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Difference Between Lipids and Carbohydrates

Lipids vs Carbohydrates

There are three different macronutrients essential to the body. These nutrients promote the growth, metabolism, development, and other functions of the body. Such are coined as macronutrients because they give a large amount of caloric level to the body. Lipids are a wide group of molecules composing of fats, waxes, sterols, and fat-soluble vitamins, namely, Vitamins A, D, E, and K. They also include triglycerides, phospholipids, and other things as well. Their major task is to store energy as part of the cell membranes.

Carbohdydrates, on the other hand, are organic compounds that contains carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, hence their name. In a structural point of view, it is more accurate to consider them as polyhydroxy aldehydes and ketones. They are subdivided into four groups, namely; monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. Carbohydrates have different functions. They could serve as storage for energy, and serve as an important part of RNA. They play important roles in the immune system, fertilization, prevention of blood clots, and pathogenesis.

Most major dietary lipids of humans and animals are animal and plant triglycerides, membrane phospholipids, and sterols. The metabolism of lipids will have to synthesize and degrade the lipid stores. It will then create the structural and functional lipids of each and every tissue of the body. Also, there would be lipogenesis which is the synthesis of fatty acids. This will allow the carry-out of proteins which will be secreted from the liver. As for the carbohydrate metabolism, it will undergo catabolism. Catabolism is the process of extracting energy by which metabolic reaction cells undergo. There are two major pathways of metabolism that a monosaccharide catabolic goes through. It undergoes glycolysis and the citric acid cycle. The process of glycolysis, the oligosaccharides will be cut into smaller monosaccharides by glycoside hydrolases. The monosaccharide units will then have to undergo a monosaccharide catabolism.

Lipids can be found in foods in the forms of triacyglycerols, cholesterol, and phospholipids. There is a minimum amount of fat in the diet that is required in the absorption of different fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids. In addition, there is a dietary requirement for the essential fatty acids like linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid. Without the essential fatty acids, the simple precursors in the diet won’t be synthesized.

Sources of linoleic acid can be found in sunflower and corn oils. The alpha-linolenic acid would be found in green leafy vegetables, nuts, and legumes. Foods with rich contents of carbohydrates are found in breads, pastas, sodas, sweets, fruits, rice, cereals, and root crops. Foods rich in carbohydrates are most likely found in every meal that we have. Take, for instance, breakfast. A person can get carbohydrates from pancakes, bagels, and waffles. At lunch, there’s the vegetable salad that one partakes of. And for dinner, a person can indulge in a chocolate cake for dessert.

In some studies, the total dietary fat intake could lead to a risk in obesity if the intake is too much. However, there are studies that provided health benefits. A good example would be the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. Such intake would decrease the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and mental illnesses. According to nutritionists, they came up with a glycemic index and glycemic load concept. This is to keep people aware of the guidelines in the intake of complex carbohydrates. It has been a concern that highly processed foods rich in carbohydrates can lead to unhealthy effects. The major downside of too much intake of carbohydrates would be diabetes. The body won’t be able to utilize that much glucose in the body. As a result, glucose would exceed proper levels in the blood. It would then cause many complications to the body.


1. Both carbohydrates and lipids have the same function which is to store energy.
2. Lipids would have to synthesize their sources while carbohydrates undergo catabolism.
3. Lipids can be found in oil while carbohydrates can be found in starch-rich foods.
4. Excess lipids can lead to cardiovascular diseases while carbohydrates lead to diabetes.

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