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Carbohydrates Sources

Updated on September 11, 2017
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Primary Fuel of the Body

Carbohydrates are primary fuel. Peak performance can be achieved only by maintaining the proper balance of carbohydrates in the diet.

The best sources of energy in the diet are the foods with the lower glycemic index. The lower the glycemic index, the slower the carbohydrate is digested. This slow digestion process facilitates the muscles' ability to replenish the glycogen stores from which they derive their energy.

Physical activity causes depletion of these glycogen stores and good carbohydrate nutrition is the key to vitality.Here we find the different sources of carbohydrates and its good effect to our body.

Different Sources of Carbohydrates

Vegetables and Fruit Sources

Starchy Foods

All kinds of potatoesare in this classification. Also included are yams, winter squashes (such as buttercup, hubbard and banana squashes), pumpkin, caladium root, taro root, cassava root and Jerusalem artichokes. (Note: Technically, squashes and pumpkins are fruits.)

Mildly starchy vegetables

This classification includes carrots, cauliflower, beets, rutabaga and salsify.

Legumes

This includes peanuts, lentils, peas and beans.

Fruits and Vegetables constitute a less concentrated sources of carbohydrates than the cereals because of their high water content.In fruits,carbohydrates is mostly in the form of the monosaccharides glucose and fructose.

  • The sugar content of fresh fruits may vary from 6-20 percent,those of cantaloupe and watermelon being the lowest,while the banana is being the highest.
  • Dried fruits such as prunes,apricots,dates and figs have much higher sugar content(70%)
  • Avocado pear and the olive has a high fat content but low carbohydrate content.

Although most fruits are considered highly desirable raw,because of their high starch content,these fruits are important sources of carbohydrates and when boiled,baked or fried,they are frequently used in the main course of the meal.

Plants Sources

Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, cereal, grains, bread, milk and foods that contain sugar. Your body turns carbohydrates into glucose, the substance that energizes your cells, tissues and organs.

CEREAL GRAINS-have been the staple foods from prehistoric times to the present.Each of the cereals has characteristic properties and users.

Rice-has the widest use of any cereal in the world.It is the staple food for Asia like in the Philippines and Thailand ,the Near East,some Latin American and African countries and is widely used elsewhere.It provides as much as 70 to 80 percent of calories for the larger part of the population of these areas.

  • White rice ,the form preferred by most people,although much of the vitamin and mineral content is lost in the milling.
  • Unpolished brown rice and 'wild rice",both of which contain more of the original minerals and vitamins than does white rice,have limited use because of their different flavor,poor keeping quality and high price.

Wheat-is the next most common cereal used throughout the world and the most widely used in the Americas and Europe.It can be milled for a variety of uses-as breakfast cereals,as flour for bread,cakes,pastries,crackers and macaroni products.

Corn-(or maize) is used for human food in many countries in a variety of forms: cornmeal,white and yellow,hominy grits,samp,or hulled corn,popcorn,cornflakes or similar ready to eat cereals and as a source off cornstarch,corn syrup and corn oil

  • cornstarch-as thickening agent in cooking
  • corn sugar and syrup-are made by hydrolyzing the starch in the corn i.e;breaking it down into dextrins,maltose and glucose.
  • corn oil-is extracted from the corn germ by carefully controlled commercial process.

Oats-used chiefly in the form of rolled oats or oatmeal in the United States and western Europe.

Rye-is similar to wheat in many respects:rye flour may be used with wheat or by itself for bread making..

Barley-is used mostly as pearled barley which is the kernel left after the bran and the germ have been removed..Barley flour is made by grinding the pearls.in some countries like Korea and Japan barley raised and used as a low-cost substitute for rice by the poorer people.

Buckwheat is not a true cereal botanically i.e.;it does not belong to the grasses as do the other cereals,but it serves the same purpose for human food.The bran or the husk ,is removed and the rest of the kernel is rolled and bolted to produce buckwheat flour.It is used as buckwheat griddle in cakes and waffles,also in making heavy breads,gruels puddings and beer.

Millet is staple food for millions of people in India,Russia,china and Africa.It can be raised where land is too poor and the climate is too dry to grow wheat,rice,corn or most other grains.

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Animal Sources

  • Most animal foods ,such as meats,poultry and fish contain only traces of carbohydrates in the form of glycogen used for muscle contraction.
  • Eggs contain also traces of carbohydrates
  • Sea foods like scallops.which are the muscles of shellfish and contain about 3% of glycogen.
  • Fresh Milk contains about 5% of carbohydrates in the form of lactose ,a disaccharides.

Other Plant Sources

  • Common table sugar-the refined white granulated or powdered sugar or brown sugar-is processed from either sugar cane or sugar beets.Sucrose is the chief sources of sweetening used in most desserts ,ice creams ,candies and soft drinks.
  • Molasses-is a by-product of sugar refining and carries more of the mineral content of the original plant than do the refined sugar.
  • Maple Syrup and sugar-made by boiling down the sap from sugar maples.
  • Corn syrup-,made from field corn by hydrolysis of the starch,is mostly glucose and maltose.
  • Honey-made by bees from flower nectars,contains the two monosaccharides,glucose and fructose.
  • Sorghum Syrup-made from the sweet juice of the sorghum stem.
  • Seaweeds-like the Agar and Alginates

Good Carbohydrates To Your Diet

Here are some suggestions for adding more good carbohydrates to your diet:

  • Start the day with whole grains. If you like hot cereals, try porridge made from whole oats, quinoa or brown rice. If you are a cold cereal person, look for muesli or one that lists whole wheat, whole oats, or other whole grain first on the ingredient list. Have fresh or dried fruit with your cereal.
  • Use whole grain breads or crackers for lunch or snacks. Check the label to make sure that whole wheat or another whole grain is the first ingredient listed. Oatcakes with hummus (made from chickpeas) are an excellent ‘good carb’ snack.
  • Reduce intake of potatoes. Instead, try brown rice or even “newer” grains like quinoa, millet, buckwheat or barley with your dinner. There is nothing wrong with potatoes per se – my message is about increasing the variety of starches in your diet, as each grain contains a wide array of nutrients and phytonutrients beneficial for health.
  • Exchange ‘white’ foods for ‘brown’ foods. Brown rice usually needs to be cooked for longer than white rice. If the whole grain products are too chewy for you, look for those that are made with half whole-wheat flour and half white flour.
  • Beans, nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables. Beans are an excellent source of slowly digested carbohydrates as well as a great source of protein. Try adding them to casseroles and soups. Aim to eat 5 to 10 portions of vegetables and fruit per day.

You don't have to eat LESS,you just have to eat Right!!!

Good To Know

Carbohydrates To Avoid or Limit

Carbohydrates to Avoid or Limit

  • White Pasta
  • White Rice
  • White Bread
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Fruit Juices
  • Bagels
  • Donuts
  • Muffins
  • Sweets and Candies
  • Processed Breakfast Cereals
  • Processed corn products
  • Processed potato products
  • Processed rice products

Think of a food pyramid where fruits and vegetables are on the bottom, so they’re your main source of carbohydrates.

Limit your eating of starchy carbohydrates. Note that corn and peas are starchy carbohydrates, so they have a higher caloric density (more calories per serving than the other vegetables).

And remember that milk contains carbohydrates: The lactose in milk is sugar, a carb. So for both health and weight control, try to eat carbs that are high in fiber and have a high water content!

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