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Carbohydrates:

Known also as saccharides, carbohydrates are macronutrients. Approximately 2% of Carbohydrates 1  Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition.www.caasn.comthe body weight is carbohydrates. They should constitute about 50% - 55% of total daily calories intake.

Carbohydrates are classified into three groups: monosaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides.

Monosaccharides contain only one subunit of sugar and they represent the basic units of all carbohydrates.

Oligosaccharides contain 2 – 10 monosaccharides, and their major group is disaccharides or double sugars. Monosaccharides and disaccharides are collectively called simple carbohydrates. Polysaccharides are composed of more than 10 monosaccharides.

Types of Carbohydrates:

Monosaccharides

Disaccharides

Polysaccharides

Glucose

Fructose

Galactose

Sucrose

Lactose

Maltose

Plants:

-       Starch

-       Fiber

Animals:

-       Glycogen

 

Glucose:

 

Known also as dextrose, blood sugar, or grape sugar, glucose is the usual mechanism for transport of carbohydrates in the body. It can be naturally found in foods, especially grapes. Glucose can come from breakdown of disaccharides or starch. A small amount is made from amino acids, lactate, pyruvate and glycerol in the liver through a process called gluconeogenesis.

What happens to glucose after absorption?Carbohydrates 2  Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition.www.caasn.com

  1. Is carried in the blood as blood sugar to be used as an energy source for the cells. All cells and tissues in the body need insulin to consume glucose, except nervous tissue, red blood cells, kidney tubules, intestinal cells, and beta cells of the pancreas.
  2. Forms glycogen through a process called glycogenesis, and then is stored in the liver and muscles.
  3. Converts to fat to be stored for later use as energy.

Fructose:

 

Known also as fruit sugar, and levulose, fructose is found in fruits and honey. It is the sweetest sugar, and after absorbing into the blood stream, it converts into glucose in the liver.

Galactose:

Galactose cannot be found in nature. It comes from the breakdown of lactose (milk sugar) and is converted into glucose in the liver.

Sucrose:

Sucrose is a disaccharide made of one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose. It is the most common disaccharide in diet and can be found in sugar cane, beets, maple syrup, molasses, honey, and pineapple.

It also called white sugar, brown sugar, table sugar, beet sugar, and cane sugar.

Maltose:

Maltose is a disaccharide composed of two units of glucose. It is found in beer, breakfast cereals, malted snacks, and germinating seeds such as barley.

Lactose:

It is a disaccharide made of one unit glucose and one unit galactose. Lactose is found only in milk (milk sugar). Among disaccharides, it is the least sweet one and is never found in plants. Lactose is broken down by the enzyme lactase into glucose and galactose.

Starch:Carbohydrates 3  Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition.www.caasn.com

Starch is a polysaccharide and is the stored form of carbohydrates in plants. It is found in rice, bread, grains, corn, potatoes, arrowroot, buckwheat, millet, oats, rye, yams, noodle, pasta, cassava, quinoa, and legumes. The starch in plants is also called complex carbohydrates. There are two forms of starch: amylopectin, and amylose.

Amylopectin:

  1. Is made of short and branched chains of glucose molecules.
  2. Is the most common starch in foods.
  3. Foods high in amylopectin digest and absorb rapidly.

Amylose:

  1. Is made of long and linear chains of glucose molecules.
  2. Is the least common starch.
  3. Foods high in amylose digest slowly.

For the amounts of carbohydrates in grains, refer to the following table.

 Carbohydrates 5  Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition.www.caasn.com

Grains:

Grains

Serving Size

Carbohydrate (grams)

Fiber (grams)

Amaranth

1 cup, uncooked

128

13

Barley

1 cup, cooked

44

6

Buckwheat

1 cup, uncooked

122

18

Bulgur

1 cup, cooked

35

8

Corn (maize)

1 ear, medium

17

2.5

Fonio

1 cup, cooked

41

2.3

Kamut

1 cup, cooked

52

7

Millet

1 cup, cooked

42

2

Oats

1 cup

104

16

Quinoa

1 cup, cooked

40

5

Rice, brown

1 cup, cooked

45

5

Rice, white

1 cup, cooked

45

1

Rice, wild

1 cup, cooked

35

3

Rye

1 cup

120

25

Semolina

1 cup

122

8

Sorghum

1 cup

144

12

Spelt

1 cup, cooked

50

8

Teff

1 cup, cooked

50

5

Triticale

1 cup, uncooked

140

22

Wheat

1 cup, uncooked

140

24

Grains – Related Foods:

Bagel, regular

1

30

2

Bagel, whole wheat

1

30

4

Bread, oatmeal

1 slice

13

1

Bread, pita, white

1 slice

13

0.5

Bread, raisin

1 slice

16

1

Bread, rye

1 slice

15

3

Bread, wheat

1 slice

13

1

Bread, whole wheat

1 slice

13

3

Noodles

1 cup, cooked

37

2

Pasta

1 cup, cooked

37

2

Pasta, whole wheat

1 cup, cooked

38

4

Roll, French

1

19

1

Roll, hamburger bun

1

21

1

Roll, hotdog bun

1

21

1

Roll, pumpernickel

1

19

2

Tortilla

1

15

1

Waffle

1, 7” diameter

27

2

 

 

 

Carbohydrates 6  Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition.www.caasn.com

Complex Carbohydrates:

Without Gluten

With Gluten

Amaranth

Arrowroot

Buckwheat

Corn

Millet

Potatoes

Quinoa

Rice

Teff

Yams

Barley

Bulgur

Couscous

Kamut

Muesli

Oats

Rye

Semolina

Spelt

Triticale

Wheat

 

Glycogen:

 

Glycogen is the stored form of carbohydrates in humans and animals. It is a polysaccharide made of subunits of glucose through a process called “glycogenesis” in the liver. Glycogen is stored in the liver and muscles. An average person has about 350 grams of glycogen in the muscles and about 50 grams in the liver.

The body has an upper limit for storing glycogen. It is 15 grams per kilogram of body weight, of which about 80% is stored in the muscles and 20% in the liver.

Contents of Carbohydrates in Fruits and Vegetables:

For the amounts of carbohydrates in fruits and vegetables, you may click on the following links:

Contents of Carbohydrates in Fruits :

Contents of Carbohydrates in Vegetables :

Fiber and Glycemic Index (GI):

For detailed information about fiber and glycemic Index, you may click on the following links:

Fiber :

Glycemic Index (GI) :