Difference Between Carbohydrates and Lipids

Carbohydrates vs Lipids

Food and affiliated sciences are riddled with claims of reducing weight, gaining weight and toning the body. And some of these unscrupulous people are using scientific terms, which are used in the everyday life, and assign them values that have not been tested and say that their program works. Carbohydrates and lipids are terms with scientific value. Since people are not going in depth regarding these terms, there are people who would easily use these same terms and create varied mythologies around them. So this can be considered as an exercise to educate the public on the specific values of these terms, and how they differ and where you see them every day.


Carbohydrates are organic compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. A synonym for this term is sachcharide. Thus, according to the number of carbon atoms and combinations of joining these, carbohydrates can be divided into monosaccharide, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides are the simplest, and they are called simple sugars. These include glucose and sucrose. They are used in the human body as an energy source and a base product for synthesis. Glucose is the main form in the body, and it can be stored as glycogen. In plants, it is stored as starch in the form of polysaccharides. Most starchy plant based foods are high in carbs, and it gives off 4 kilocalories per gram of carbohydrate. Oligosaccharides are helpful in maintaining gut bacteria, which helps in the synthesis of various products.


Lipid is a complex molecule with carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, as well as, nitrogen and sulphur, with other small constituents. These include fats, phospholipids, fat soluble vitamins, waxes and sterols. The main functions of these lipids include the formation of the cellular membrane, energy storage, cellular signaling, and other minuscule nutrient functions with relation to vitamins A, D, E and K. Most lipids found in food are in the form of triacyglycerol, cholesterol, and phospholipids. Lipids are vital in maintaining good health, and any deficit can lead to syndromes that retard optimum function. However, if there is unbalance in the intake of lipids along with familial tendencies, dyslipidaemia can develop, and restriction of lipids is necessary. But still there are essential fatty acids that need to be taken.

What is the difference between Carbohydrates and Lipids?

Both carbohydrates and lipids are essential organic compounds. Both contain the basic building blocks of C, H and O. Both are present in animals, as well as, plants. They undergo varied changes once taken into the human body. Both are associated with chronic diseases when taken in excess, and need to be moderated once the disease has stricken. However, there are some differences between lipids and carbohydrates.

1. Lipids are made up of extra nitrogen and sulphur and envelope a wide range of sub varieties of molecules.

2. Lipids include vitamins, whereas carbohydrates do not.

3. Lipids have a function in cellular signaling, whereas carbohydrates do not.

4. Carbohydrates release energy of 4 kcal per gram, whereas lipids release 9 kcal per gram.

Thus, these two types of biochemical are present in the human body and are taken in the form of food. They are required for the proper functioning of the body. They differ in nomenclature, and the constituent building blocks and purposeful functions.