Carbohydrates are small molecules of sugars linked together, where each sugar unit contains carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Chemically they are classified by the number of sugar units; monosaccharides (eg glucose and fructose), dissaccharides (eg sucrose and lactose), oligosaccharides and polysaccharides (eg starch, glycogen and cellulose).

Carbohydrate and nutrition

Carbohydrates containing one, two or at most three units of sugar linked together in a single molecule are referred to as simple carbohydrates. These simple carbohydrates (or simple sugars) are easily identified by their sweet taste. Complex carbohydrates are hundreds or thousands of sugar units linked together in single molecules. The complex carbohydrates can be further sub-divided into high and low fiber complex carbohydrates. Humans cannot digest the high fiber complex carbohydrates which is mainly cellulose. Examples of these foods are lettuce and broccoli. Complex carbohydrates with lots of fiber are rich sources of necessary vitamins and minerals as well as enzymes when in the raw state. Examples of low-fiber, complex carbs are banana, tomato, squash and all cereals and grains (therefore bread and pasta), potatoes and rice. Simple sugars and low-fiber, complex carbs, after digestion, appear in the circulatory system in the simple form, as glucose, on its way to the cells where it is used for energy. Complex carbohydrates are transformed into simple sugars when digested by the enzyme amylase. Amylase is secreted by the salivary glands, which empty into the mouth, and by the pancreas, which empties into the head of the duodenum.

Simple Carbohydrate Sources

Simple carbohydrates include: white and brown sugar, fruit sugar, corn syrup, molasses, honey, white flour, white bread, candy, and alcohol. These foods are usually high in calories and offer less nutritional value than complex carbohydrates. (For more information see the foods high in carbohydrates section.)

Complex Carbohydrate Sources

Complex carbohydrates include: vegetables, whole fruits, rice, pasta, potatoes, grains (brown rice, oats, wheat, barley, corn), and legumes (chick peas, black-eyed peas, lentils, as well as lima, kidney, pinto, soy, and black beans). These foods are better for us because they provide nutritional extras; vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and fat. (For more information see the foods high in carbohydrates section.)

Search for carbohydrates content in Food

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carbohydrates content by food category:

Baby Foods    Baked Products
Beef Products    Breakfast Cereals
Cereal Grains and Pasta    Dairy and Egg Products
Drinks    Ethnic Foods
Fast Foods    Fats and Oils
Fish    Fruits
Lamb, Veal, and Game Products    Legumes and Legume Products
Meals, Entrees, and Sidedishes    Nuts
Pork    Poultry Products
Sausages and Luncheon Meats    Snacks
Soups, Sauces, and Gravies    Spices and Herbs
Sweets    Vegetables

Carbohydrate Energy

Carbohydrates are the most common source of energy in the body and contain 4 kCal per gram.

Carbohydrate Recommended Intake

The Institute of Medicine recommends adults get 40-65% dietary energy from carbohydrates. The Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization recommend between 55-75% of total energy carbohydrates.

Excess Carbohydrate

Excess carbohydrates also causes generalized vascular disease. Consuming too many carbohydrates, especially in combination with too many calories, can increase the level of blood fats known as triglycerides, which is a risk factor for artery disease.

Nutrition Facts

calories, fat, carbohydrate, high protein foods, high fiber foods, low carb foods, calcium, iron, magnesium, chromium, phosphorus, chloride, potassium, sodium, fluoride, iodine, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, vitamins and minerals, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6, biotin (vitamin B7), Folic Acid (vitamin B9), vitamin B12, vitamin B13, vitamin B15, vitamin B17, vitamin K, folic acid, tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, cysteine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, valine, arginine, histidine, alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serine, cholesterol, essential fatty acids, trans fat, saturated fat, recommended daily allowance

carbohydrates and Nutrition Facts - Top 151 Foods

a banana, an apple, an egg, an orange, wine, grapes, watermelon, chicken breast, beer, strawberries, alcohol, avocado, coffee, rice, blueberries, chicken, egg whites, red wine, pizza, broccoli, salmon, sugar, carrots, almonds, shrimp, cucumber, steak, honey, a pear, popcorn, milk, pineapple, lettuce, bacon, cantaloupe, orange, a bagel, a peach, celery, oatmeal, butter, cherries, grapefruit, pasta, brown rice, tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, baked potato, bread, white rice, peanut butter, cheese, corn, salad, a big mac, a potato, white wine, a slice of pizza, french fries, hard boiled egg, sweet potato, nuts, orange juice, green beans, tuna, skim milk, fish, butternut squash, peanuts, hamburger, green grapes, cottage cheese, yogurt, brown sugar, olives, cheesecake, pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, meatloaf, quinoa, a mango, beef, chilis, cheerios, chips, cod, coke, granola, iceberg lettuce, mango, pecans, raisins, saltine crackers, soy milk, spinach, spirulina, turkey, turkey breast, tuna salad, walnuts, whole milk, oats, cabbage, beets, beans, garbanzo beans, mayonnaise, fried chicken, tofu, kiwi, lentils, pomegranate, kale, black beans, coconut, jello, ice cream, dates, spaghetti, kidney beans, hot dog, cheddar cheese, hummus, eggplant, white bread, lemon, zucchini, tangerine, nectarines, artichokes, plums, whole wheat bread, coconut milk, ham, cranberries, apricots, honeydew, papaya, prunes, prune juice, ricotta, halibut, sea bass, scallops, deer, cauliflower, olive oil, garlic, apple juice, cranberry juice