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What are Carbohydrates

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The primary role of dietary carbohydrates is to supply the body's cells with energy. In addition, some carbs have significant health benefits. Dietary carbs provide glucose that can be used by the cells for energy, stored by the liver and muscles, as glycogen, or converted into fat if intake exceeds the body's requirement. All of the body's cells depend upon glucose, especially the brain and central nervous system. However, some dietary carbohydrates do not provide glucose, but are essential for the maintenance of a healthy body. There are two types of dietary carbs: simple and complex. The simple carbohydrates are the sugars. There are two types of sugars, monosaccharides (single sugars) and disaccharides (sugars composed of pairs of monosaccharides). The three monosaccharides are glucose, fructose, and galactose. The three disaccharides are maltose, sucrose, and lactose.

The complex carbs contain many glucose molecules called polysaccharides. The three polysaccharides that are important to thebody's nutrition are: glycogen, starch, and fiber. Glycogen is not a significant food source of carbohydrate, but the body stores much of its glucose as glycogen.

Glucose plays a central role in your metabolism. If one consumes more glucose than is needed by the body, it is converted into fat by the liver. The fat moves from the liver via the blood and is stored in the body's fat depots. By limiting your daily carb intake, you lower your energy intake. Thus, you decrease the amount of body fat.

Fibers promote weight loss by delivering less energy, providing satiety (state of fullness), and delay hunger. Diets high in fiber helps to prevent and control type II diabetes, prevents colon cancer, lowers blood cholesterol, and prevents coronary heart disease. A diet high in fiber can help you control your weight and prevent you from developing serious diseases.

You can lose weight and protect your health by choosing a healthy low carbohydrate diet. A healthy diet low in carbs will supply your body with all of the essential minerals and vitamins required by your body on a daily basis. A healthy low carb diet will also provide your body with adequate amounts of fiber and just the right amount of calories to meet your daily energy needs.

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