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Carbohydrate

Carbohydrate is an essential nutrient that is an excellent source of energy (measured as calories) for the body and is the preferred fuel for the brain and nervous system. All forms of carbohydrate increase a person's blood sugar level, depending on the amount of carbohydrate in the food.

Carbohydrate comes in two forms: starch and sugar.

  • Starch (complex carbohydrate) is found in foods such as breads, cereals, grains, pasta, rice, flour, legumes, and vegetables. Foods high in starch provide longer-lasting energy than simple carbohydrates.
  • Sugar (simple carbohydrate) is found in foods such as fruits, juices, milk, honey, desserts, and candy. Foods high in simple sugar provide quick energy.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Current as of January 25, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 25, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.