What are carbohydrates for?
We all know that carbohydrates occupy an important place among organic compounds in the human body. Back in school, we were taught that, along with proteins and fats, they are considered to be fundamental components in human nutrition. In our article we will consider what types of carbohydrates exist in nature, as well as what functions carbohydrates perform.
In nature, there are several types of carbohydrates, some of which can be consumed with sufficient physical activity, while others are best excluded from food. What types of carbohydrates are usually isolated in medicine? So, the classification of carbohydrates is as follows:
- Fast-absorbing carbohydrates (glucose, fructose, lactose, sucrose, maltose). Mastering time - 5-10 minutes. Contained in grapes, flour, sugar, honey, beer, watermelons, in dairy and sweet products. Excessive consumption of them leads to obesity, increased cholesterol, flatulence.
- Slow-absorbing carbohydrates (starch, glycogen). The assimilation time is 20-30 minutes. Located in cereals, vegetables, legumes, potatoes.
- Indigestible carbohydrates (fiber, pectins, guar, resin, cellulose). These carbohydrates are called dietary fibers, are poorly digested by the gastrointestinal tract and are found in bran, grains, vegetables, fruits, berries, seaweed, and legumes. Their absence in food leads to hemorrhoids, cancer, atherosclerosis, gallstone disease, and in some cases even hepatic encephalopathy and hepatic coma.
The value of carbohydrates for the body is very high, as with their lack of metabolic disorders. When eating carbohydrates in food, it is important to correctly select the ratio of different types of carbohydrates. Doctors and nutritionists around the world are advised to meet the need for carbohydrates due to the slow-absorbing type, as it contributes to a slow increase in blood sugar and better digestibility by the body.
The role of carbohydrates in the body
Based on the above classification, we can say with certainty why carbohydrates are needed in the biological world. So, among the functions of carbohydrates are the following:
- structural function (using carbohydrates ensures the construction of the walls of biological organisms);
- protective function (spines and thorns in plants are formed by dead cells, most of which are carbohydrates);
- plastic function (carbohydrates are part of enzymes, nucleic acids, cell membranes of the immune system);
- energy function (this can be called the main, for which carbohydrates are needed by the human body);
- storage function (play the role of spare nutrients that are represented in the human body fat);
- osmotic function (osmotic pressure in the blood depends on carbohydrates);
- receptor function (carbohydrates go into many receptors)
- antitoxic function (capable of removing toxins and other harmful substances from the body);
- tonic function (contribute to the excitation of the central nervous system).
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