Carbohydrates are the most abundant organic components in most fruits, vegetables, legumes, and cereal grains, and they provide texture and flavor in many processed foods. They are the major energy source for humans by digestion and absorption in the small intestine and, to a lesser extent, by microbial fermentation in the large intestine. Glucose is an essential energy source for humans; some types of cells such as red blood cells are not able to use other fuels. Glucose for the body's use may be derived from dietary starch, sucrose, and lactose; from glycogen stores in the body; or from synthesis in vivo from gluconeogenic precursors such as amino acid carbon skeletons. Glucose also serves as a precursor for synthesis of all other carbohydrates that are found as covalently bound constituents of glycoproteins, glycolipids, and proteoglycans in the body These complex biomolecules are important components of body fluids, matrix tissues, membranes, and cell surfaces.
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WHAT IT IS A three-phase plan that has been likened to the low-carbohydrate Atkins program because during the first two weeks, South Beach eliminates most carbs, including bread, pasta, potatoes, fruit and most dairy products. In PHASE 2, healthy carbs, including most fruits, whole grains and dairy products are gradually reintroduced, but processed carbs such as bagels, cookies, cornflakes, regular pasta and rice cakes remain on the list of foods to avoid or eat rarely.