Carbohydrates

by Megan Lausch

What are Carbohydrates?

-contain Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen

-family of organic compounds

-naturally occurring

-essential source of energy for all living things

-fuel with which body gains energy

Function

-primary source of energy for plants and animals

-plants use carbs to build cells

-building blocks for cell structure (cellulose, cell walls)

-energy storage (starch)

Types of Carbohydrates

Simple

Monosaccharides

-simplest

-consist of a single carbohydrate unit

-white, crystalline solids

-examples: glucose, fructose, and galactose

Disaccharides

-consist of 2 monosaccharides joined together

-also classified as sugar

-examples: sucrose, maltose, lactose

Complex

Polysaccharides

-include 10+ monosaccharides

-complex chains of long molecules

-starches

-construction of cell walls and other structural units

-carbs stored in this form

Connections to My Life

-main energy source for people

-60-65% of a healthy adults calorie intake should be from carbohydrates

-cheaper to produce than proteins and fats

-wide name recognition, but we have little understanding of their actual role in energy production

-less refined carbs (whole grains) digest more slowly and have a less dramatic effect on blood sugar level

Works Consulted

"Carbohydrates." World of Chemistry. Gale, 2000. Science in Context. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.

"Carbohydrates." World of Anatomy and Physiology. Gale, 2007. Science in Context. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.

"Carbohydrates." UXL Complete Life Science Resource. Ed. Julie Carnagie and Leonard C. Bruno. Detroit: UXL, 2009. Science in Context. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.