10 December 2011

carbology 1o1

There are 4 types of carbs. 
Monosaccharides, Disaccharides, Oligosaccharides, and Polysaccharides.
So all carbs are either a sugar, starch, or fiber.
And maybe alcohols. 
It really is that easy.

Some people call fruit a complex carb because it has two different molecules.
I am not one of those people. We are going to keep it very simple here.
When I talk about a "simple" sugar, MOST people know what I mean.

MONOsaccharide - MONO (of course) means "one."
EVERYTHING has to be broken down into very small units.
ALL CARBS have to be turned into monosaccharides.
This type of sugar includes glucose, fructose, galactose, xylose, and ribose. 
GLUCOSE is also Dextrose.  And FRUCTOSE is also known as Levulose.
It pays to know how to read labels!

DIsaccharide - is two monosaccharides. 
Like Sucrose (table sugar) or Lactose (from milk)

OLIGOsaccharide is fiber - of sorts.
It is a monosaccharide that has some properties of a resistant starch.
And some qualities of a fermentable fiber.
Like FOS (Fructo-OilgoSaccharide) and Inulin. (link)
They are basically not digestible... (like a soluble fiber)
and in the intestine, they act as a prebiotic!
(Hence the fermentation!)

Carbs ferment there (yes) and microbes who live there (in our guts) 
then gobble them up. The "good" kind of microbe.

Sometimes called "Complex Carbs."
Also called AMYLUM (read your labels!)
From the Greek word "Amylon," meaning "not ground at a mill."
Starches are sugars (glucose) that are joined with a chemical (glyocidic)  bond.
A POLYsaccharide.
Starches are produced by green plants. (link)
They store the Energy from the Sun - photosynthesis!
Starches are broken down by acids or enzymes - or both.

There are different of starches in our diet.
Fast(er), slow(er), and resistant. (link)
Some starches are digested - that is - turned to sugar right away.
This is where the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load come in.
Starches with alot of amylose -  are much slower. (link)
Almost resistant! (link)
Resistant - like the ones that ferment. (link)
Resistant starches are not digested in the small intestine at all. (link)

Slow starches - are all the "rage" - (pun intended)
And I am not on Atkins... per se!
But in Phase 3, Pre-Maintenance, the good Dr A clearly states
that it's time to re-introduce the starches.
However, by now, most of the weight-loss should be done.
And just the last 10 pounds remain to be lost. (link)
He calls it "The Power of Ten".... or just "WOW!" for short. (link)
The idea being: after losing weight, we add back somethings.
Until we reach a point that we are happiest with.
Here's a recipe for Sweet Potatoes from Aktins (link)
Now we're talking about just a half a cup of starchies.
A half a cup - less than 15 grams of starch.
No need to have to start all over again.
But ya can't stay in Induction forever.
(Or CAN you?)

We already know that Carbs are used - or stored.
In other words - you might very much LOVE (an emotion)
 a good,  juicy apple. BUT if you aren't planning to use an extra 
100 (+) calories in the next few hours  [glycogen (link)]... Well....
What do you think will happen to those calories if they aren't used?
That's right. They get stored. Not stored as apples, though! (Well, maybe!)
They get stored as fat. SOME sugars go to the liver...
IF the liver has room to spare! Probably not.
If you eat alot of carbs, your liver probably is already full up.

And don't worry that you have to understand
all this before you eat - or don't eat a carb.
People can spend 4 + years at University
trying to wrap their little minds around all this.
It would be very hard for a non-medical person
to really "get" this... or a medical one - for that matter!

In the mean while (trying not to be too mean)
and we can all learn together!


  1. Thank you Anne...I am learning more from you than anywhere else...Please keep it up...I might actually succeed at this...xoxo

  2. The way you write it down does make it seem very simple...thank you!!!

  3. This is very understandable though I'm not sure I get it as well as you do. I do know what carbs I should be eating but I don't always know the reason behind it.


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