4

votes

What Do You Think About Counting Grams of Sugars Instead of Carbs?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 12, 2011 at 9:24 PM

If we decide to eat 100g of carbs, we could be eating 50g of sugars (20g of fructose) if we choose bananas or 16g of sugars (4g of fructose) if we choose sweet potato. Maybe the carb-count metric is defunct and needs to be replaced by a count of sugars. If we replace an upper limit of 100g of carbs with an upper limit of 20g of sugars we might have a much greater success rate. Couched within that new limit could be another limit of 5g of fructose.

I know a lot of you are already doing this in practice, but I hardly ever see people talking about grams of sugars, whereas I see grams of carbs mentioned all the time. Just seems more informative with regard to actual metabolic consequences. Instead of allowing people to describe us as "low-carb" and attach those connotations, we should instead call it a "low-sugars" diet.

Edit: I guess there's a way in which starches could sneak into the diet and obviously get converted to glucose during mastication and digestion, but my assumption is that people are adhering to the overarching precepts already.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on January 13, 2011
at 07:02 AM

I overlooked that first point about fructose bypassing insulin - good point. I think I remember reading about that in Taubes. My experience is that fructose fails to satisfy hunger during the meal -- e.g., I can eat dried strawberries until I'm sick, but not baked potatoes. (Or maybe eating the latter just makes me feel sick a lot more quickly.) In contrast, non-fructose carbs make me hungry relatively quickly after the meal. For example, while large burger patties leave me full for up to half of the day, burgers with the bun leave me hungry about an hour later.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on January 13, 2011
at 07:00 AM

I overlooked that first point about fructose bypassing insulin - good point. I think I remember reading about that in Taubes. My experience is that fructose fails to satisfy hunger during the meal -- e.g., I can eat dried strawberries until I'm sick, but not baked potatoes. (Or maybe eating the latter just makes me feel sick a lot more quickly.) In contrast, non-fructose carbs make me hungry relatively quickly after the meal. For example, whereas a large burger patty leaves me full for up to half of the day, I will become hungry again in an hour or two if I eat the bun.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on January 12, 2011
at 10:38 PM

Well, you run into weird things such as the fact that fructose is really low glycemic wise, but it basically bypasses insulin and gets converted directly into fat by the liver. Apparently you can't refuel your muscle glycogen with fructose, only your liver glycogen. As such, you'd might get better results with more starch (and more carbs) but less fructose. I suppose my assumption is that there is an effect on appetite/satiety when you consume more fructose. This has been my personal experience.

  • Size75 avatar

    asked by

    (39821)
  • Views
    7.9K
  • Last Activity
    1580D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

4 Answers

3
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on January 12, 2011
at 10:27 PM

I think you nailed it in your edit: the difference between sugar and non-sugar carbs is somewhat undermined because all carbs eventually turn into sugar (that's a gross simplification, of course).

However, the differences lie in how quickly this conversion occurs, and its consequent affect on your blood sugar levels, and their consequent affect on your insulin sensitivity/hunger. When the total number of carbs is relatively low -- i.e., when you eat mostly paleo -- you don't have to worry about this.

You may instead focus on the other features of your carbs -- e.g., blueberries are more nutritious and less harmful than Sour Patch Kids. I'll note that going for the latter can make for a nicely controlled and monitored cheat, though its not a strategy that I use.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on January 12, 2011
at 10:38 PM

Well, you run into weird things such as the fact that fructose is really low glycemic wise, but it basically bypasses insulin and gets converted directly into fat by the liver. Apparently you can't refuel your muscle glycogen with fructose, only your liver glycogen. As such, you'd might get better results with more starch (and more carbs) but less fructose. I suppose my assumption is that there is an effect on appetite/satiety when you consume more fructose. This has been my personal experience.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on January 13, 2011
at 07:00 AM

I overlooked that first point about fructose bypassing insulin - good point. I think I remember reading about that in Taubes. My experience is that fructose fails to satisfy hunger during the meal -- e.g., I can eat dried strawberries until I'm sick, but not baked potatoes. (Or maybe eating the latter just makes me feel sick a lot more quickly.) In contrast, non-fructose carbs make me hungry relatively quickly after the meal. For example, whereas a large burger patty leaves me full for up to half of the day, I will become hungry again in an hour or two if I eat the bun.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on January 13, 2011
at 07:02 AM

I overlooked that first point about fructose bypassing insulin - good point. I think I remember reading about that in Taubes. My experience is that fructose fails to satisfy hunger during the meal -- e.g., I can eat dried strawberries until I'm sick, but not baked potatoes. (Or maybe eating the latter just makes me feel sick a lot more quickly.) In contrast, non-fructose carbs make me hungry relatively quickly after the meal. For example, while large burger patties leave me full for up to half of the day, burgers with the bun leave me hungry about an hour later.

1
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on January 13, 2011
at 12:24 AM

Aha! 42, The answer!

The Ultimate question must be how many grams to limit yourself to per day!

That's my story(or Douglas Adams) and I'm sticking to it.


As to your question, yes I think sugars are the carbs to count. And in all seriousness, under 42 is a good # IMHO

0
286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

on January 13, 2011
at 02:26 AM

I suppose it depends on what you are counting food for in the first place? If you are scared of Fructose - or are you trying to lose weight or are you doing your best to keep your insulin levels down??

In the end of the day - as soon as carbs hit your stomach - they turn to sugar ! Carbs are sugar - some more complex structures than simple sugars but all break down to -- sugar--

0
9d741bcbe702044635f2ce3078043054

(1435)

on January 12, 2011
at 11:33 PM

Fatsecret.com, which I use when I want to track my daily macronutrients, will calculate net carbs (total carbs minus fiber carbs). As far as I'm concerned, every carb that gets digested enters the bloodstream as either glucose or fructose. Some do so quickly, some slowly, but they all end up as one or both of those simple sugars.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!