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.
  • Sugar (simple carbohydrate) is found in foods such as fruits, juices, milk, honey, desserts, and candy.

Last Updated: February 6, 2009

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

Medical Review: Ruth Schneider, MPH, RD - Diet and Nutrition & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Diabetes Educator

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