- A carbohydrate is an organic compound which consists only of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
- Carbohydrates are the most common source of energy in living organisms.
- The carbohydrates (saccharides) are divided into 4 chemical groupings: monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides.
- Carbohydrates are divided into 2 types; simple and complex carbs.
- In food science and in many informal contexts, the term carbohydrate often means any food that is particularly rich in the complex carbohydrate starch (such as cereals, bread and pasta) or simple carbohydrates, such as sugar (found in candy, jams and desserts).
- Monosaccharides are the major source of fuel for metabolism, being used both as an energy source (glucose being the most important in nature) and in biosynthesis.
- Foods high in complex carbs include breads, pastas, beans, potatoes, bran, rice, and cereals.
- Foods high in simple carbs include fruits, sweets and soft drinks.
- Carbohydrates also provide an abundance of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
- You can still gain weight on a low carbohydrate diet because you may be still eating more calories and fat than you need.
- Low carbohydrate diets can work well for people who have a lot weight to lose.
- Based on the effects on risk of heart disease and obesity, the Institute of Medicine recommends that American and Canadian adults get between 45–65 percent of dietary energy from carbs.
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