Carbohydrates And Fats Are Important To A Healthy Diet

2399 words - 10 pages

It’s important for our bodies to receive and use certain nutrients. Among these nutrients are carbohydrates and fats .These two, carbon based, organic compounds are greatly utilized by our bodies and essential for overall health. In digestion our body performs a constant balancing act in an attempt to distribute these nutrients as needed throughout the body. Our bodies rely heavily on carbohydrates and fats for energy. Given that, it’s important to supply your body with the right amount of calories from these. Consumption of too many or too little overall calories, however, can be dangerous.” Both of these macro-nutrients are often misunderstood and avoided by dieters, when they don’t necessarily cause weight gain by themselves. Weight gain is often caused by eating too much of the wrong ones.”(DoctorOz.com, 2013) In avoiding or minimizing carbohydrates and fats excessively harm can be done.
What are Carbohydrates? Carbohydrate is Latin for hydrated (watered) carbon and is mostly found in plant based foods. Carbohydrates such as glucose are made through photosynthesis. In this process, plants containing chlorophyll use energy from the sun, to take in carbon dioxide and water through their roots. These plants release oxygen into the air while the remaining carbon and water stays in the plant as carbohydrates. Most carbohydrates are made up of some ratio of C6H12O6, (6 carbons and 6 waters). Carbohydrates can be broken up into two groups, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates (mono- & disaccharides) consist of one or two sugars, while complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides) consist of more.
What are Fats? Fats are a type of lipid that dissolves in alcohol and other organic solvents but doesn’t dissolve in water. (Fat Basics, 2012) Triglycerides are the major storage form of fat in the body. They consist of a molecule known as glycerol that is connected to one, two, or three fatty acids. Made up of a three-carbon chain that connects the fatty acids together, Glycerol is soluble (water-friendly) and is the basis of all fats. A fatty acid is insoluble (water-fearing) and is a long chain of carbon atoms ‘with hydrogen attached to them, an acid group lies at one end of the molecule. (Studios, 2014) Fatty acids can either be saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated. In saturated fats the carbons are fully loaded with hydrogen. This tight structure makes them solid at room temperature. Butter is a saturated fat. Unsaturated fats have lost one or more pairs of hydrogen from their carbon chain. Without the hydrogen, a kink or bend is developed making them occupy more space while also making them more fluid, like some oils. Mono- and poly- is indication of how many pairs of hydrogen are missing in the unsaturated fat.
How do these nutrients make their way into our bodies? When you eat something your mouth chews and breaks your food down into small particles. In digestion these particles move to the small intestine. Monosaccharides (in this...

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