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Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients; carbohydrates are molecules of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. Carbohydrates have three main classifications: sugars, which are sweet, short-chain carbs, for example, glucose, sucrose, etc. The second classification is fiber, and the last one is starch, which consists of essentially long chains of glucose molecules (Stubbs et al., 1997). The primary role of carbohydrates in the body is to provide energy to our bodies. Most carbohydrates are broken down in the body into glucose which is then utilized as energy. There are two types of carb-containing foods; whole or non-processed carbs and refined or processed carbs.

Whole or non-processed carbohydrates are those occurring from a naturally occurring harvest; they are minimally or not processed at all and contain the fiber naturally found in the foods. Examples include whole grains, beans, legumes, and oats, among others. Some of the benefits of eating whole carbohydrates are that whole foods are loaded with nutrients and fiber, which is useful in digestion; eating whole carbs has been linked to lowering the risk of diseases and improving metabolic well-being. Lastly, the balanced natural components of whole carbs do not affect blood sugar levels (Rubin 2019). Even though whole carbohydrates have been proven to be healthy, consuming too much of them can also be detrimental to one’s health; hence consuming them should be done in moderation. Other disadvantages of whole carbs include; not being readily available, expensive, and GMO products that are just as harmful as processed foods.

Refined carbohydrates are carbohydrates that have been processed, and the natural fiber is changed or removed entirely. Examples of refined carbs include pastries, white bread, and soft drinks. Refined carbs contain a lot of sugar; hence, consuming them results in dips and spikes in the blood sugar levels, which could prompt an ensuing crash and thus triggers food cravings. Most studies on refined carbohydrates have shown that consuming large amounts of them leads to health issues, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity (David Rakel). During processing, most of the essential nutrients are removed and replaced with added sugars; such sugars have been associated with risks of numerous chronic illnesses. However, refined carbohydrates have been attributed to some benefits, like aiding in weight gain for people who have lost an unhealthy amount of weight and improving energy levels within a short amount of time; they are cheap and readily available.

In conclusion, macronutrients can occur naturally or through manufacturing. An example of a macronutrient is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates occur naturally and can also be manufactured. Consequently, whole carbohydrates are fiber and nutrient-rich and are healthy for consumption. At the same time, processed foods don’t provide the same nutritional benefits and are more likely to cause detrimental health outcomes.


David Rakel, M. D. Associations of Fats and Carbohydrate Intake With Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality.

Rubin, R. (2019). High-fiber diet might protect against a range of conditions. JAMA, 321 (17), 1653-1655.

Stubbs, R. J., Prentice, A. M., & James, W. P. T. (1997). Carbohydrate and energy balance. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 819 (1), 44-69.


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Essay assignment (400 words minimum) on one macronutrient from two perspectives: one from a naturally occurring harvest, the other from a refining and manufacturing process.

Macronutrients – Carbohydrates

Macronutrients – Carbohydrates

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