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Carbohydrates (function, recommended intake, sources of)

primary function of carbohydrates:

  • energy

recommended intake

  • 4 kcal/g
  • AMDR: 45-65%


  • whole and refined grains
  • fruit
  • milk
  • legumes
  • vegetables
  • nuts,seeds

carbs are in plant based foods


Whole grains VS refined grains


  • bran - protective outershell. high in fiber and vitamins
  • endosperm- contains starch, protein and. vit and min. largest part
  • germ- seed. source of oil and is rich in vit E



  • milling removes the bran and germ.
  • nutrients lost during this process
  • endosperm is left behind 



replacing some of the nutrients removed during refining the grain

folic acid, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin iron


not replaced? fiber, magnesium, phytochemicals, vitamin E, healthy fats



shit added to something when it was not originally in


Types of carbohydrates

carbs are made of "sugar units" containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen

  • monosaccaharides are the elemental unit of carbs
  • disaccharides= 2 monosaccharides

are both known as "simple carbohydrates" / "simple sugar"





  • glucose
  • galactose
  • fructose

glucose is in blood. glactose is in milk. fructose is in fruits and veggies

glucose-glucose single bond= MALTOSE

glucose-fructose single bond= TABLE SUGAR

galactose- glucose single bond= LACTOSE


simple carbohydrates



Complex Carbohydrates: Polysaccharides

(storage in animals/plants)

carbohydrate storage in animals:

  • glycogen
  • liver & muscles

Carbohydrate storage in plants:

  • starch


complex carb not capable of being broken down by human digestive enzymes:

fiber (soluble/insoluble)


Resistant starches

not digested in small intestine due to natural protective coating or alterations to sturcure with cooking

  • ripe bananas
  • legumes
  • cold cooked potatoes
  • rice 
  • pasta


Carbohydrate digestion

  1. In mouth- salivary amylase
  2. stomach- salivary amylase inactivated by HCl
  3. small intestine- breakdown of disaccharides. pancreatic amylse break into monosaccharides, disaccharides and short chains of sugars called oligosaccharides
  4. brush border= microvilli. last site of digestion for carbs. break them into monosaccharides
  5. large intestine- fiber and other indigestible carbs are partially broken down by bacteria to form short fatty acids and gas


Absoption of carbohydrates

where it takes place and how. (type of diffusion)

carbs are broken down to glucose, fructose, galatose prior to absorption at bursh border

absorption of monosaccahrides takes place

  • glucose and galactose
    • active transport
  • Fructose
    • facilitated diffusion

ALL are absorbed into CIRCULATORY SYSTEM/B




Carbohydrate absorption

*indigestible carbs and their fate*

Their fate:

enter the large intestine

pull in water

soften stools

enhance peristalsis

some are broken down by bacteria--> short chain fatty acids then absorbed


rest is excreted as FECES