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Cover Human Nutrition

Carbohydrate metabolism  

John M. Brameld, Tim Parr, and David A. Bender

This chapter tackles the function of carbohydrate metabolism. Carbohydrates are not essential nutrients since there is no absolute requirement for a dietary intake. However, a very low carbohydrate diet results in chronically increased production and plasma concentrations of the ketone bodies (ketosis) and the absence of glycogen stores since carbohydrate mainly provides metabolic fuel to all tissues. The chapter then explains the main role of dietary carbohydrates as a metabolic fuel, such as affecting satiety, insulin secretion, and glucose homeostasis. It then considers the pathways of carbohydrate metabolism and its regulation before considering the role of glycogen as a carbohydrate reserve.

Chapter

Cover Essentials of Human Nutrition

Carbohydrates  

Andrew Reynolds and Jim Mann

This chapter discusses carbohydrates, which are the most important source of food energy in the world. The major sources of dietary carbohydrate worldwide are cereal grains (primarily rice, wheat, and maize), with refined sugar, root crops (potatoes, cassava, yams, sweet potatoes, and taro), pulses, vegetables, fruit, and milk products contributing less to overall energy intake. Carbohydrate-containing foods, with the exception of sugar, contribute important amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, sterols, and antioxidants to diet. The chapter then looks at the measurement of dietary carbohydrates; the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates; and carbohydrate metabolism. It also considers the relationship between carbohydrates and postprandial glycaemia, gut disorders, and non-communicable disease. Finally, the chapter examines energy values and recommended intakes of carbohydrates.

Chapter

Cover Human Nutrition

Fat metabolism  

Philip C. Calder and Parveen Yaqoob

This chapter focuses on the notion and main features of fat metabolism. Fat is a major contributor to total energy intakes in most Western diets, and all fat sources contain mixtures of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Fat plays diverse roles in human nutrition, such as a source of energy, both for immediate utilization by the body and in laying down a storage depot. The chapter explains that dietary fat acts as a vehicle for the ingestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. It then considers the relationship between fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism and the main regulatory features of fat metabolism.