Q:

What are carbohydrates made of?

A:

Quick Answer

Carbohydrates consist of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Carbohydrates supply the body with a source of energy and are the building blocks of cellulose and glycogen. They also combine with other molecules to form DNA, RNA, glycolipids, glycoproteins and ATP.

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What are carbohydrates made of?
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Full Answer

Glucose, fructose, galactose and ribose are all simple carbohydrates. Muscles require glucose to grow, and organs need it to function. It is also the body's most important fuel. Fructose is found in fruits and vegetables. Galactose is found in milk, while ribose, which is part of ribonucleic acid, is found in every cell of the human body. During respiration, carbohydrates are metabolised and release energy. Carbohydrates that are not converted to energy are stored as fat.

Complex carbohydrates include starch, glycogen and cellulose. Starch is found in rice, wheat, corn, carrots and potatoes. Glycogen is found in animal muscles and livers. Both starch and glycogen are forms of stored energy. Cellulose acts as the skeleton of plants and gives them their shape. It is also a source of dietary fiber.

Simple carbohydrates yield 3.87 calories of energy per gram and are commonly associated with processed foods, including baked goods, candy and soft drinks. Complex carbohydrates yield between 3.57 and 4.12 calories of energy per gram and are commonly associated with natural, unprocessed foods.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the chemical composition of carbohydrates?

    A:

    All carbohydrates are made from carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They have twice as many hydrogen atoms as oxygen atoms. The word "carbohydrate" is a combination of the names of these elements and means "watered carbon." The presence of carbon makes carbohydrates organic, rather than inorganic, compounds.

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  • Q:

    What elements are found in carbohydrates?

    A:

    The elements found in carbohydrates are oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. Carbohydrates comprise one of the four essential biomolecules of living organisms, and provide the main source of biological fuels that drive cellular respiration.

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    What elements do proteins contain?

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    The base elements contained in protein cells are: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. Proteins are comprised of up to thousands of different units called amino acids. These amino acids link in a chain-like structure which make up a single protein cell.

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    What elements are found in lipids?

    A:

    Every type of lipid contains oxygen, hydrogen and carbon, but a specific type known as a phospholipid also contains phosphate and nitrogen. All of the lipids are considered organic compounds due to the presence of carbon, and they are insoluble in water. The varying structure of lipid molecules results in their different types.

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