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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Posted by: Meredith
Date: December 1, 2001 7:04 PM

I am a high school student doing a project on Nutrition. Can you could help me understand exactly what a carbohydrate is and its purpose and benefit for the human body?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at October 29, 2007 4:32 AM by Dr. Kennedy.

RE: Carbohydrates
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: December 1, 2001 8:06 PM

A carbohydrate is an organic compound present in the cells of all living organisms and a major organic nutrient for human beings; consists of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and makes up sugar, starch, and cellulose. As the carbon bonds are broken, energy is released as heat or it can also be stored in other molecules. The breakdown products are used to construct other molecules in the liver, including fats and proteins. Of the three major classes of organic molecules carbs are the most immediately available for energy. Refined carbohydrates are those which have been tampered with by humans and come without accompanying nutrients (examples are bread and pasta). These add calories but no vitamins and account for weight problems which in turn puts people at risk for degenerative disease and shortened life span. Complex carbs come in plant form unadulterated by food processing techniques and these have the exact opposite effects. Cellulose is also a carbohydrate; it comes as plant fiber, undigestable by humans (but digestible by cloven animals) and has a good effect on digestion by cleansing the bowel through absorption of toxins. It comes in plants such as lettuce, spinach, etc., also in the pulp of fruits.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at July 16, 2007 2:01 PM by Dr. Kennedy.

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