Carbohydrates are soluble in water and are the most abundant dietary source of energy for all living organisms, whereas fats are insoluble in water but soluble in alcohol, ether, etc. Fats are also considered as a chief store of energy.
Our body needs ample amount of energy to do ‘work’, which we get through macromolecules like carbohydrate and fats. Both of them provide energy to the body and are macronutrients which mean carbohydrates and fats are among top three sources of energy for a body.
Carbohydrates are the simplest form of sugars, which are absorbed by small intestine and then liver convert it to glucose (form of energy) and send back to the bloodstream for providing energy to perform various functions; Fats and oils is widely present in plants and animals are the esters of glycerol, which serves as a fuel reserve to the body.
Content: Carbohydrates Vs Fats
|Basis for Comparision||Carbohydrates||Fats|
|Composition||Carbohydrate is the abundantly found organic molecule on earth and as the name suggest it is made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.||Fats also have carboxylic acids with hydrocarbon side chains. They are the simplest form of Lipids.|
|Solubility||Carbohydrates are soluble in water.||Fats are insoluble in water but soluble in the inorganic solvent like alcohol, ethanol.|
|Sources||The main source of carbohydrate is table sugar, potatoes, bread, fruit juices, etc.||Oils in vegetables, seeds, nuts and fats from animals are the primary source.|
|Where these are required||Carbohydrate is required to provide energy or fuel to the body immediately after the intake of food.||Fat is needed for the growth of our body, mainly the task of fat is to store energy and absorb essential
|Required amount||At least 45-65 percentage of carbohydrate should be taken of the percentage of calorie intake.||Around 20-35 percentage of intake of fat should be there.|
|Calories||Carbohydrate contains 4 calories/gram.||Fat contains 9 calories/gram.|
|Functions||After the consumption of food, carbohydrate is converted into glucose which is further used as energy for metabolism process.||Fats helps in absorbing vitamins like A, D, E, K.|
|Fiber (undigestable) is a form of carbohydrate that helps in maintaining blood glucose level, cholesterol level, and mainly in removing waste from the body.||Helps to regulate hormone production, in protecting cells, organs and helps in maintaining body temperature.|
Definition of Carbohydrates
These are the most important macromolecule of all. Carbohydrate is the organic molecule having empirical formula as (CH2O)n, that is carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen as the main constituents. But, some may contain nitrogen, phosphate, or sulfur also.
Their function is very vital, as apart from providing energy to the body, carbohydrate has some other functions also like in serving as structural and protective elements to the cell walls of plants and bacteria, working as exoskeleton (hard covering) for arthropods, insects, lobster (exoskeleton is made up of chitin, which is a kind of polysaccharide).
Types of carbohydrates
Carbohydrates can be categorized as simple and complex sugars. Simple sugars have one or two units of sugars, while complex has three or more. On this basis they are divided into three types, which are:
1. Monosaccharide: These are the simplest form of carbohydrate (sugar) as mono means ‘one’ and saccharide means ‘sugar,’ having the general formula as (CH2O)n.
By a number of carbon atoms present they are categorized as trioses (3C), tetroses (4C), pentoses (5C), hexoses (6C), and heptoses (7C). Along with functional group (aldoses and ketoses) present, they are named as aldohexose (Glucose) and Ketohexose (Fructose).
2. Oligosaccharide: Oligo means ‘few,’ these contain small units of monosaccharides varying from 2 to 10, linked by the glycosidic bond. Oligosaccharides also come under simple sugars.
Disaccharides are the most common form of oligosaccharide, containing two units of monosaccharides. Maltose, Lactose, Sucrose, etc, are the examples of the disaccharide.
3. Polysaccharides: As Poly means ‘many,’ so molecules having 10 or more repetitive units of monosaccharide linked by the glycosidic bond are categorized under this. Polysaccharides are said to be a complex sugar. Starch, Glycogen, Cellulose are few examples of it.
They are of two types: Homopolysaccharide and Heteropolysaccharide.
- Homopolysaccharide consists of same units of sugar molecule linked by glycosidic bonds. An example is Cellulose.
- Heteropolysaccharide consists of different type of sugar units. Heparin is heteropolysaccharide.
Definition of Fats
Fats are said to be the simplest form of lipids having carboxylic acids with the side chain of the hydrocarbon. The chemical name of fats and oils is ‘Triglycerols’, they are said to the derivative of hydrocarbons and esters of fatty acids with glycerol.
Fats and oils are not polymers, but small molecules which are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents like alcohol, ether, etc. The primary function of fat is to store energy.
Types of Fats
Fats are classified into 2 types:-
- Saturated fatty acids
- Unsaturated fatty acids
1. Saturated fatty acids: They do not have the double bond between carbon atoms. These are usually solid at room temperature, can be found in red meat, milk products, and palm as well as in coconut oil. Examples: Palmitic acid, Stearic acid, etc.
2. Unsaturated fatty acids: They have double bonds between carbon atoms. These are found in Olive oil, Peanut oil, Walnuts, etc. Oleic acid, Linoleic acid, etc are the example of unsaturated fatty acids.
Fatty acids having only one double bond are called as monounsaturated (MUFA), while those having two or more double bonds are said to be polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). These are liquid at room temperature and seems to lower the rates of heart diseases.
Key Differences Between Carbohydrates and Fats
- Though both carbohydrate and fats are the sources of energy, the key difference is that carbohydrate provides instant energy after intake of food, but fats help in storage of energy, apart from this fats provide protection to vital organs, cell membranes and also helps in regulation of hormones.
- Carbohydrate can be classified by the number of sugar units present in them, whereas Fats are classified by bonds, either single or double.
- Carbohydrates are precursors of many organic compounds like fats and amino acids; Fats serves as a source of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K).
- Carbohydrates in the form of glycoproteins and glycolipids help in cell growth, adhesion, and other functions. Fats also help in maintaining proper body temperature.
Carbohydrates and fats play a vital role in providing energy; both of them has equal importance too, in nature. However it is said that we should not consume much fat, but it is equally important as compared to carbohydrate because apart from providing energy fats helps in normal body growth also.
These macro nutrients cannot be produced by our body on its own. Hence, these should be obtained by having a good and healthy diet which are rich in carbohydrate and fats like fruits, vegetables, rice, seeds, etc.