Carbohydrates are a systems of  complex and simple sugars.

Carbohydrates can also be referred to as saccarides, Carbs, or something else.

Carbs are comprised of Carbon, Oxygen, and Hydrogen.

There is usually a Hydrogen to Oxygen ratio of 2:1

Generic Empirical Formula is as follows:  Cm(H2O)n  (where m could be different from n)

Essentially there are used in being stored as energy, transportation, and several cellular structural.

Chemically they are compounds that are aldehydes or ketones with many or or a few additional hydroxyl groups.

Nutritionally – carbohydrates are not an essential food source

All nutrients can be taken from Proteins and Fats

However, this is not always a healthy alternative.

There are 3.75 – 4 kilocalories in 1 gram of carbs – which is very similar to 1 gram of protein.

Fats have more then double the kilocalories at 9 per 1 gram.

It has been recommended that daily consumption be between 45%-75% of your energy should be consumed from carbohydrates but only 10% of that should be from sugars [sweets].

Take a look at the Glycemic Index which discusses the effect of certain carbohydrates on blood sugars

Is very important in control of Diabetes

For consumption it has been argued that some carbohydrates are better than others:

1.) As a food source for More healthy carbohydrates:

  • Whole grains
  • Breads
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Grains

2.) Reportedly Less healthy sources are

  • White bread
  • White rice
  • Pastries
  • Soda
  • many others

The Carbohydrates (saccharides) are divided into four chemical groupings:

1.)  Monosaccharides

2.)  Disaccharides

3.)  Polysaccharides

4.)  Olgiosaccharides


  • Are a group of simple carbohydrates and are a simple form of sugars.
  • They can not be broken down into smaller carbohydrates.
  • Monosaccharides are building blocks of large carbohydrates
  • There are several different types some found in nature and others are synthesized
  • Chemically they have aldehyde or ketone groups and typically a hydroxyl group (-OH) and a cabonyl group (C=O) added on.


1.)  When the sugar has a Aldehyde it is called Aldose

2.)  When the sugar has a Ketone it is called Ketose

Can be divided depending on number of carbons:

Some of the more common monosaccharides include:

  • Glucose
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Ribose

Some common found uses of monosaccharides include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Sorbitol
  • Other sweetening agents
  • Amino sugars
  • others


  • Is a type of sugar that is made of TWO monosaccharides

2 main types:

1.)  Reducing Disaccharides
2.)  Non-reducing Disaccharides

  • When two mononsaccharides are formed by a reaction called dehydration reaction – causes glycosidic bond
  • Glycosidic bonds are also seen in polysaccharides
  • Bonding may create differences depending on bond placement or bond combinations
  • This may lead to two glucose monosacchardies brought together causing a few different disaccharides


1.)  Sucrose
2.)  Maltose
3.)  Lactose
4.)  Trehalose
5.)  Cellobiose


  • Are a group of complex carbohydrates that are made up of a more simple monosaccharides
  • Glycosidic bonds are bonds that hold separated monosaccharides together into the more complex sugars
  • Are not sweet in taste like monosaccharides


1.)  Homopolysaccharides– all monosaccharides are the same

2.)  Heteropolysaccharides– more then one different types of monosaccharides

Functions of polysaccharides

  • Storage
  • Plant cellular structure
  • Found in many Bacteria for protection or metabolism


1.)  Starch
2.)  Cellulose
3.)  Chitlin
4.)  Glycogen
5.)  Peptidoglycan

Other Sacchrides exist in large combinations and are often called oligosaccharides


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