Carbohydrates are the major source of energy for the body and are an important source of fuel for brain cells. The two major types of carbohydrates are sugars and starch (complex carbohydrates). The latter are found in many foods including starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas and corn. Grain foods such as wheat, oats and rice are also an important source of complex carbohydrates. Sugars include natural sugar which is found in foods such as fruit and milk products as well as the added sugar in a range of processed foods.1
The average amount of carbohydrate intake consumed per person per day was 229 grams see Table 1.1. Carbohydrate contributed 45% of total energy intakes, with Total starch contributing 24% of energy and Total sugars contributing 20% of energy see Table 2.1. The leading sub-major food groups contributing to Total starch were: Regular breads, and bread rolls (providing 21% of starch), Mixed dishes where cereal is the major ingredient (16%), Flours and other cereal grains and starches (mainly rice) (10%), Breakfast cereals, ready to eat (9%), and Potatoes (7%) see Table 10.11. Total sugars includes those sugars naturally present in foods such as in fruit and milk as well as the sugars added to processed foods and beverages. The food groups contributing the greatest amounts of sugars were: Fruit products and dishes (15.6%), Soft drinks, and flavoured mineral waters (providing 9.7% of sugars), Dairy milk (8.1%), Fruit and vegetable juices, and drinks (7.5%), Sugar, honey and syrups (6.5%), Cakes, muffins, scones and cake-type desserts (5.8%) see Table 10.9.
1.National Health and Medical Research Council 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical
Research Council, <https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/n55_australian_dietary_guidelines_130530.pdf>, Last accessed 30/04/2014. Back