What Are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates play an important role in the body's metabolism. Learn what role carbohydrates play in promoting health.

Carbohydrates are sugars: some are simple and some are complex. Simple carbohydrates are natural sugars that come from items such as vegetables, fruits, honey and maple. Complex carbohydrates are made up of complex chains of sugars and are known as starches and fiber. The body is able to easily digest the simple sugars but complex sugars are harder to digest. The body needs and is able to process some complex sugars such as fiber.

'Carbohydrates are needed for the body to survive:' this is a misconception about the weight gain involved in consuming carbohydrates. When carbohydrates are consumed with other fattening foods or consumed in quantities more than the body could withstand, then the body would convert extra into fat.

The daily intake of carbohydrates has no set limit, but according to the government the daily intake should be fifty percent of the daily calories consumed per day, should come from carbohydrates such as grains, vegetables, and fruits. The body turns these carbohydrates into glucose, which can be stored in the body's tissues and muscles. Regular exercise can help the body store glucose within the muscles.



Having a healthy body is essential but having stored glucose in the muscles insuring the ability of endurance. This is particularly important for athletes and people with high physical occupations.

Foods preparing meals remember some important foods for carbohydrates; breakfast could consist of a bowl of whole-grain cereal, a slice of toast, grapefruit or a six-ounce glass of orange juice, one bowl of cooked whole-grain cereal, one-fourth cup raisins. For lunch you could try two slices whole-grain bread, one large bowl of salad with lettuce, green pepper, cucumber and tomato, and one apple or a three bean salad consisting of chickpeas, red kidney beans and string beans, one-half cup rice and a banana.

Dinner could be a baked potato, one-half cup broccoli; one-half cup carrots, one peach and two oatmeal cookies. These are suggestions that will allow you to consume a healthy amount of carbohydrates and make the body healthier.

© High Speed Ventures 2011