Benefits of Carbohydrates


Related Posts:

Benefits of Carbohydrates (OpenStax Biology 2e)

Are carbohydrates good for you? Some people believe that carbohydrates are bad and they should avoid them. Some diets completely forbid carbohydrate consumption, claiming that a low-carbohydrate diet helps people to lose weight faster. However, carbohydrates have been an important part of the human diet for thousands of years. Artifacts from ancient civilizations show the presence of wheat, rice, and corn in our ancestors’ storage areas.

As part of a well balanced diet, we should supplement carbohydrates with proteins, vitamins, and fats. Calorie-wise, a gram of carbohydrate provides 4.3 Kcal. For comparison, fats provide 9 Kcal/g, a less desirable ratio. Carbohydrates contain soluble and insoluble elements. The insoluble part, fiber, is mostly cellulose. Fiber has many uses. It promotes regular bowel movement by adding bulk, and it regulates the blood glucose consumption rate. Fiber also helps to remove excess cholesterol from the body. Fiber binds to the cholesterol in the small intestine, then attaches to the cholesterol and prevents the cholesterol particles from entering the bloodstream. Cholesterol then exits the body via the feces. Fiber-rich diets also have a protective role in reducing the occurrence of colon cancer. In addition, a meal containing whole grains and vegetables gives a feeling of fullness. As an immediate source of energy, glucose breaks down during the cellular respiration process, which produces ATP, the cell’s energy currency. Without consuming carbohydrates, we reduce the availability of “instant energy”. Eliminating carbohydrates from the diet may be necessary for some people, but such a step may not be healthy for everyone.

– What is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used mainly to treat hard-to-control epilepsy in children, and the diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates?

Carbohydrate consumed in food yields 3.87 kilo-calories of energy per gram for simple sugars and 3.57 to 4.12 kilo-calories per gram for complex carbohydrate in most other foods. Relatively high levels of carbohydrate are associated with processed foods or refined foods made from plants, including sweets, cookies and candy, table sugar, honey, soft drinks, breads and crackers, jams and fruit products, pastas and breakfast cereals. Lower amounts of carbohydrate are usually associated with unrefined foods, including beans, tubers, rice, and unrefined fruit. Animal-based foods generally have the lowest carbohydrate levels, although milk does contain a high proportion of lactose.


Clark, M., Douglas, M., Choi, J. Biology 2e. Houston, Texas: OpenStax. Access for free at:


Related Research

Research Article: The Carbohydrate Sensitive Rat as a Model of Obesity

Date Published: July 30, 2013 Publisher: Public Library of Science Author(s): Nachiket A. Nadkarni, Catherine Chaumontet, Dalila Azzout-Marniche, Julien Piedcoq, Gilles Fromentin, Daniel Tomé, Patrick C. Even, Brenda Smith. Abstract: Sensitivity to obesity is highly variable in humans, and rats fed a high fat diet (HFD) are used as a model of this inhomogeneity. … Continue reading

Research Article: Using Carbohydrate Interaction Assays to Reveal Novel Binding Sites in Carbohydrate Active Enzymes

Date Published: August 9, 2016 Publisher: Public Library of Science Author(s): Darrell Cockburn, Casper Wilkens, Adiphol Dilokpimol, Hiroyuki Nakai, Anna Lewińska, Maher Abou Hachem, Birte Svensson, Jean-Guy Berrin. Abstract: Carbohydrate active enzymes often contain auxiliary binding sites located either on independent domains termed carbohydrate binding modules (CBMs) or as so-called surface binding sites (SBSs) … Continue reading

Research Article: Comparative Analysis of Carbohydrate Active Enzymes in Clostridium termitidis CT1112 Reveals Complex Carbohydrate Degradation Ability

Date Published: August 7, 2014 Publisher: Public Library of Science Author(s): Riffat I. Munir, John Schellenberg, Bernard Henrissat, Tobin J. Verbeke, Richard Sparling, David B. Levin, Jeffrey L. Blanchard. Abstract: Clostridium termitidis strain CT1112 is an anaerobic, gram positive, mesophilic, cellulolytic bacillus isolated from the gut of the wood-feeding termite, Nasutitermes lujae. It produces … Continue reading

Research Article: Family 1 carbohydrate binding-modules enhance saccharification rates

Date Published: April 25, 2014 Publisher: Springer Author(s): Bruno Luan Mello, Igor Polikarpov. Abstract: Cellulose degrading enzymes usually have a two-domain structure consisting of a catalytic domain and a non-catalytic carbohydrate-binding module. Although it is well known the importance of those modules in cell wall degrading process, their function is not yet fully understood. … Continue reading

Research Article: Predictive models of glucose control: roles for glucose-sensing neurones

Date Published: January 8, 2018 Publisher: Author(s): C. Kosse, A. Gonzalez, D. Burdakov. Abstract: The brain can be viewed as a sophisticated control module for stabilizing blood glucose. A review of classical behavioural evidence indicates that central circuits add predictive (feedforward/anticipatory) control to the reactive (feedback/compensatory) control by peripheral organs. The brain/cephalic control is … Continue reading

Research Article: Adipokine Pattern in Subjects with Impaired Fasting Glucose and Impaired Glucose Tolerance in Comparison to Normal Glucose Tolerance and Diabetes

Date Published: November 9, 2010 Publisher: Public Library of Science Author(s): Anke Tönjes, Mathias Fasshauer, Jürgen Kratzsch, Michael Stumvoll, Matthias Blüher, Kathrin Maedler. Abstract: Altered adipokine serum concentrations early reflect impaired adipose tissue function in obese patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). It is not entirely clear whether these adipokine alterations are already present in … Continue reading