Blog by: Akshay Kulkarni

Energy that is needed to move, perform work and live is chiefly consumed in the form of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates primary starches a least expensive easily obtained and readily digested form of fuel.

Carbohydrates are classified depending on number of Sugar units as simple and complex carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates

  • Monosaccharides
  • Disaccharides

Complex carbohydrates

  • Polysaccharides

Functions of carbohydrates


Glucose- they are important for maintaining the functional integrity of the nervous tissue and proper functioning of brain

Protein sparing action- if sufficient amount of carbohydrate are not available in the diet the body will convert protein to glucose in order to supply energy

Fat metabolism- they are essential to maintain normal fat metabolism. insufficient carbohydrates may lead to the accumulation of acidic intermediate products called Ketone bodies

Synthesis of body substances -They are used in synthesise of non essential amino acids, glycoproteins and glycolipids. Lactose remains in the intestine longer than other disaccharides and thus increase growth of beneficial bacteria.

Types of dietary carbohydrates

Based on size and chemical composition

Simple carbohydrates

We have only one or two units of sugar that is monosaccharide and disaccharides

Types of monosaccharide

  • Glucose
  • Fructose
  • Galactose

Type of disaccharides

  • Sucrose
  • Lactose
  • Maltose

Complex carbohydrates

They are polysaccharides they are more than two units of sugar also called oligosaccharides

  • Starch- this are easy to digest carbohydrates store in plant found in the inner part of the plant foods mainly serials and vegetables
  • Fibre- this is the non digestible protective covering in plants found in the outer part of the food mainly fruits cereals and vegetables
  • muscle glycogen- carbs found in muscle and liver of living human and animals.

Based on the speed of digestion

Fast absorbed

  • Glucose
  • sucrose

Slow absorbed

  • Fructose
  • lactose

Hence all fiber rich carbs are categorized as low absorbed carbohydrates and low fiber carbs are categorized as fast absorbed carbohydrates.