Friday, 26 October 2018

Carbohydrate: Functions, Sources, Deficiency and Effects

Carbohydrate is an important nutrient which provides energy to our body. It is an organic compound made up by carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Sugar is the basic unit of carbohydrates. Its chemical formulae is C6H12O6. Carbohydrate are manufactured in plants. So in this we are going to talk about Carbohydrate: Functions, Sources, Deficiency and Effects.

Carbohydrate: Functions, Sources, Deficiency and Effects

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Function of carbohydrates

1. To give energy

The major function of carbohydrate is to provide energy for bod activities. One gram of carbohydrate gives four calories of energy. Surplus carbohydrate in the body is stored as glycogen. It is again converted into glucose to provide energy when required.

2. Protein sparing action

The sufficient amount of carbohydrate provides enough energy to the body and thus saves proteins from providing energy. Therefore, proteins are spared for their main function of body-building.

3. Helps in easy elimination

Cellulose and hemicellulose stimulates peristaltic movements in the intestines and provide bulk to the waste products which help in excretion. It helps in prevention of constipation.

4. Helps in utilisation of fats

Fats give energy in case of deficiency of carbohydrates. Excessive utilisation of fats in the body increases acidity in blood and the body becomes diseased. Hence carbohydrates are essential for utilisation of fats in proper amounts in the body.

5. To bring variety and taste

Being sweet in nature carbohydrates add taste to food. Tasteless carbohydrate add variety to meals.

6. Satiety value

The major portion of food is made up of carbohydrates In addition, the presence of Cellulose also gives satiety and satisfaction.

7. Carbohydrates help in the absorption and utilisation of calcium.

8. Carbohydrates help in the formation of certain vitamins of B-Complex group and vitamin K.


Vegetables are the major and important sources of carbohydrates. Cereals, pulses, root and tubers are the main sources of carbohydrates. Sugar, jaggery and honey are pure carbohydrates. All types of cereals (wheat, rice, bajra dry beans (peas, sem, soyabean, rajmah), roots and tubers (potato, sweet potato, colocasin, etc.), dry nuts (almonds, cashewnuts, date palms), fruits (banana, apple, sapota, grapes apricot) ete, are the major sources of carbohydrate.

Deficiency of carbohydrates

Normally our diet is not deficient in carbohydrates because most of the foods have some amount of carbohydrates in them. Still the deficiency of carbohydrates (as in under nutrition) causes:

1. Loss of body weight.
2. Body growth is retarded because protein is providing energy for body activities and is not available for body-building.
3. Excessive utilisation of fats for energy causes Ketosis.
4. Causes body weakness, fatigue and laziness.
5. Skin becomes dry and loose.
6. Digestive disturbances like constipation arises.

Effects of excess of carbohydrates

1. Excess of carbohydrates in food is stored in the body in the form of fat and causes obesity.
2. Sweets like chocolates, toffees, etc. have adverse effect on the teeth.
3. Excessive intake of carbohydrates may lead to diabetes and heart problems.

Recommended dietary allowances

Major part of the calories daily required is provided by the carbohydrates . As much as 60 % to 70 % of the total daily calorie needs in a balanced diet should be furnished by the carbohydrates.

So these are the Carbohydrate: Functions, Sources, Deficiency and Effects.

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