Carbohydrates

The Fuel for Our Body

Carbohydrates: What do they do?

Carbohydrates are a very key part in our dietary needs. Carbohydrates provide a big percentage of our daily energy and help break down fats we need to keep us fueled. Forget Redbull. Think carbs. Ever wonder why you eat carbs before a marathon? It keeps you fueled and energized to run your way to victory. Carbohydrates also provide a huge percentage of our daily fiber, a non-digestible substance that is needed in our bodies. On top of that, carbs can also help regulate blood sugar levels through the glucose it provides.

The Biology of the Biomolecule

The things that carbohydrates do for you are amazing but the molecules behind it are actually fairly simple. Carbohydrates consist of the elements of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. These elements are found in a ratio of two to one, in favor of hydrogen. Carbohydrates consist of many sugars as well, such as glucose. These sugars provide basic energy for the body and carbohydrates are broken down by enzymes in the blood. Because of the amounts of the basic elements in carbohydrates, it is able to be broken down completely to provide more energy for the body. Polysaccharides, which is the fancy scientific name for carbs, are made up by the combining monosaccharides, which are the little building blocks for the tower that is a carbohydrate molecule. Key compounds present in these monosaccharide groups are CH2OH (fructose), OH (hydroxyl), and COH (carboxyl). These compounds build the monosaccharide which builds the polysaccharide. Look below to see an example of these functional groups in the monosaccharide.
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Carbohydrates: Where are they?

Well, there in more things than you think... just look at this list of foods which have carbs.


Baked goods (including bread) made with white flour
Bananas
Blackberries
Black currants
Blueberries
Cakes
Candies
Candy bars
Carbonated drinks
Cherries
Chocolate
Cookies
Corn syrup
Cranberries
Fruit juices
Fruit preserve or jam
Fudge
Grapefruit
Honey
Kiwi
Lemons
Lychees
2% or Regular milk
Melons
Most packaged cereals
Oranges
Pasta made with white flour
Peaches
Plums
Raspberries
Table sugar