Basic Science

Food: Carbohydrates and Sugars

len Alfred Ajibola - Sun, 17th March, 2019 @ 22:03: PM

Topics in Basic Science

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Academic Questions in Basic Science

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

Which of the following statement is FALSE concerning mass and weight?

  • A. Mass is the amount of matter in a body

  • B. The element hydrogen has the smallest mass

  • C. You will weigh more on planet jupiter than earth

  • D. Weight is a function of gravity

  • E. Mass and Weight have different Standard International (S.I) Units

  • F. None of the above

Which of the following statement is FALSE concerning matter?

  • A. Anything considered as matter must either have mass or occupy space

  • B. Air is an example of matter

  • C. Plasma is a state of matter

  • D. Chemistry is considered as the study of matter and the changes they undergo

  • E. Vacuum is a space completely void of matter

  • F. Matter will always take up space no matter how small or invincible it is to the eyes

Which of the following is NOT matter?

  • A. Atom

  • B. Molecule

  • C. Ion

  • D. Bacterium

  • E. Virus

  • F. None of the above

The ultimate source of energy is _____.

  1. Plant
  2. Sun
  3. Food
  4. Water
  5. Air
  6. Earth

The speed of wind is measured with a wind vane.


The nutrient majorly found in the liver is _____.

  • A. Carbohydrate
  • B. Starch
  • C. Protein
  • D. Fats
  • E. Oil
  • F. Lipids

A body at rest possess _____ energy.

  • A. Kinetic
  • B. Potential
  • C. Mechanical
  • D. Chemical



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Concept of Food:

All living things must feed in order to stay alive. This is achieved through a process termed Nutrition.

Food is anything that is ingested by living organisms in order to stay alive.

Please read on how Plants' manufacture food (Photosynthesis) here.

Food can take different forms or states; (that is, it can be solid, semi-solid or liquid).

Note: Food are almost never ingested in a gaseous form. This is true because most of the inhaled gases go through a windpipe called trachea, which connects to the bronchi and ultimately the lungs.

Apart from the above fact, cigarettes and other inhaled substances are considered as drugs, not food.

Please read on Types of Drugs here.

The food we eat are usually derived from plants and animals. (Fungi is neither a plant nor animal but can also serve as a source of food).

Food has a variety of functions; and understanding the classes of food will aid you to better understand their functions.

We have six classes of food namely:

  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Proteins
  3. Fats and Oils
  4. Vitamins
  5. Mineral Salts
  6. Water

Now, let's talk a bit on carbohydrates.

What are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are classes of food composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen (CHO) in the ratio of 1:2:1.

Please read on Emperical Formula here.

Carbohydrates are your body's first choice for generating the energy that helps you go about your daily activities.

Note: Fats and Proteins can also be sources of energy but they aren't your body's first choice. As a matter of fact, fatty foods contain a higher calorie of energy while carbohydrates and protein diets are considered to contain similar amount of calories.

All carbohydrates are sugars.

When you eat rice, yam or cassava, you are essentially eating sugars. These sugars can be put into three categories. They are:

1. Polysaccharides

Polysaccharides are complex sugars. These are what we often eat whenever we eat carbohydrates.

We have four types of polysaccharides namely:

  1. Starch
  2. Glycogen
  3. Chitin
  4. Cellulose

Note: Starchy foods include rice, cassava and yam.

Note: Roughages are not classified as one the classes of food in humans. This is due to the fact that they aren't digested. They will rather facilitate the movement of bowels in the large intestine (colon); and for this reason, they can be very useful in treating constipation.

Polysaccharides have a general formula of Cx(H2O)y where x is always a large number between 200 and 2500.

Please read on Molecular Mass and Molar Mass with their Calculations here.

Polysaccharides are composed of repeating units of another type of sugar called monosaccharides or simple sugars.


2. Monosaccharides

Also called simple sugars, they are the final broken down products of polysaccharides. They consist of one sugar unit and cannot be further broken down.

Glucose, Galactose and Fructose are all examples of simple sugars.

After we had eaten a starchy food (polysaccharide), various enzymes produced by our bodily cells break down the ingested starch (which is always eaten in it's cooked form). The enzymes first digest (breakdown) the starchy food into a double sugar (disaccharide), then finally into monosaccharides. This breakdown process is called digestion.

Monosaccharides are absorbed into our blood stream (from the small intestine) and are eventually utilized for energy production in the mitochondria of all cells.

Please read on the Introduction to Biology and Basic Characteristics of Life here.

Glucose is the major monosaccharides utilized in the generation of energy (called ATP or Adenosine TriPhosphate) in the cell's mitochondria

The process of generating ATP is usually accomplished with the utilization of oxygen; hence the over process is termed aerobic respiration

Note: Respiration can also occur in the absence of oxygen; and this is termed anaerobic respiration

Monosaccharides generally have a chemical formula of C6H12O6. 

Note: Glucose, Fructose and Galactose are the three main types of monosaccharides.

Fructose is involved in the body's metabolism while Galactose is useful for the normal functioning of erythrocytes or Red Blood Cells.
Please read on Red Blood Cells and Hemoglobin here.


3. Disaccharide

They are composed of two monosaccharides joined together; thus are also referred to as double sugars.

Disaccharides are often added as sweeteners to food; for instance, the table sugar called sucrose is a disaccharide often used by us to sweeten our tea.

Maltose is another disaccharide used as an ingredient for making malt drinks, chocolates and candies.

The breast milk contains the disaccharide Lactose.

Lactose is very vital for the normal growth and development of infants .

Note: In adults, disaccharides are non essential nutrients. This implies that we can live without them as adults.

Please read more on Nutrients here.

Below is a summary of monosaccharides that make up disaccharides (double sugars).

  • Maltose = Glucose + Glucose
  • Lactose = Glucose + Galactose
  • Sucrose = Glucose + Fructose

Other examples of disaccharides include trehalulose and isomaltulose

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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Amazing facts in Basic Science

Rasceta is the name given to the lines on your ✋ palm ✋

Goats have rectangular pupils in their eyes.

Think of the pupil as a hole located in the centre of the iris within of the eye.

Note: To get an idea of an iris; 'when one is said to have blue eyes', it's because the iris is blue

Among all land animals, 🐘 Elephants 🐘 have the longest gestation period.

They stay pregnant for 22 months before giving birth to their young

🦘 Kangaroos 🦘 can't walk backwards

The 🥛 milk 🥛 of an 🦛 hippopotamus 🦛 is pink in color

The seed of all fruits are present on the inside with the exception of one.

That exception is 🍓 strawberry 🍓

🍓 strawberry 🍓 has it's seed outside the fruit

It actually takes 🍍 pineapples 🍍 2 years to grow

The liquid inside a coconut 🥥 can be used as an excellent substitute for your blood plasma

Facts on Elephants - Len Academy

Elephants can't jump


The eyebrow is an area of dense, delicate hair just above the eye.

Eyebrows perform two main functions:

  1. Protects our eyes against sweat, rain, dirt and other atmospheric contaminants.
  2. It helps us express our emotions.

Eye Brow - Len Academy

Eyebrow modified in the form of Nike logo.

Note: Eyebrows can also be modified to enhance beauty.

All fruits have seeds.

There is nothing like a naturally occurring seedless fruit. Even banana, coconut and pineapple have all got seeds.

Weight can be defined as the force of gravity acting on an object.

If you traveled to space, you would be weightless because there isn't any force of gravity acting there. We all have weight on earth becasue the force of gravity acts here.

Weight is measured in Newton

Please read on the concept of Mass and Weight here

Mass is the amount or quantity of matter (substance) contained in a body. For instance, everything you are composed of, both from within and outside will make up your mass.

Mass is constant throughout the universe. You will have the same mass on earth and moon respectively.

Mass is measured in gram or kilogram and it's quite different from weight.

Matter is anything that has mass and occupy space.

Matter can exist in four states namely:

  • Solid
  • Liquid
  • Gas
  • Plasma