How do carbohydrates function?
Very Interesting! But before we talk about carbohydrates function let us first talk a little about carbohydrates themselves. Carbohydrates form a major part of our food source, they help in generating energy and building body strength. Other than proteins and fats, carbohydrates are the other macronutrients necessary for the body. Carbohydrates can be consumed in different forms like fibers, sugar, etc. Carbohydrates are something we consume every day but they are not the only thing that provides energy to the body, but it’s believed they are the most efficient. Production of glucose and sucrose is one of the main processes of carbohydrate function These sugars are in turn absorbed by the body to produce energy with very little effort. Research into carbohydrates function has found that there are two different kinds of carbohydrates - simple and complex carbohydrates. Foods which can be digested by the body quickly are called simple carbohydrates while complex carbohydrates are those which take longer to digest.
Simple carbohydrates are also called bad carbohydrates as the amount of essential vitamins and nutrients provided by some of these carbohydrates is comparatively less when compared to complex carbohydrates. On the other hand, the body takes a longer time to convert complex carbohydrates into glucose, and the amount of additives and processed sugar are low.
What is the Function of Carbohydrates?
With the kind of workload we go through every day, it becomes necessary to provide our body with enough energy so that the vital organs keep functioning in the proper order. Tiredness, fatigue and poor mental conditions are some of the common conditions associated with the lack of carbohydrates in the body. As such, carbohydrates become necessary as they are a source of energy. If there is excess intake of foods rich in carbohydrates, they would be stored in the body till required. Moreover, carbohydrates are necessary for proper functioning of the digestive and immune system, nervous system, heart and the brain. Fibers,which are another form of carbohydrates, are required for eliminating toxins and wastes, and helps to keep the intestine free of diseases.
How do Carbohydrates Function in the Body?
A variety of enzymes in the body break down and digest carbohydrates thereby forming glucose which is then absorbed by the body. In case of glucose being produced and not required at that point of time, it’s stored in the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. Glycogen is converted into glucose as and when the body needs extra energy.
Simple carbohydrates may occur naturally like in fruits or may be broken down and manufactured to form products high in sugar and fat. Simple carbohydrates usually contain one or at the most two sugar molecules, and due to this reason they can be broken down easily into glucose. However, as these carbohydrates can be broken down easily and absorbed by the body, they increase the blood sugar levels rapidly, thereby boosting energy, which is then followed by a quick drop in sugar levels, and as a result energy levels. This can ultimately lead you to feel more tired.
Usually, simple carbohydrates are found in sugar which we use to sweeten cakes and is also used in soft drinks and sweets. As this form of carbohydrate is unnatural, the chances of gaining weight is high. Moreover, there are chances of you getting tooth decay, hunger, diabetes and mood swings.
Also called starchy carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates are most common in vegetables and fruits, legumes, pasta, bread, brown rice, potatoes, cereals and grains. In complex carbohydrates, the sugar molecules are combined together in chains and due to its complex structure they are not digested or broken down quickly. These carbohydrates are better for the body as energy is released slowly and steadily, thereby releasing the same amount of energy throughout the day. The amount of fat contained in these carbohydrates are lower, besides the amount of fibers and vitamins are high.
Thus, there are several carbohydrates function, the most important being providing energy to the body. Hope this article has given you an idea of the importance to the body of the carbohydrates function