- Carbohydrates can be simple
Simple carbohydrates are known as monosaccharides and can be found in glucose and fructose. They are made up of one carbon atom, two hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom. They are called simple carbohydrates because they only have one sugar.
- Carbohydrates can be complex
Complex carbohydrates are known as polysaccharides because they contain many sugars. They are created using simple carbohydrates, which are connected through a process of condensation. When a monosaccharide attaches itself to a line of monosaccharides, a water molecule disappears, which creates polysaccharides.
- Carbohydrates give you energy
Simple carbohydrates are a major source of energy for all cells on earth but they are not the only type of carbohydrate that is useful. Complex carbohydrates are also used by living things in order to provide energy however, they are created from the storage of simple carbohydrates and cannot be utilized straight away.
- Carbohydrates help with cell structure
Complex carbohydrates are invaluable to bacteria, fungi, algae and plants who use them as structural support for their growth. Cellulose is utilized to maintain the structure of algae and plants, fungi prefer to use chitin to construct their walls and the peptidoglycan carbohydrate can be found in different types of bacteria.
- Carbohydrates indicate cell identity
In order for a living thing to know which cells belong in a certain place, the cell must have some marker of identity. Carbohydrates fulfill this task by marking cells with protein molecules that are connected to sugar, called glycoproteins.
- Carbohydrates support cells
Cells need a certain type of lining in order to be fully functioning. Polysaccharides, or complex carbohydrates, fulfill this need as they create a sticky lining around the cells, which enables them to attach to other cells and do their job.
- Carbohydrates aren’t necessarily bad for you
Carbohydrates have a bad reputation because many dieticians and fitness experts are against them. This, however, doesn’t mean that they are bad for your health. In fact, carbohydrates play an important role in the development of cells in the body.
- Carbohydrates exist in good and bad food
Eating and drinking too many simple carbohydrates such as biscuits, sugary drinks, and white bread can create health issues. Complex carbohydrates such as fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, offer vitamins and fiber, which allow the body to function.
- Carbohydrates can be substituted
Carbohydrates taste sweet but this can be a problem when they become addictive. This is why sweeteners have been created in order to make people feel the joys of eating sweets but without putting on weight. This is done by modifying the carbohydrate sucrose in a way that makes it indigestible and thus, calorie-less.
- Carbohydrates cause lactose intolerance
Lactose intolerance happens when people are unable to digest the sugar in milk. This is due to the lack of lactase enzyme in the body, which creates problems as the lactose passes through the small intestines. Luckily, people with this condition can buy lactose intolerant products, which taste the same but with none of the side effects.