Last update: 1.5.2017.
Rapidly absorbed for energy
Carbohydrates are made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Carbohydrates are saccharides i.e. sugar. They can be classified as monosaccharides, disaccharides or polysaccharides. The classification is depending on the number of monomer units they contain.
Carbohydrates are usually considered the most important fuel source for the body. They contain energy 4kcal per gram which is the same as proteins and less than fats but carbohydrates are usually absorbed much faster in the metabolism. Excess carbohydrates are more easily converted into fat tissue than proteins and fats so this makes it a little bit dangerous.
Carbohydrates are also very important since our brain does not work without glucose which main source are the carbohydrates from our food. If carbohydrates are missing from our diet the needed glucose can be obtained from protein either from food sources or by braking down muscle tissue. During longer absense of carbohydrates the body adapts by going into ketosis which is a state where the body starts producing ketones that are used instead of glucose. Ketosis should not be confused with Ketoasidosis which is a life threatening state. Please read more on the Different diets -page.
Carbohydrates constitute a large part of foods such as bread (and other grain products), rice, noodles and fruit.
Dietary fibers are carbohydrates although they are oftentimes classified as their own group. What makes dietary fiber special is that it is incompletely absorbed in humans.