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A section of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

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Dietary carbohydrates are a heterogeneous group of molecules derived from plants that include mono- and disaccharides, oligosaccharides, polysaccharides and fiber. It is well documented that the health effects of dietary carbohydrate can be detrimental when high amounts of fructose-containing sugar are consumed or beneficial when high amounts of fiber are consumed.

Yet more understanding about the mechanisms by which added sugar mediates detrimental health effects, and how these effects differ from those of the other carbohydrates and the non-nutritive sweeteners is needed.

Similarly, there is still much to learn about the protective effects of food fibers and fiber supplements, especially those that are mediated via effects on microbiota. The health effects of a diet high in carbohydrate compared to a high-fat diet continue to be debated, and the answer is likely affected by the source of carbohydrate (simple versus complex, refined versus unrefined, grain versus legume) and/or dependent on the genotype or phenotype of the individual. Thus, the Carbohydrates Section of Nutrients is open to increase understanding of the heterogeneity of dietary carbohydrates and determine the carbohydrate components of the optimal diet for promotion of health and prevention of disease. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Added sugar and the pathology of obesity and chronic disease:
    • Added sugar and refined complex carbohydrate;
    • Added sugar and naturally occurring sugars;
    • Added sugar and non-nutritive sweeteners;
    • Added sugar in solid food and sugar-sweetened beverage.
  • High complex carbohydrate diet and the pathology of obesity and chronic disease:
    • High complex carbohydrate diet and high-fat diet;
    • Refined and unrefined complex carbohydrate diet;
    • Food-specific sources of carbohydrate (e.g., legume versus grain);
    • Effects of genotype or phenotype on metabolic response to high carbohydrate diet.
  • Protective effects of fiber:
    • Food fiber and fiber supplements;
    • Intact fiber and pulverized fiber (e.g., whole bean versus hummus, whole fruit versus smoothie).


added sugar; fructose; glucose; sucrose; high fructose corn syrup; sugar-sweetened beverage; complex carbohydrate; non-nutritive sweetener; soluble fiber; insoluble fiber; fiber supplement; refined carbohydrate; unrefined carbohydrate

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