5 Nutrients Cannot Be Neglected

1. Carbohydrates

Containing four calories per gram, carbs are the primary source of energy for the human body and can be broadly divided into two categories. Consisting of one or two sugar units, simple carbs are present in high concentrations in most forms of sugar, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains. On the other hand, complex carbs are long chains of sugar units that require more time to break down than simple carbs. Complex carbs are commonly found in whole plant foods (e.g. fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, etc). There is no need to demonize simple carbs and glorify complex carbs because both naturally occur in whole plant foods. For example, starch (a complex carb) makess up 53% of the carb content in sweet potatoes, while simple carbs consist of 32% of the carb content. However, we should consume added sugars in moderation because they are not naturally present in foods and have low nutritional values other than the primary source of energy.

After carbs are broken down into glucose in the human digestive tract, some of the glucose wander in the blood vessels for immediate use as energy. Others are stored in the liver as glycogen, which can be converted back into glucose when the body senses a low glucose level.

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