Carbohydrate And Its Characteristics

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Carbohydrate and its characteristics


Carbohydrates, carbohydrates, carbohydrates or saccharid. The organism only uses carbohydrates to store energy for short periods of time, for example, in the bloodstream. 

This is because 4 calories are stored in a gram of carbohydrates while 9 calories are stored in a gram of fat (lipids).Therefore, the human body stores long -term energy in the form of fat. When an excess of carbohydrates is consumed, that is, more than those required for immediate energy, the body transforms them into fat for storage.



1. Power source

The organism uses carbohydrates to store energy per short time. The main characteristic of carbohydrates is that they fulfill an energy function in food. The organism uses glucose to obtain energy and carbohydrates can be transformed into glucose very easily when digested. The simpler the carbohydrate molecule, faster is converted by the body into energy.

two. Plant structure

Carbohydrates also fulfill structural functions in the cell and this is mainly observed in plants. Vegetables have a thicker cell wall than that of animals, which allows them to remain erect. This cell wall contains carbohydrates.

  • Soluble fiber

Fiber present in legumes, fruits and vegetables decrease cholesterol. Food fibers are mostly carbohydrates that cannot be digested by our body so their function is not energy supply. Within the food fiber, soluble fiber comes mainly from legumes, fruits and vegetables and fulfills the function of reducing the level of blood cholesterol and blood pressure. On the other hand, its presence in the blood allows to regulate sugar and insulin levels, avoiding peaks that are harmful to people suffering from diabetes.

3. Insoluble fiber

Insoluble fibers are cellulose, hemicellulose and lignans. These substances favor intestinal movement and help give volume and texture to food. Food sources of soluble fiber are whole grains and breads made with them, fresh fruits, vegetables, wheat germ and saved.

  • Monosaccharides
  • Disaccharides

Lactose is the sugar present in milk. Although disaccharides are a type of oligosaccharide, they require greater attention, since they are the most abundant oligosaccharides in nature. In addition, they are found as free structures within cells. They are formed from two equal or different monosaccharides. The most common disaccharides in food are:

  • Saccharose. Glucose and fructose union. It is common sugar.
  • Lactose. Glucose and galactose union. Is the sugar present in milk
  • Maltose. Union of two glucose.
  • Oligosaccharides

They are the carbohydrates formed by the union of two to ten monosaccharides (they include disaccharides). However, three or more molecules oligosaccharides are not free in the cell such as disaccharides, but are linked to lipid or protein molecules.

  • Polysaccharides

An example of polysaccharide is cellulose. They are structures of more than ten monosaccharides and can be linear or present ramifications. Because they are complex carbohydrates, their molecules decompose more slowly until they are converted into glucose by the body.Therefore, polysaccharides are carbohydrates that must be selected as food to have a progressive energy current throughout the day. An example of polysaccharide is cellulose.

All disaccharides are reducing, with the exception of sucrose, and glucose is the most abundant reducer in the body.

1. Food sources of carbohydrates

Cereals such as wheat, barley, rye and oatmeal are carbohydrate sources.

1. Cereals. Rice, wheat, barley, rye, oatmeal, corn and all derived foods.

two. Sugars. Sugar, honey, sugar cane, beet and to a lesser extent in milk.

3. Tubers. They contain worse also simple sugars.

4. Legumes. Chickpeas, lentils, peas, soy.

5. Fruits and vegetables. Less proportional amount than other foods.


The sugars that have the intact carbonyl group are capable of reacting as reducers with other molecules, that is, they obtain oxygen atoms from other molecules and that is why they are called reducing sugars.The importance of reduction is that these sugars can alter protein molecules.

Glucose, fructose and galactose are examples of monosaccharides. Simple monosaccharides or sugars are the simplest molecular structure carbohydrates. These carbohydrates do not hydrolyz. They are sweet taste and are soluble in water. Examples of monosaccharides are glucose, fructose and galactose.

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