Carbohydrates, which are sugars, are an essential part of a healthy
diet. They provide the main source of energy for the body, and
they also function to flavor and sweeten foods. Carbohydrates
range from simple sugars like glucose to complex sugars such as
amylose and amylopectin. Nutritionists estimate that carbohydrates
should make up about one-fourth to one-fifth of a person's diet.
This translates to about 75-100 grams of carbohydrates per day.
A diet that is deficient in carbohydrates can have an adverse effect
on a person's health. When the body lacks a sufficient amount of carbohydrates it must then use its protein supplies for energy,
a process called gluconeogenesis. This, however, results in a lack of
necessary protein, and further health difficulties may occur. A lack of carbohydrates can also lead to ketosis, a build-up of ketones
in the body that causes fatigue, lethargy, and bad breath.