Design and Technology/Biology KS3: The science behind carbohydrates

Paralympic athlete Jordanne Whiley explains why carbohydrates are important in her diet. Meanwhile, Stefan Gates uses a 'sugar shotgun' to illustrate how energy is released from food and creates heat.

We hear about the difference between complex and simple carbohydrates, their food sources, their function in the body and the energy they release.

We are advised to get 55% of our calories from carbohydrate rich foods, particularly complex carbohydrates such as wholegrains, wholemeal bread, rice and potatoes.

The links between simple carbohydrates, or sugar, and the risk of tooth decay, heart disease and weight gain are explained.

The idea of balancing energy in and energy out is highlighted.

This short film is from the BBC series, Gastro Lab.

Teacher Notes

You could ask your pupils to compare the amount of calories per 100g or per portion found in a selection of carbohydrate-based foods, by examining food labels or using nutritional analysis.

These foods could be placed in rank order and evaluated as to which would be the best to eat before a marathon.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is relevant for teaching biology and food technology at Key Stage 3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 3rd Level in Scotland

More from Gastro Lab:

The science behind dietary fibre
The science behind fat
The science behind hydration
The science behind protein
The science behind vitamins and minerals