Carbohydrates are the major sources of energy to the body.
Most of the foods or diets we consume contain carbohydrates to certain extent.
The carbohydrates existing in food vary. The examples of Carbohydrates are like glucose, sucrose, polysachharides like starch etc.
But their presence in our body depends on the food we eat.
Glucose, sucrose, fructose are easily digested by mere dissolution by water in the gut.
Where as the polysachharides like starch are not easily digested and they are amenable to digestion by cooking.
Hence cooked food is preferred since olden days for better digestion and assimilation.
On cooking the starch like molecules get hydrated and convert to easily digestible sugars like glucose, sucrose etc.
Examples of carbohydrates in our foods
- Cereals: Most cereals we eat in daily life are carbohydrates in nature. Ex: Rice, wheat, maize, bazra, Jowar- They predominantly contain carbohydrates in the form of starch. Since rice, wheat are staple foods, people daily consume carbohydrates in these forms.
- Sweets : These items contain abundant carbohydrates. They contain easily digestible sugars like Sucrose, glucose, fructose.
- Vegetables: Most of the vegetables we eat in daily life are carbohydrates in nature. Ex: Potatoes They have high amount of carbs. Other vegetables have carbohydrates to varying degrees. But carbohydrate is their prime content.
- Dairy products: Milk, curd, cheese have carbohydrates besides good amount of proteins and fats. They have sugars as lactose as large portion.
- Fruits: Fruits have sugars but are good to consume as they are rich in fiber and other nutrients. Ex: Banana, mango, oranges, grapes etc. Most of the fruits have carbohydrates in varying proportions. But predominantly they posses light carbohydrates like sucrose, fructose to larger extent.
- Soft drinks: Soft drinks like coke, Pepsi have large amount of sugars. Hence they are called energy drinks. Sugars in breaks down to glucose and fructose in the stomach. The glucose provides instant energy.
- Beverages: The alcoholic beverages like wine or whiskey we consume on daily basis also have carbohydrates. They are alcoholic drinks but in combination with cereal (grain) material like barley included. Ex: beer, wine, rum etc
- Ice creams: Ice creams are the cold and soft substance liked by everyone. These are also rich in sugars. Hence they are sweet to taste. Besides, they have high amount fat material. Carbohydrates are added are sugar.
- Chocolates & cakes: Chocolates of all sorts have high amount of sugars. Hence they are sweet in taste. Even ready made items like cakes, jams etc from bakery have carbohydrates to varying extent.
- Biscuits: Biscuits are mainly made of cereal and corn material which are rich in carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are also present in many of the foods like leafy vegetables, pulses, mushrooms etc. Their presence can be ascertained by carbohydrate tests.
Examples of carbohydrates in the body
In a the living body, carbohydrates provide energy. Hence carbohydrates are distributed in all the cells and tissues of the body. Some of the carbohydrates are readily available for energy supply, like glucose. Also some of them are present as reserve carbohydrates like glycogen for use in case of starvation.
Glucose is a monomer, while sucrose is a dimer i.e. when it is broken, it yields two monomers. Besides these we find more polymers. They are available in other forms for different functions.
These carbohydrates are pentoses, hexoses, heptose sugars. They are also available as oligosachharides, poly sachharides. They also form many cell organelles and tissues. They are also part of DNA, RNA like nucleic acids in and around the nucleus.
To stay healthy one has to have low carb diets. Low carb diets include highly protein rich foods.