Carbohydrates are one of the main types of nutrients. They are the most important source of energy for your body. Your digestive system changes carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar). Your body uses this sugar for energy for your cells, tissues and organs. It stores any extra sugar in your liver and muscles for when it is needed.
Carbohydrates are called simple or complex, depending on their chemical structure. Simple carbohydrates include sugars found naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables, milk, and milk products. They also include sugars added during food processing and refining. Complex carbohydrates include whole grain breads and cereals, starchy vegetables and legumes. Many of the complex carbohydrates are good sources of fiber.
For a healthy diet, limit the amount of added sugar that you eat and choose whole grains over refined grains.
- Fructose, Glucose and Hunger (05/06/2015, HealthDay)
- Dropping One Sugary Soda a Day Could Cut Diabetes Risk (05/01/2015, HealthDay)
- Foods That Help Keep the Pounds Off as You Age (04/24/2015, HealthDay)
- More Whole Grains May Boost Life Span (03/24/2015, HealthDay)
- The 'Whole Diet' Approach to Nutrition (02/23/2015, HealthDay)
- Added Sugar: Don't Get Sabotaged by Sweeteners (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Added Sugars (American Heart Association)
- Artificial Sweeteners and Other Sugar Substitutes (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Carbohydrates and Cavities (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)
- Carbohydrates and Diabetes (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation) Available in Spanish
- Counting Carbs? Understanding Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load (National Institutes of Health)
- Frequently Asked Questions about Sugar (American Heart Association)
- Non-Nutritive Sweeters (Artificial Sweeteners) (American Heart Association)
- Sugar 101 (American Heart Association)
- Sweet Stuff: How Sugars and Sweeteners Affect Your Health (National Institutes of Health)
- Whole Grains: Hearty Options for a Healthy Diet (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Artificial Sweeteners and Cancer (National Cancer Institute) Available in Spanish
- Can I Use Artificial Sweeteners If I Have Diabetes? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Carbohydrate Addiction (American Heart Association)
- Carbohydrate-Loading Diet (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Choosing Whole-Grain Foods: 10 Tips for Purchasing and Storing Whole-Grain Foods (Department of Agriculture) - PDF
- Empty Calories (Department of Agriculture)
- Glycemic Index Diet: What's Behind the Claims (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- High-Fructose Corn Syrup: What Are the Concerns? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Low-Carb Diet: Could It Help You Lose Weight? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Health Check Tools
- Carbohydrate Calculator (University of Maryland Medical Center)
- You Are What You Eat (National Institute of General Medical Sciences)
- Comparing Low-Fat and Low-Carbohydrate Diets (American College of Physicians) - PDF
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: A metabolomics approach to the identification of biomarkers of sugar-sweetened...
- Article: Sugar-sweetened product consumption alters glucose homeostasis compared with dairy product...
- Article: A high-protein breakfast induces greater insulin and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide...
- Carbohydrates -- see more articles
- Sugar substitutes -- see more articles
- Consumption of Added Sugar among U.S. Children and Adolescents, 2005-2008 (National Center for Health Statistics)
- Consumption of Added Sugars among U.S. Adults, 2005-2010 (National Center for Health Statistics)
- Consumption of Sugar Drinks in the United States, 2005-2008 (National Center for Health Statistics)
- Are Artificial Sweeteners OK to Consume during Pregnancy? (Nemours Foundation)