Carbohydrates

 
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Ok so we all know carbs….but do we?

Here’s what you need to know:

They are your major energy source but are utilised in 3 ways

  1. Those that you can digest – the ‘sugars’ part
  2. Those that your gut microbes digest – the starches
  3. Those that pass through undigested – fabulous fibre (more info in last week's post)

That ‘sugars’ title on the food label: Mono and Disaccharides = 1 and 2 sugar molecules

  • Monosaccharides = 1 sugar molecule (Glucose or Fructose)
  • Disaccharides = 2 sugar molecules (Lactose and Sucrose)

The Starches = polysaccharides = complex carbs = many sugar molecules

So if you are following, starches a good thing aren’t they? The only issue is most starches are digested as if they were one of those 1 or 2 sugar molecules. That is, they are digested quickly, up in the small intestine, converted into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream.

Modern diets = pasta, white bread, potatoes, white rice = lots of starch

What you really want is ‘resistant starch’ which is that bit of the starch that escapes digestion up in the small intestine and reaches the large intestine... it behaves essentially like fibre.

Victoria McKellarComment