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What are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are a group of nutrients important in the diet as a source of energy.
Carbohydrates are found in all plants. They are produced from CO2 and water.

Carbohydrates are made up of the elements:

Hydrogen and

There are various different carbohydrates, but they…

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Sugars and Starches

Starches: which are found in bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, pulses and breakfast cereals

Sugars: which give food its sweet taste and are found in fruits, soft drinks, table sugar,
sweets and cake

The main energy giving foods in the diet are those which contain considerable amount of…

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Intrinsic Sugars:

Intrinsic sugars are incorporated into the cellular structure e.g. sugars found in
unprocessed foods such as fruit and vegetables. No adverse effect on health.

Extrinsic Sugars

1 Sugars not bound into a cellular structure e.g. the lactose (Milk sugar) found in dairy
products. These do not have an…

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Functions of carbohydrates:

Starches are known as `complex Carbohydrates' Starch is found in potatoes, bread,
pasta and rice. Non Starch polysaccharides (NSP) are found in fruit, vegetables, beans
and wholegrain cereals.

What are the advantages of eating more starchy foods?

There is scientific evidence that a diet high in complex…

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Sources of NSP

Whole grain cereals
Fruit and Vegetables (with skin on if possible)
Pulse vegetables e.g. beans, peas and lentils
Root vegetables such as carrots, turnip
Wholemeal bread, flour and pasta
Brown rice.

Types of NSP

Insoluble- absorbs water and increases in bulk. This helps the stools to…

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Sugar is not the only major culprit in the development of diabetes
Weight gain can only occur if energy content of a person's diet exceeds energy
Remember; 1g Carbohydrates=3.75calories 1g fat=9 calories

Dental Caries
Tooth decay in early childhood affects one in ten of all 3-4
year olds in…

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Development of Tooth Decay
Sugars themselves do not attack the teeth, but they are converted to acid by
streptococcal bacteria in the mouth and the acids formed attack and erode the hard
enamel surface of the teeth.
The frequency of ingestion is a s important in causing dental caries as…

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The GI of a food is a measure of how quickly glucose is released into the
bloodstream after eating
The GI index is a way of assessing and measuring the effects of food on
blood sugar levels

High GI
Foods that break down quickly during digestion have…

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How much do we need?
The COMA report recommends:
18 grams per day for adults (with a range of 12 to 24 grams per day)

The COMA report recommends:
50% of food energy from carbohydrates
39% of food energy from starches
11% of food energy from sugars

Children and carbohydrates:…


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