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Carbohydrate

Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates, one of the three classes of nutrients, are a group of chemical substances including sugars, glycogen, starches, dextrins, and cellulose. They contain only carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Usually the ratio of hydrogen to oxygen is 2:1. Carbohydrates can be classified as either a simple carbohydrate or a complex carbohydrate.

Digested carbohydrate enters the circulatory system in the form of monosaccharides, primarily glucose. Lesser amounts of fructose and galactose are also absorbed, but these are eventually converted to glucose in the liver. Before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream, polysaccharides and disaccharides must be broken down into monosaccharides by specific enzymes during the digestive process.


References
Kreutner, Patricia A. 1980. Nutrition In Perspective. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs. 665.

Williams, Sue Rodwell. Nutrition And Diet Therapy. 5th edition. St Louis: Times Mirror Mosby, 1985.

 


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