Carbohydrate Facts



  • Carbohydrates in food are your body’s main source of energy. They are plentiful in sweet things and in starchy food such as bread, cakes and potatoes (see diet).
  • Carbohydrates are burned by the body in order to keep it warm and to provide energy for growth and muscle movement, as well as to maintain basic body processes.
  • Carbohydrates are among the most common of organic (life) substance — plants, for instance, make carbohydrates by taking energy from sunlight.
  • Carbohydrates include chemical substances called sugars. Sucrose (the sugar in sugar lumps and caster sugar) is just one of these sugars.
  • Simple carbohydrates such as glucose, fructose (the sweetness in fruit) and sucrose are sweet and soluble (they will dissolve in water).
  • Complex carbohydrates (or polysaccharides) such as starch are made when molecules of simple carbohydrates join together.
  • Carbohydrates give us the instant energy we need to help us lead a fill and active life.
  • A third type of carbohydrate is cellulose.
  • The carbohydrates you eat are turned into glucose for your body to use at once, or stored in the liver as the complex sugar glycogen (body starch).
  • The average adult needs 2000 to 4000 Calories a day.
  • A calorie is the heat needed to warm 1 liter of water by 1°C.