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CHAPTER 4: CARBOHYDRATES: SUGARS, STARCHES, AND FIBER Dr. Olfert's Brief Topic Overview Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of energy. The chief responsibility of carbohydrates is to provide fuel in the form of glucose to your body’s cells, including your brain and red blood cells. Carbohydrates generally come from plant foods, using the process of photosynthesis. The main carbohydrate is glucose. The two carbohydrate categories are known as simple carbohydrates (mono-and disaccharides) and complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides). Dietary fiber, found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, has some important health benefits, but it is not digested by the body. When carbohydrates are digested, the process starts in the mouth, with the majority of the activity occurring in the small intestine. Enzymatic action is required to break down the carbohydrates into their simplest forms. Some people do not produce enough of the enzyme lactase, and have difficulty digesting the carbohydrate known as lactose (found in dairy products.) This lactose maldigestion may result in
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This note was uploaded on 05/20/2010 for the course HED 155 taught by Professor Olfert during the Spring '10 term at Grossmont.

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