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Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients that make up our diet, along with protein and fat. They are found in a variety of foods including grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy, so they are important for both physical and mental activity.

What do carbohydrates do?

When carbohydrates are consumed, they are broken down into glucose, which is used by the body as energy or stored in the muscles and liver for later use. Carbohydrates are especially important during exercise as they provide a quick source of energy. They also play a role in brain function and can affect mood and appetite.

Examples of carbohydrates

Some examples of carbohydrate-rich foods include:

  • Bread, cereal, pasta, and rice
  • Fruits such as apples, bananas, and oranges
  • Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, corn, and peas
  • Milk and yogurt
  • Sweet treats such as cookies, cakes, and candy

Synonyms and antonyms

Synonyms for carbohydrates include carbs and saccharides. There are no real antonyms for carbohydrates as they are an essential nutrient.

Related terms

Related terms to carbohydrates include fiber, which is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be broken down by the body, and glycemic index, which is a measure of how quickly carbohydrates are digested and raise blood sugar levels.

Don't confuse with

Carbohydrates are often confused with simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are made up of one or two sugar molecules and are found in foods like fruit and candy. Complex carbohydrates are made up of many sugar molecules and are found in foods like whole grains and vegetables.

Madeleine Smith

Content Lead at

Madeleine is passionate about empowering individuals with the information and tools they need to transform their bodies and lives.