Skip to comments.Are Carbohydrates Just Sugar by Another Name?
Posted on 01/05/2012 7:50:58 AM PST by Brookhaven
I had a bit an epiphany yesterday, but it seems so contray to what I've been told about eating all my life, I'm having a hard time believing my analysis is corret.
I've been working on changing my diet. One of the things I ran across was the fact that eating carbohydrates spikes your blood sugar. Then I heard someone make the comment (and it was almost a throw-away side comment) "of course, carbohydrates are just complex forms of sugar." Really?
The following lines are pulled from here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161547.php, my insertions are in brackets [my comment].
Saccharides, or carbohydrates, are sugars or starches.
There are various types of saccharides:
Monosaccharide - this is the smallest possible sugar unit. Examples include glucose, galactose or fructose. When we talk about blood sugar we are referring to glucose in the blood; glucose is a major source of energy for a cell. In human nutrition, galactose can be found most readily in milk and dairy products, while fructose is found mostly in vegetables and fruit.
Disaccharide - two monosaccharide [simple sugar] molecules bonded together. Disaccharides are polysaccharides - "poly " specifies any number higher than one, while "di " specifies exactly two. Examples of disaccharides include lactose, maltose, and sucrose. If you bond one glucose molecule with a fructose molecule you get a sucrose molecule.
Sucrose is found in table sugar, and is often formed as a result of photosynthesis (sunlight absorbed by chlorophyll reacting with other compounds in plants). If you bond one glucose molecule with a galactose molecule you get lactose, which is commonly found in milk.
Polysaccharide - a chain of two or more monosaccharides [simple sugar molecule]. The chain may be branched (molecule is like a tree with branches and twigs) or unbranched (molecule is a straight line with no twigs). Polysaccharide molecule chains may be made up of hundreds or thousands of monosaccharides.
So, carbohydrates are made up of sugar or starch. Monosaccharide, disaccharide, and polysaccharide are all forms of sugar. But, what is starch?
Starch - these are glucose polymers made up of Amylose [short chains of glucose] and Amylopectin [long chains of glucose]. Rich sources of starches for humans include potatoes, rice and wheat.
So, startch is a form of glucose. And, what is glucose? Remember the paragraph above about monosaccharides?
Monosaccharide - this is the smallest possible sugar unit. Examples include glucose, galactose or fructose. When we talk about blood sugar we are referring to glucose in the blood;
So, if carbohydrates are made up of one of the three saccharides (mono, di, or poly--all a type of sugar) or starch (which is made up of glucose--a type of sugar), doesn't that mean carbohydrates are--at the end of the day--just a complex type of sugar?
That's a hard fact for me to accept, because it contradicts everything I've been taught about nutrition. The current recommendation is that at least 50% of a person's calorie intake each day come from carbohydrats (as can be seen in the food pyramid).
But, if carbohydrates are just complex forms of sugar, does that mean 50% of my calories should come from sugar (a complex form of sugar, but sugar none-the-less)?
Given sharp rise in not just childhood obesity and diabetes, but obesity and diabetes in general (all commonly called an epidemic by the medical community), I'm starting to wonder if we just didn't make a mistake. By emphasizing grains (carbohydrates) so heavily in our diets, did we unwittingly emphasize sugar in our diets and cause these epidemics?
Um, yes. I wish more people would have this epiphany.
You should read Dr Atkins’ book. You don’t have to follow the diet, but it is an interesting read. I have many physician friends who wish he would be posthumously awarded the Nobel prize in medicine. But I doubt the establishment would ever allow that to happen.
Yes, and the government food pyramid was a deadly joke played on millions of Americans.
For example, put a piece of a cracker in your mouth and just let it dissolve. In a few moments, it will begin to taste sweet. The conversion into some type of sugar begins with the saliva in your mouth.
I’ve been on a meat, water and fat only diet for over 5 years.
Lost tons of weight, blood sugars perfect, cholesterol great shape, energy terrific, heart in great shape.
Carbs were killing me. I wasn’t diabetic, but I had serious issues with carb addiction and insulin reactions.
So, yes...carbs are sugar.
“Yes, and the government food pyramid was a deadly joke played on millions of Americans.”
Keepin us fat, stupid, and dependent!!
You also realize that fruits also contain suger, right?
I’m with you. I followed a very similar diet for years, although lately (last 2 yrs) I’ve been adding some carbs like brown rice, etc. but nothing refined.
Carbohydrates need to be broken down into sugar - that is what makes them a great long term energy source - while a bunch of sugar itself will just burn you out.
There is a reason serious athletes “carbo-load” before a strenuous event - so their muscles will have energy to burn down the stretch.
Do you understand why they don't “sugar-load” before an event?
When you understand that you will understand the difference between a diet high in carbs and a diet high in sugar.
Yes, your analysis seems correct and is well-stated.
Must be why I crave pasta...
Fruits are also confusing - some are just sugar - I've always wondered why diabetics weren't put on a very low carb diet.
Nutritional Myths, Distortions, and Lies
That Will Destroy Your Health
No vegetables? Not even green leafies?
I would think you'd need them for vitamins A and C.
Another problem with carbohydrates is that most grains consumed in the US are processed and convert quickly to sugar. With whole grains, the process is slower, so you don't get the sugar spikes.
Both my mother and grandmother had diabetes. When my mother came to live with us, she had been diabetic for at least 20 years. Her sugar would spike as high as 350 in the nursing home. After a month living with us, her sugar levels were at near normal levels. The visiting nurse wished I could go and cook for all of her diabetic patients. When she went to her doctor and he ran the test that gives sugar levels for the previous six months (I'm still not sure how that works). The doctor was amazed - my mother was on the low side of normal instead of being off the chart on the high end.
“Ive been on a meat, water and fat only diet for over 5 years.”
...I went on a low carb diet in 1999. Lost 25 lbs in 1 month. I went from what my Doctor said was a “walking time bomb” to “excellent health”. By the way, that same Dr put me on a low fat diet. No red meat, no bacon it was miserable. I went on Atkins, went to the Doc, got my “excellent” and told him what I was doing. He was floored. Said to keep it up.
This was the common wisdom ten or fifteen years ago. I think we know better now.
We need sugars to be slowly realeased into the blood. When there is a spike in blood sugar it triggers fat storage.
Acids such as vitamin “c” and vinegar help to regulate blood sugar.
That is what I have taken from my research.
I have been eating like this for about 7 months. I do feel much better, and try and eat enough to keep myself happy. The problem is, the appetite goes away. No longer do I crave, or count the minutes to the next meal. I eat, my stomach is satisfied for much more than 4 hours. I am raising chickens now, eating them and their eggs. I eat about 3 cups of greens a day, drink coffee with real cream. Make eggs with butter, and bacon and sausage are welcome treats. THANK YOU DR ATKINS, now if only most Americans would follow his advice. Turn that food pyramid upside down. Eat few carbs, starches and sugars. Eat meat, supplement with veggies, but NO CORN, lose weight without effort.
What they will say is that the "Mediterranean Diet" is the most heart-healthy.
Not only is it "heart-healthy" it is also very good for your waistline (yet another indicator for heart disease, a growing waistline.)
Lastly, just a personal observation: all of the young women I'm noticing seem and the growing trend toward really huge bottoms - not hips but bottoms, which is a clue as to how much simple carbs are in their diets, the equivalent of the "beer bellies" on men.
Yes, carbohydrates are indeed a form of sugar.
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