Some keep away from them, others love them. Regardless of nutritional trends, carbohydrates play an important role in our diet – especially as energy suppliers. However, we must not forget that carbohydrates should not be lumped together. Because there are digestible and indigestible carbohydrates. But there is more about this later on.

Carbohydrates are mainly found in plant foods, occasionally also in animal foods. In plants they act as supporting and reserve substances, for humans the digestible carbohydrates provide energy (4 kcal/g). In the human body they can also be stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen.

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Nutritional societies recommend that about 45-55 % of the daily energy intake should be obtained from carbohydrates. The proportion of added, industrially produced sugar should not exceed 10 %. Attention – the recommended percentages must of course be adapted individually to each and every person, because the energy needs differ from person to person.

Let us now come to the already announced distinction of carbohydrates (= saccharides). Carbohydrates consist of carbohydrates, water and oxygen and differ depending on how long the sugar molecule chains are attached to each other. They are subdivided into simple and double sugars (mono- and disaccharides) as well as usable and non-usable multiple sugars (polysaccharides). Dietary fibres belong to the non-usuable polysaccharides.

Nutritional societies show that an adequate supply of carbohydrates can be beneficial to the health of our body. We would therefore like to conclude today’s article with a quote from a position paper of the German Society for Nutrition:

“[…] It is a prerequisite that foods rich in dietary fibre, especially wholemeal products, make up the largest share of the carbohydrate-supplying foods. At present, the carbohydrate intake of the population in Germany is relatively close to the reference value, but a substantial part of the carbohydrate intake comes from the consumption of mono- and disaccharides, which are mainly present in sweets and sweetened drinks. A shift towards the consumption of whole grain products is necessary here”. [1]



This was:  Carbohydrates in our diet