We all know that carbohydrates occupy an importantplace among organic compounds in the human body. Even at school, we were taught that along with proteins and fats, they are considered to be the fundamental components in human nutrition. In this article, we will consider what types of carbohydrates exist in nature, and what functions carbohydrates perform.
Classification of carbohydrates
In nature, there are several types of carbohydrates,some of which can be consumed with sufficient physical activity, while others are better excluded from food. What types of carbohydrates are usually given in medicine? So, the classification of carbohydrates is as follows:
- Rapidly assimilated carbohydrates (glucose, fructose,lactose, sucrose, maltose). The time of assimilation is 5-10 minutes. Contained in grapes, flour, sugar, honey, beer, watermelons, in dairy and sweet foods. Excessive use of them leads to obesity, increased cholesterol, flatulence.
- Slowly assimilated carbohydrates (starch, glycogen). The time of assimilation is 20-30 minutes. They are found in cereals, vegetables, legumes, potatoes.
- Non-absorbable carbohydrates (fiber, pectins, guar,resin, cellulose). These carbohydrates are called dietary fiber, poorly digested by the gastrointestinal tract and are found in bran, cereals, vegetables, fruits, berries, seaweed, legumes. Their absence in food leads to hemorrhoids, cancer, atherosclerosis, cholelithiasis, and in some cases even to hepatic encephalopathy and hepatic coma.
The importance of carbohydrates for the body is very high,as with their lack of metabolic disorders. When you use carbohydrates for food, it is important to choose the correct ratio of different types of carbohydrates. Doctors and nutritionists all over the world advise to satisfy the need for carbohydrates at the expense of a slowly-assimilated type, as it promotes a slow increase in sugar in the blood and better digestibility by the body.
The role of carbohydrates in the body
Based on the above classification, we can say with certainty why carbohydrates are needed in the biological world. So, among the functions of carbohydrates are the following:
- structural function (carbohydrates are used to build walls of biological organisms);
- protective function (spines and thorns in plants are formed due to dead cells, most of which are carbohydrates);
- plastic function (carbohydrates are included in the composition of enzymes, nucleic acids, cell membranes of the immunity system);
- energy function (this can be called the main, for which carbohydrates are needed by the human body);
- storing function (play the role of reserve nutrients, which are present in the human body fat layer);
- osmotic function (osmotic pressure in blood depends on carbohydrates);
- receptor function (carbohydrates descend into many receptors)
- antitoxic function (able to remove toxins and other harmful substances from the body);
- tonic function (promote the excitation of the central nervous system).