Carbohydrates exist in many different forms.
The term carbohydrate refers to any one of a huge
group of compounds that contain the elements carbon (C), oxygen (O)
and hydrogen (H) and have the general formula: Cx(H2O)y.
Examples of carbohydrates include sugars and starch.
Why are they important?
Carbohydrates are an important source of energy.
They are produced by plants, in which carbohydrates
form important structural and storage materials, e.g. cellulose and
Carbohydrates are ingested into the human body
as food (incl. sugary drinks).
Carbohydrates are one of the three main parts
of the human diet - the others being fat
How does the body process, use, and store carbohydrates?
All carbohydrates ingested as part of the diet are eventually broken-down
by the body into the simple sugar glucose - which can
participate in energy-generating metabolic processes. Excess carbohydrates,
ingested but not needed by the body immediately are stored in the liver
and muscles in the
form of glycogen.