbohydrate molecule. Complex carbohydrates are made of long chains of simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are one or two saccharides (units of sugar). Fructose galactose and glucose are examples of single unit saccharides. Disaccharides are two sugar units and is often viewed as sucrose lactose and malactose.
Function of simple carbohydrates
Simple carbohydrates (sugar) can be broken down by the body very quickly and as energy. Once a simple sugar is consumed it increases blood sugar levels and insulin given in response. Insulin unlocks the cells to let sugar into the cells where it can be used for energy. Excess is stored in the form of glycogen in liver and muscles and is used as backup. Declining levels of blood sugar elicit a hunger response in order to maintain blood sugar levels needed for energy.
Function of complex carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates are larger molecules that are not converted used for energy as quickly as simple carbohydrates but still being used for energy in much the same way simple carbohydrates are. Due to the slower complex carbohydrates are broken down they do not contribute so easily to a rapid increase in blood glucose causes fullness and reduce hunger. Glycogen is a complex carbohydrate that is rapidly converted into energy from stores in the body.
Function of Fiber
Fiber is a complex carbohydrates needed for healthy diet function. It is a form of plant cellulose that is not digested. Fiber functions by delaying stomach timber contributes to fullness and minimize insulin resistance. Fibres may also act as a binder to fat and cholesterol pull them out of the digestive tract reduce intake. Fiber helps bulk in the stool relieving constipation and protect colon health.
Health Impact
Consumption of high levels of simple carbohydrates is necessary to load glycogen stores before intense training like a marathon. Simple carbohydrates are also used to replenish glucose and glycogen in the body after exercise starvation or large amounts of stress. Eating high levels of simple carbohydrates without intense exercise can contribute to insulin resistance and increased levels of hunger. Complex carbohydrates are found mainly in fruits and vegetables or whole grains which contain nutrients and phytochemicals that contribute to optimal health.

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