A Storage Polysaccharide Commonly Found In The Cells Of Animals The Components of the Food We Eat: Carbohydrates

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The Components of the Food We Eat: Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are organic compounds divided into four chemical groups: monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides and disaccharides are usually called sugars, while oligosaccharides and polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates and are often called starchy or starchy foods. Carbohydrates perform multiple functions in the human body and are an ideal source of energy as they can be easily converted into glucose compared to fats and proteins. There are two types of carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates such as sugars (found in sweets, honey, jams and sweets) and complex carbohydrates such as cereals, bread, rice and pasta, etc.

SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES

SUGARS: There are two types of sugar, (a) simple sugars, including glucose, fructose and galactose; and (b) complex sugars, which are composed of at least two simple sugars, e.g. sucrose, maltose and lactose.

SIMPLE SUGARS

Glucose: Glucose, also known as dextrose, occurs naturally in fruits, fruit juices, and in the blood of living animals. Most carbohydrates in food are ultimately converted to glucose in the body.

Glucose syrups: Glucose syrups, also known as liquid glucose, are less sweet than glucose. They are used in many manufactured foods, including sugar, sweets, soft drinks and jams. Dried glucose is also produced for domestic and industrial use.

Fructose: Fructose is found naturally in some fruits and especially in honey. It is the sweetest sugar known. It is also a component of sucrose, from which it can be derived.

Galactose: Galactose is mainly found as part of lactose (milk sugar), but can be found in the free form in some foods.

COMPLEX SUGARS

Sucrose: Sucrose, known as table sugar, is found naturally in sugar cane and sugar beets and in smaller amounts in fruits and some root vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes. Chemically, it is a combination of two simple sugars (glucose and fructose).

Maltose: Maltose is formed during the breakdown of starch by digestive enzymes and when grains are germinated for the production of malt beverages such as beer. It is a combination of two glucose units.

Lactose: Lactose is known as milk sugar and is therefore found (only) in milk, including human milk. It is less sweet than sucrose or glucose and is a combination of glucose and galactose.

Although all sugars dissolve in water, they differ in sweetness. All provide available energy sources. Glucose, galactose and fructose provide 3.75 kcal/g and sucrose, maltose and lactose provide 4 kcal/g. Sugars are used for several purposes in food preparation, e.g. as a preservative in jam, marmalade, etc. and also provide certain characteristics such as quality and consistency in cookies, cakes, soft drinks, etc. Although sugars and starches provide similar amounts of calories, they have different physiological effects on the human body. It should be emphasized that excessive consumption of these foods should be avoided due to serious health consequences. For example, eating large amounts of sugary foods at frequent intervals, especially between meals, is associated with an increased risk of tooth decay. In addition, sugars are energy nutrients and should be consumed in moderation to avoid weight gain, especially if a reduction in energy intake is needed for weight loss or weight maintenance.

Emphasis should also be placed on reducing visible and hidden sources of sugar, including cakes, cookies, ice cream, chocolate, sweets and fizzy drinks – not just sucrose/table sugar and fruit juices.

When a reduction in fat content in the diet is desired, the best way to replace some of the lost energy is by increasing the consumption of foods rich in fiber and starch, such as whole-grain breakfast cereals, whole-wheat pasta, whole, wild rice. and grains, including oats and millet.

The UK government has now set targets for the amount of sugar, starch and fiber the average population should eat. Sugars from fruit juices, sucrose and added sugars in foods should contribute on average no more than 10% of dietary energy for the population. 40% of energy from food should come from starches and other sugars, such as those found in milk and whole fruits and vegetables.

NO SUGAR sweetener

In addition to natural sugars, other substances also taste sweet. Sugar-free sweeteners include sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol. They are also known as sugar alcohols and are sometimes used in diabetic products because they are absorbed slowly compared to sugar. However, diabetic products are no longer recommended for diabetes. The energy value of sugar-free sweeteners is similar to that of glucose, but for labeling purposes they are considered to provide 2.4 kcal/g. In contrast, saccharin, aspartame and acesulfame-K are classified as food additives as they have no chemical or nutritional relation to sugars. They are about 200-500 times sweeter than sucrose and are therefore used in very low concentrations, so that even aspartame, which is the only one metabolized by the body, provides essentially no energy.

Certain sugar-free sweeteners are often used as sweetening agents when calorie restriction, especially from sugar, is indicated. Some sweetening agents, which are available in granular form, are mixtures of an intense sweetener and a carbohydrate diluent and as such are energy sources.

STARCH CARBOHYDRATES

Examples of starchy carbohydrates include cereals, bread and bakery products, potatoes, chapattis, pasta, rice, couscous, noodles and breakfast cereals. Legumes and legumes also contain starchy carbohydrates. These foods increase the concentration of glucose in the blood even though they are not sweet in taste. The body digests them and breaks them down into glucose (sugar).

Examples include potato, sweet potato, pasta, rice, cracked wheat, couscous, polenta, whole grains, cereals, breakfast cereals, and oats.

One gram of starch provides approximately 4.2 kcal of energy (similar to that provided by sugar), but for food labeling purposes a calorific value of 4 kcal is usually used.

It is worth noting that some forms of processing, for example, the dry heat used in the production of some breakfast cereals, can render some of the starch insoluble. This fraction, known as resistant starch, is considered fiber, along with NSP.

According to recent guidelines for healthy eating, food with complex carbohydrates or starches should form the basis of energy in the diet and should provide the majority of dietary energy for humans. Thus, it is recommended that carbohydrates contribute at least 50% of total energy intake. This means that in a 2000 kcal diet, 1000 kcal should be contributed by carbohydrates, which is equal to 240 g spread evenly throughout the day, rather than consumed in one or two meals.

However, until recently, sucrose and glucose syrups contributed 29% of total carbohydrate intake, 7% coming from lactose and the remainder from starch. This is in contrast to what was the norm a century ago, when consumption of flour and potatoes was much higher than that of sugars.

NON-STARCH POLYSACCHARIDES (FIBER)

In addition to starch, there are other carbohydrates found in the cell walls of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and cereal grains, where they provide the plant with structural support. This range of different compounds is classified as fiber or dietary fiber.

The fiber found in wheat, corn and rice is mainly insoluble cellulose and related materials. But those found in fruits, vegetables, oats, barley, rye, beans and legumes are soluble and include pectin and gum. Fractions of insoluble fibers are not absorbed in the body, but they increase the mass of feces and thus help prevent constipation. This property is beneficial for health and plays a very important role in preventing many serious diseases, such as diverticulitis and colon cancer.

Soluble fiber in fruits such as apples and oranges, vegetables and legumes (beans and lentils) can be absorbed and can help lower blood cholesterol levels and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Most importantly, soluble fiber plays a key role in regulating blood sugar levels in those with diabetes.

Pectin is present in apples and many other fruits, as well as in root vegetables such as turnips and sweet potatoes. Pectin is not fibrous and because it is completely digested, it has little effect on regulating bowel movements. However, pectin and other soluble fiber components may help lower blood cholesterol levels and blood glucose concentrations.

Since the effects of both soluble and insoluble fiber are beneficial, it is recommended to include a variety of high-fiber foods (DFPs) in the diet. Daily fiber intake in the UK averages around 12g/day, mainly contributed by vegetables and cereals. An increase in average fiber intake to 18 g/day is currently recommended. In Therapia the supply of all types of fiber is maximized by encouraging the consumption of a variety of naturally grown fruits and vegetables, in addition to a large range of pulses and legumes, as well as breakfast cereals.

However, there has been an increase in recent years (especially in the 1990s) in the consumption of whole-grain breads and bran-based breakfast cereals, including soft-grain varieties. It is necessary to keep in mind that some fiber components, namely phytate, can bind some mineral metals such as calcium, copper, zinc and iron, making them unavailable for absorption. However, only those with low or marginal mineral intakes are likely to be adversely affected by high-fiber diets.

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