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Nutrients that are required in a fairly large quantity by the body are referred to as macro nutrients while micro nutrients are required in a very little quantity. All these nutrients perform specific functions in the body and their lack or shortage in our diet results to deficiencies.


Carbohydrates are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are mainly produced by plants through the process of photosynthesis. Animals obtain carbohydrate by consuming the carbohydrate synthesis by the plants. Carbohydrates can be classified into three namely:

  1. Monosaccharaides.
  2. Oligosaccharides
  3. Polysaccharides.


These are the smallest units of carbohydrates referred to as simple sugar e.g. glucose, fructose, GA lactose etc.


These are the carbohydrates that are made up of between 2 and 10 monosaccharaides units joined together e.g. maltose, lactose, sucrose etc.


They are made up of more than ten units of monosaccharaides joined together e.g. starch, cellulose, pepsin etc.

Functions of carbohydrates.

  1. It serves as sources of heat and energy to the body.
  2. It spares protein hence prevents its wastage.
  3. It adds bulk to faces.
  4. It assists in the complete oxidation of fats in the body.
  5. It gives flavor and variety to the diet.

Food sources of carbohydrates

Food sources of carbohydrates include yam, rice, bread, cassava, maize, cocoyam, millet, oat, barley, rhye, wheat, sugarcane, sorghum, guinea corn, plantain etc.


See also

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