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Chemically, a carbohydrate is any compound consisting only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Examples of carbohydrates are sugar, cellulose, alcohol, cholesterol, PET- the plastic used to make water bottles, and fat.

Carbohydrate is most commonly used to describe nutritional carbohydrates, which are various compounds consisting of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen that the body can use for energy. Although fats are carbohydrates in a chemical sense, they are not in a nutritional sense.

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