Carbohydrates vs. Fats

The major difference between carbohydrates and fats is that carbohydrates are composed of chains of sugars while fats are the simplest form of lipids. They are composed of carboxylic acids with side chains of hydrocarbons.

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Carbohydrates vs. Fats

Carbohydrates and fats are two major macronutrients present in our food. They form the bulk of our food. Our body requires energy for its normal functions which are provided by dietary nutrients. Dietary nutrients are of two types, i.e., macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are of three kinds, i.e., carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Here we will discuss the two major macronutrients, i.e., carbohydrates and fats. Carbohydrates form 60 to 70 percent of our daily dietary requirements, and they are composed of complex sugars. Fats are the simplest type of lipids, and they are further composed of carboxylic acids with a side chain of hydrocarbons.

Carbohydrates are soluble in water while fats are not capable of to be soluble in water. They are soluble in ether, alcohol and other inorganic substances. The main sources of carbohydrates are brad, barley, rice, table sugar, fruit juices, sugar cane, etc. While the major sources of fats are the oil of vegetable seeds, nuts, whole milk, ghee, etc. Carbohydrates provide energy to our body for metabolism and aerobic and anaerobic respiration. Fats also provide energy to our body for metabolism and aerobic and anaerobic respiration, but they are also mandatory for the uptake of fat-soluble vitamins, i.e., vitamin A, D, E, and K.

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It is recommended that 60-70% of our daily calorie intake must be contained of carbs while the recommended daily intake of fats is 15 to 20% of daily calorie intake. One gram of carbohydrates provides 4 kilocalories of energy while one gram of fats provide 9 kilocalories of energy. The simplest unit of carbs is sugar while fats are the simplest constructing units of lipids.

Carbohydrates are digested by salivary amylase, pancreatic amylase, sucrase, and lactase while fats are digested by bile and enzyme lipase. Bile is not an enzyme. It breaks fats into small globules which are further digested by pancreatic lipase. After complete digestion, carbs are converted to glucose which the main source of energy in our body. In addition, carbohydrate is also found in the form of fiber. It is, in fact, undigestable part of the food. It decreases the cholesterol level in the body and maintains the blood glucose level. It also removes waste from the blood. Fats provide energy to our body. I addition, they play an important role in maintaining hormones in our body. Fats also provide insulation to the body and maintain body temperature.

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Comparison Chart

Basis Carbohydrates Fats
Definition They are organic compounds and the main part of our food. They consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.They contribute a major part to our food. They provide our food with a palatable effect.
Building blocks The building blocks of carbs are sugars. Fats are in fact the building blocks of lipids. They are composed of carboxylic acids with a hydrocarbon side chain.
Solubility They are soluble in water.They are not soluble water, but they are soluble in alcohol, ethanol, ether, and other inorganic substances.
Role in our dietThey form the bulk of our dietThey provide the food with a palatable effect.
Digested by They are digested in the body by certain enzymes like salivary amylase, pancreatic amylase, sucrase, and lactase.They are broken into smaller globules with the help of bile and further digested by enzyme pancreatic lipase.
Amount of calorie they provide They give 4 Kcal of energy per gram.They give 9 Kcal of energy per gram.
Recommended daily intake The recommended daily intake of carbs is 60 to 70 percent of total daily calorie intake.The recommended daily intake of lipids is 15 to 20 percent of total daily calorie intake.
Function They digest to form glucose which is the major source of energy in our body.They also provide energy to our body. Their important function is the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, i.e., vitamin A, D, E, and K.
Sources The sources of carbs are wheat, rice, barley, potato, tomato, bread, table sugar, cane sugar, and fruit juices, etc.The sources of fats are whole milk, curd, cheese, vegetable seeds, nuts, butter, and ghee, etc.
Other functions Fiber is undigestable carbs which lower the cholesterol in the body. They also maintain blood sugar level and removes waste from the blood.Fats also provide insulation to our body and maintain body temperature. They become the source of energy when the body is in a starvation state. In this state, our adipose tissue fat provides calories to the body.

what are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are organic compounds which are important macronutrients for our body. They contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen but may contain some other elements like nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, etc. They play structural and functional roles in our body. They form the dietary bulk of our food. Carbohydrates have a very complex structure. They are made  of long chains of sugars. Various enzymes are present in our body to digest carbs. Salivary amylase is found in our saliva which breaks carbs. Apart from this, pancreatic amylase, sucrase, and lactase also act to digest carbs. After complete digestion, carbohydrates are converted into simple sugars which are the main source of energy for our body. One gram of carbs provides 4 Kcal of energy. There are three main types of carbs, i.e., monosaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides contain only one sugar, e.g., glucose. Oligosaccharides contain two to ten interlinked sugars. The example can be given ad lactose and sucrose. Polysaccharides contain more than ten interlinked sugars. They are very complex sugars. An example can be given as cellulose and heparin.

What are fats?

Fats are the building blocks of lipids which are also important macronutrients of our food. Fats provide our food with a tasty and palatable effect. Fats are composed of carboxylic acids with side chains of hydrocarbons. They provide our body with an insulation effect and energy.

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Key differences

The key difference between Carbohydrates and Fats are given below:

  1. Carbohydrates are complex sugars while fats are the building blocks of lipids.
  2. Carbohydrates are soluble in water while fats are not soluble in water. They are soluble in ethanol, ether, chloroform and other inorganic compounds
  3. One gram of carbs provides 4 Kcal of energy while one gram of fats provide 9 Kcal of energy.
  4. Carbs are digested by enzyme amylase while fats are digested by enzymes lipase and bile.
  5. The recommended daily intake of carbs is 60 to 70 percent of daily total dietary intake while that of fats is 15 to 20 percent.

Conclusion

Carbohydrates and fats are two important macronutrients of our food. It is important to know in detail about both of them. In the above article, we learned clear differences between carbs and fats in detail.

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