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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diet and Nutrition > Carbohydrates: Functions and Sources
      Category : Health Centers > Food, Nutrition, and Metabolism

Carbohydrates

Alternate Names : Starches, Sugars

Carbohydrates | Functions and Sources

What food source is the nutrient found in?

Carbohydrates are found in various foods:

  • 3 ounce sirloin steak = 0 grams (g)
  • 1 medium carrot = 7 g
  • 1 cup skim milk = 12 g
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread = 16 g
  • 1 cup oatmeal = 25 g
  • 1 ounce licorice candy = 26 g
  • 1 medium boiled potato = 27 g
  • 1 cup orange juice, from concentrate = 27 g
  • 1 large apple = 32 g
  • 1 cup raisin bran = 42 g
  • 1 cup cranberry-apple juice = 43 g
  • 1 cup brown rice = 45 g
  • Carbohydrates are found in many foods in the food guide pyramid. They provide over half the calories of a balanced diet. Carbohydrates can be found in the breads, cereals, and grains group at the base of the pyramid. They are also found in the fruit group, the vegetable group, and the milk, yogurt, and cheese groups. In fact, carbohydrates are abundant in all the groups of the food guide pyramid except the meat and meat substitutes group.

    How does the nutrient affect the body?

    The main role of carbohydrates is to provide energy to the body. Carbohydrates are broken down into a form of sugar known as glucose. Glucose is carried to every cell in the body by the blood and can be used right away for energy.

    Glucose can be combined into larger sugar units called glycogen, which is a storage form of glucose. A certain amount of glycogen is stored in the liver. It serves as an energy reserve until it's needed by the body. To a lesser degree, glycogen is stored in muscles. It is a key fuel source for the muscles, especially during exercise.


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    Carbohydrates: Overview & Description

     

    Author: Clare Armstrong, MS, RD
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 10/14/02



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