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Functions of carbohydrates

As a source of energy: The main function of carbohydrate is to supply energy for the body processes. A greater part of the energy in the diet i.e more than 50-80%) is supplied by carbohydrates. Some of the carbohydrates are immediately utilized by the tissues and the remaining is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles and some are stored as adipose tissues for future energy needs.

Protein-sparing action: Carbohydrates are mainly utilized by the body of fulfilling the major part of the energy needs. The prime demand of the body is the need for energy, which must be satisfied before the nutrients are used for other functions. The Protein-sparing action of carbohydrates is to spare protein for its primary purpose of body building and repair of tissues.

Essential for Fat Oxidation: The fat yields twice as much as energy as carbohydrate for unit weight, but carbohydrate is essential for oxidation of fats.

Role in gastro-intestinal function: Carbohydrates play an important role in the gastro-intestinal functions of mammals. For example the lactose, a carbohydrate promotes the growth of certain desirable bacteria in the small intestine which brings about the synthesis of certain B-complex Vitamins.

Add flavor to the diet: Foods rich in carbohydrate makes staple food to humans. These add flavor and variety to the food we consume.

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