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Macronutrients refer to the nutrients that are needed in large quantities. They are broadly classified as carbohydrates, pro-tein and lipids/fats.
Definition: Carbohydrates are sugars or polymers of sugars such as starch that can be hydrolyzed to simple sugars by the action of digestive enzymes or by heating with dilute acids. Generally but not always, the hydrogen and oxygen in them are in proportion to form water, hence the term carbohydrate.
The predominant function of the carbohydrates is to provide energy needed by our body. Starch found in cereals and sugar in sugarcane and fruits are examples of carbohydrates in foods.
Classification: The dietary carbohy-drates are classified as:
· Functions: The functions of carbohy-drates include
· Carbohydrates are a source of energy. Each gram of carbohydrate yields 4 kilo calories
· Adequate supply of carbohydrate ensures that proteins are spared from performing the role of giving energy.
· Major source of energy for muscu-lar work.
· Detoxifying action and regulating influence of protein and fat metab-olism.
· Source of energy for heart muscle
· Excess calories through carbohy-drate is stored as fat in the adipose tissue.
· Stimulates the peristaltic move-ment in the form of dietary fiber which helps in preventing heart diseases, diabetes mellitus and cancer.
Food Sources: Carbohydrates are found in cereals like Rice, Wheat, Bajra, Jowar. Fruits, Honey and Jag-gery are also rich sources of carbohy-drates
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