May 13, 2008

How Important of Carbohydrates to Our Body?

How Important of Carbohydrates to Our Body?
The word carbohydrate was originally derived from the fact that the greater part of the compound in this class had the empirical formula Cn(H20)n. The value of n ranged from three to many thousands.

This formula is now considered too restrictive, and more useful definitions might be “polyhydroxy aldehydes or ketones and their derivatives”. This latter definition encompasses deoxy sugars, sugar alcohols, sugar acids, and amino sugars.

Carbohydrates occur in fruits and vegetables as storage reserves in seeds, roots, and tubers; in the sap; and as constituents if the structural tissues. They are also found in milk, blood, and tissues of animals.

Carbohydrates are the most abundant food in the world and the most economical as an energy food source. In the American diet, carbohydrate foods constitute approximately 50% of the daily caloric intake.

However, carbohydrates make up an even greater proportion of the diet of peoples of other countries where cereals are a staple. In addition to their value as an expensive source of energy, carbohydrates are important for several reasons.

The body needs carbohydrates in order to use fat efficiently. Many foreign substances are removed from the body through the intermediate formation of glycosides of glucoronic acid. Diseases such as diabetes develop when the body is unable to utilize sugar properly. Some carbohydrates have an effect on the type of bacteria that will grow in the intestine. In some of the lower animals (crab and lobster), a major constituent of the exoskeleton is a polymer of glucosamine.
How important of Carbohydrates to Our Body?

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