Carbohydrates

CHO are found in grains, fruits, and vegetables and are the main source of energy in a healthy diet. Unfortunately, many people think CHO are unhealthy and lead to weight gain. That notion came about because most people add high-fat toppings and sauces to their starchy foods. The two types of CHO are:

♦ Simple CHO - have one (mono-) or two (disaccharides) sugar molecules hooked together. Examples include: glucose, table sugar (sucrose), sugars in fruit (fructose), honey (fructose and glucose), sugar in milk (lactose), maple syrup, and molasses. Some are added in processing. Added sugars provide kcals and no nutrients.

♦ Complex CHO - have three or more simple sugar molecules hooked together and are digested into simple sugars by our bodies. Examples include: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes (peas, beans). Both starch (digestible) and dietary fiber (indigestible) are forms of complex CHO. Although, dietary fiber does not provide any kcals, for health reasons it is recommended that adults eat 20-35

grams of fiber a day. This is achieved by eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (see page 22 and Appendix A).

CHO are used in the body to:

♦ Provide energy in the form of glucose (stored as glycogen).

♦ Provide fuel for the brain.

♦ Act as building blocks for chemicals needed by the body.

♦ Repair tissue damage in the body.

Energy From CHO

1 gram of CHO supplies 4 kcal.

CHO should supply 55-60% of your total daily kcals.

' Example1:

One fig newton has 10 grams of CHO and provides a total of 60 kcals. The kcals from CHO and the percent of total kcals from CHO are:

Example 2:

Example 2:

A woman eats 2,000 kcals per day. How many kcals should be from CHO? How many grams of CHO should she eat per day?

A woman eats 2,000 kcals per day. How many kcals should be from CHO? How many grams of CHO should she eat per day?

4 kcal X 10 grams = 40 kcal from CHO. 2,000 kcal x 55%=1,100 kcal from CHO.

40 - 60 = 0.67 = 67% of energy from CHO. 1,100 kcal - 4 kcal per gram = 275 grams CHO.

Based on your estimated energy requirement (EER) calculated in Chapter 1, how many of your kcals should come from CHO? How many grams of CHO should you eat each day?

Worksheet 2-1. Calculate Your CHO Requirements x 0.55 =

Your EER

kcal from CHO

kcal from CHO per day.

. grams CHO per day.

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