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Carbohydrates are body's basic source of energy. They are converted to glucose, the body's chief energy giving fuel.

Carbohydrates are usually characterized as either simple and complex, depending upon the length of chemical chains that form them. Simple carbohydrates including sugar, honey, molasses and corn syrup, often come in fat-laden packages (think of ice cream) that are high in calories, but low in vitamins and minerals. One exception to this rule is fruit, which although loaded with fructose (a simple carbohydrate) also contains a healthy store of vitamins and minerals.