Carbs: Essential Energy Source

The body requires a constant energy supply to maintain physiological functions and regulate body temperature. Carbohydrates are pivotal in human diets, providing 45% of energy in developed nations and up to 85% in developing countries. They are cost-effective and easily accessible in foods like grains, legumes, and potatoes, serving as a global dietary staple.

Carbohydrates, encompassing sugars, starches, dextrin, and glycogen, play diverse roles in food, including nutrition, flavor enhancement, and texturing. Nutritionists recommend a balanced diet with around 10-12% of kilocalories from protein, less than 30% from fat, and a carbohydrate intake of 55% or more.

Throughout history, diets ranged from 40-80% energy from carbohydrates, influenced by income levels. Starch, a digestible plant polysaccharide, mainly meets human energy needs from cereal grains and tubers.

The term "carbohydrate" originates from its empirical formula CH2O. Molecular formulas like C5H10O5 and C6H12O6 are common, and historically, carbohydrates were viewed as hydrates of carbon (Cn(H2O)n) due to water solubility and the presence of hydroxyl groups, with evidence of carboxyl groups from aldehydes or ketones.
Carbs: Essential Energy Source

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