Background: Dietary carbohydrates are a group of natural compounds that includes simple
sugars and complex polysaccharides in addition to fibres. The primary role of carbohydrates is
to provide energy for various physiological functions in the body.
Objective: A relatively high intake of complex carbohydrates and a limited intake of added or free
sugars are generally recommended for a healthy diet. Carbohydrates are essential nutrients that are
obtained from consumed food and cannot be synthesized by the body.
Methods: The requirement of carbohydrates in diets such as sugars, starches, and fibres is essential
to understand and evaluate the nutritional status of individuals, populations, and the epidemiology
of deficiency diseases.
Results: The dietary guidelines specify that carbohydrates should provide about half of the total
calories in a balanced diet while free sugars should be limited to 5-10% of energy. Dietary fibre is
a non-digestible carbohydrate that is not absorbed in the body but is important for satiety and laxation.
Adult humans should consume 40-60% of their daily calorie intake from carbohydrates, except
for infants and children who need a higher proportion of fats and proteins in their diet.
Conclusion: It is recommended to consume complex carbohydrates and dietary fibres in the diet
for health. Free and added sugars are not recommended if a person is diabetic, obese, and trying to
lose weight. The function of different types of carbohydrates in the diet is an active area of study
and further recommendations are essential to elucidate its function in health and diseases.