Further Comparisons of Simple and Complex Carbohydrates


Carbohydrates are one of the three main nutrients that supply the body with energy. Starch, fiber, and sugar make up the category of nutrients called carbohydrates. Carbohydrates made from starches and sugars are the bodyís main source of energy. Sugars have a simple chemical structure and are called simple carbohydrates. Fiber and starch is more complex sturcturally and is termed complex carbohydrate. All carbohydrates are made from the same three elements, the same elements that make up fat, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

Simple Carbohydrates:

Simple carbohydrates are made up of either one (monosaccharide) or two (disaccharide) sugar units. The three types of monosaccharides are: fructose, glucose, and galactose.

Complex Carbohydrates:

Starches and fiber are called polysaccharides, which means many saccharides. These are just longer chains of sugars. If starches are sugars then why donít they taste sweet? It is because of the length or size of the molecule. They simply do not fit on the receptors of the taste buds on the tounge. As a polysacchride dissolves and is broken down by digestive enzymes in the mouth the molecules become smaller and start to taste sweeter.