Carbohydrates, fats and proteins – dietary sources
Alongside the numerous vitamins that are required as part of a healthy diet, we must also eat food containing a variety of other materials to ensure the day to day running of our body.
These building materials are essential to the daily maintenance and growth of a human body, as each are required in the various biological processes that allow us to survive and fight off infection.
Carbohydrates are a major source of energy and contain all the necessary building materials to create glucose, a compound that is used in numerous areas across animals and plants. Glucose itself can be found abundantly in sweet fruits, as can fructose, and is the body’s method of delivering energy to cells across our body (see tutorials in ATP and Cell Respiration).
Complex sugars deemed disaccharides due to their more complex molecular structure, consist of monosaccharides – the fundamental unit of a carbohydrate. Glucose and fructose are examples of monosaccharides.
A summary of carbohydrates can be found below:
All in all these malleable compounds that are carbohydrates form an essential part of our diet, with disaccharides and complex carbohydrates acting as building blocks themselves while also being capable of being broken down into a more simple monosaccharide.
Fats are an important part of a healthy balanced diet, and also act as a means of insulation in our bodies when it is stored under the skin as stored energy, due to them containing twice as much potential energy as carbon. Fats can be broken down into 5 different categories:
Fats are an important part of a healthy human diet, due to the compounds they contain as well as their potential energy that is stored in our bodies.
The next tutorial investigates the need for proteins and minerals as part of a healthy balanced diet.
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