Carbohydrates are used as fuel by our bodies. Digestion breaks down starch and sugars, into monosaccharides, which is absorbed by the small intestine. The most important function of carbohydrate is that it acts as an important source of energy for human body. Almost 1 Gm of carbohydrate provides 4.2 kcal of energy. Almost all the cells present in the human body use glucose to distribute energy. If there is too much energy in the body in form of carbohydrates, it is converted in to fat and stored in the body. About 35% of energy is lost when carbohydrate is stored as fat.
Another important function of carbohydrates is that, they act as energy storage for our body. They provide instant energy to muscles.Dietry fibers are also carbohydrates, which help in proper digestion of food and keep stomach full. Carbohydrates take form of sugars, oligosaccharides, starches; fibres are the major micronutrients which supply the body with energy.
It is important to maintain an appropriate balance between calorie intake and expenditure. A diet containing optimum level of carbohydrates can help in preventing body fat accumulation. Starch and sugars provide readily accessible fuel for physical performance. A carbohydrate also helps in adding taste, texture and appearance of foods and thus helps in making the diet more enjoyable and varied.
Apart from providing energy to the body carbohydrates play an important role in structure and functions of body organs and nerve cells. The nature and the form of carbohydrates is more digestible than other substances in the body.
There are certain observations that have been made by the scientists that people eating a diet high in carbohydrate are less likely to accumulate body fat than those who are on low carbohydrate diet, especially if someone is on a fiber rich diet which makes you feel full but is less in calorie content. A diet high in carbohydrate and low in fat prevents people from gaining extra weight.