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The principal sources of carbohydrates are plant foods: cereal grains, veg-etables, fruits, and sugars (Figure 4-2). The only substantial animal source of carbohydrates is milk.
Cereal grains and their products are dietary staples in nearly every partof the world. Rice is the basic food in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and many sections of the United States. Wheat and the various breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals made from it are basic to American and European diets. Rye and oats are commonly used in breads and cereals in the United States and Europe. Cereals also contain vitamins, minerals, and some proteins. During processing, some of these nutrients are lost. To compensate for this loss, food producers in the United States commonly add the B vitamins— thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin—plus the mineral iron to the final product. The product is then called enriched. When a nutrient that has never been part of a grain is added, the grain is said to be fortified. An example of for-tification is the addition of folic acid to cereal grains to prevent neural tube defects.
Vegetables such as potatoes, beets, peas, lima beans, and corn providesubstantial amounts of carbohydrates (in the form of starch). Green leafy veg-etables provide dietary fiber. All of them also provide vitamins and minerals.
Fruits provide fruit sugar, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Sugars such as table sugar, syrup, and honey and sugar-rich foods suchas desserts and candy provide carbohydrates in the form of sugar with few other nutrients except for fats. Therefore, the foods in which they predominate are commonly called low-nutrient-dense foods.
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