Carbohydrates are the main macronutrients of our diet. They must represent between 40 and 55% of our daily food intake.
It is recommended that at least 60% of the consumed carbohydrates are of natural origin and maximum 40% are of industrial origin (processed food).
Types of carbohydrates
The different carbohydrates are:
– Monosaccharides (e.g glucose, fructose, galactose): also called simple sugars
– Disaccharides (e.g sucrose, lactose): also called simple sugars
– Polysaccharides (e.g starch, glycogen, cellulose): also called complex sugars
All carbohydrates are converted into monosaccharides by the digestive system in order to be absorbed by our body. Through our diet, we mainly ingest two forms of carbohydrates: saccharose (or sucrose) and starch.
Carbohydrates are essential macronutrients, however, no simple or complex sugar is seen as “essential” to our body (unlike some compounds included in lipids and proteins).
What about fibers?
Fibers are a complex carbohydrate that can not be assimilated by the human body.
There are soluble fibers that facilitate the removal of certain waste found in the intestine. These are found in citrus fruits, legumes or oat bran.
From their side, insoluble fibers, have a very high swelling power which gives them a very satisfying property. In addition, they accelerate intestinal transit.
They are found in many fruits and vegetables, as well as in cereals.
What are the carbohydrates functions?
Carbohydrates provide energy to our body.
80 to 90% of the energy provided by carbohydrates is absorbed as glucose. Glucose is a source of energy for all cells in our body, but it is primarily the only source of energy for nerve cells and those of the eye’s crystalline lens (eye).
Therefore, carbohydrates are very important to have energy all day long. So do not hesitate and have them within each meal.