The carbohydrates in our diet

Some demonize them, others love them. Nutrition trends or not, carbohydrates play an important role in our diet – especially as energy suppliers. However, it is important to remember that carbohydrates should not be lumped together. Because there are digestible and indigestible carbohydrates. But more about that in a moment.

Carbohydrates are predominantly found in plant foods, occasionally also in animal foods. In plants, they function 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 form of glycogen in the liver and muscles. The carbohydrates in our diet

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

Now we come to the already announced differentiation of carbohydrates (= saccharides). Carbohydrates are made up of carbon, water and oxygen and differ depending on how long the attached sugar molecule chains are. They are subdivided into monosaccharides and disaccharides, and into polysaccharides, which can and cannot be utilized. Dietary fiber belongs to the non-utilizable polysaccharides. What effect they have on our diet and how best to incorporate them into our diet, you can read in

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

“[…] The prerequisite is that high-fiber foods, especially whole-grain products, account for the largest share of carbohydrate-supplying foods. Currently, the carbohydrate intake of the population in Germany is relatively close to the reference value, but a significant proportion of the carbohydrate intake comes from the consumption of mono- and disaccharides, which are mainly present in sweets and sweetened beverages. A shift toward consumption of whole grain products is needed here.” [1]



That was: The carbohydrates in our diet


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