1

votes

If all carbs get broken down into sugar ...

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 28, 2013 at 1:47 PM

... why not just eat fruit and spare your body the effort of converting it? If someone does not have metabolic problems and is not trying to lose weight (heavens forbid!) then fruit is a good choice right?

whenever I eat complex carbs I end up feeling incredibly tired, whereas if I eat fruit alone (bananas) it doesn't happen

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 28, 2013
at 04:47 PM

@Lumifer Variety is exactly why I'm saying they should not be avoided. :-) Regardless, potatoes are boring - there's a lot out there to explore. They are not "empty calories", however.

800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

(1655)

on March 28, 2013
at 04:08 PM

@greymouser Well, I'm still unconvinced of the merits of your point of view :-) but that's perfectly fine. As a practical matter, I eat little tubers/roots (mostly carrots, parsnips, turnips, this kind of things) but a fair amount of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, leeks, green leaves, etc. I tend to view potatoes and such as more or less "empty calories" and, carb-wise, prefer a variety of biochemically-complicated greenery :-)

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 28, 2013
at 03:20 PM

@Lumifer I somewhat less disagree with you now. ;-) To clarify my position then, yes, I believe an active lifestyle that is also optimally healthy, definitely includes some root vegetables. I suppose I have bias, however, as I could see that someone that isn't active wouldn't need as much (hypothetically, zero?). However, I don't really consider people that aren't active "functioning optimally" to begin with. (Not pointing anyone out, just explaining my train of thought.)

800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

(1655)

on March 28, 2013
at 03:11 PM

I'm not so sure the study speaks for itself -- it was about feeding people lots of isolated chemicals in sweetened drinks, the two groups were small, not isocaloric, etc. I also don't see what does "choose one" means -- most fruits contain both, for example.

800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

(1655)

on March 28, 2013
at 03:04 PM

@greymouser I'm not advocating any restrictions. You have effectively said that tubers are **necessary** because without them you won't be able to "function optimally". That imples that a tuber/root-less diet is incomplete in some important way, that you can't successfully replace tubers/roots with other foods. I don't see why that should be so. And, of course, even if tubers/roots are unnecessary it does NOT follow that you should avoid or restrict them.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:59 PM

@Lumifer It is the opposite of an absolute statement - it specifically advised against absolute restriction of an entire class of real, whole foods. The "why & what" is that root vegetables are not the "starch delivery units" that you would have us believe starch should be treated as, like white rice. If you believe that PHD states that you should not eat sugary and starchy roots and tubers, you should read the book again. Multiple *pounds* of sugary and starchy vegetables a day are suggested in the book. Rice and rice products are suggested for sake of ease, since rice isn't the worst grain.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:59 PM

Because fructose (found only in fruit) is metabolically very different than glucose (found in all plants and starchy carbs). Not that fructose is "bad," I'm just qualifying that the statement all carbs get broken down into sugar is a half truth.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:55 PM

Because fructose (found only in fruit) is metabolically very different than glucose (found in all plants and starchy carbs).

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:40 PM

did not say it was poison. But the study speaks for itself. If you had to choose one, glucose would be superior.

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:38 PM

agreed ---------

800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

(1655)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:35 PM

Metabolically, glucose and fructose are rather different, of course. I'm not quite ready to jump onto the "fructose is poison" bandwagon, though...

800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

(1655)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:33 PM

"it will be extremely unlikely that you function optimally on zero roots or tubers" -- why is that? What is that starch provides to the body besides glucose? And what if you go by PHD and eat white rice but no roots/tubers? All in all that seems a bit to absolute statement to me.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:04 PM

btw, for healthy people I think some fruit is fine. I do not restrict myself from eating fruit. But Fructose and Glucose are not the same thing.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:59 PM

And why do you want to "spare your body the effort of converting it"?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:57 PM

what do you define as a "complex carb"

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4 Answers

2
3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:32 PM

There are plusses and minuses in the types of sugars out there. Complex carbs and simple refined carbs will turn into glucose, which can spike your insulin, depending on how long it takes for your body to break down. Your questions asks, why spare your body the effort of breaking down carbs, the answer is that it is WAY better for your body to take it's time breaking down carbs than to dump all that sugar in at one time. It leads to better insulin control and sugar maintenance. I'm not sure what you're main goals are, but insulin control and sugar maintenance for me is about health, not necessarily about weight loss. Excess sugar in the blood leads to inflammation, damage to the arteries and blood vessels which lead to plaque, etc. Yes, it can contribute to fat gain as well, but as the other posters have noted, it's a different fat gain than fructose.

Fructose, on the other hand, skips being broken down the traditional way and goes straight to the liver to be broken down. For years, diabetics used fructose because it didn't spike insulin levels, but it seems like long term use decreases insulin sensitivity, which is just as bad as regular sugar. In addition, the liver uses fructose to make triglycerides, which leads to bad cholesterol (if you believe in that kind of thing). Excess fructose leads to fatty liver and visceral (in the body around the organs = BAD) fat.

That doesn't mean that an occasional fruit is bad for you. One of the nice things about most fruits is that they have soluable fiber, which helps slow the absorption of the sugars, plus helps with gut flora (as opposed to insoluable fiber, which doesn't do anything positive - but that's another post for another time). If you have a banana and you feel fine and don't have a crash, then good for you. If you eat several bananas and a couple of oranges every day, you might be overdoing it.

Also, as a side note, insulin sensitivity is a good thing. A lot of people think "why would I want my insulin to put away the sugar into fat more effeciently?" The reason is that long term elevated blood sugar is way more damaging to your body than a short term fat storage. Also, not all of the blood sugars get deposited as fat. Your body uses insulin to get the nutrients and energy to the cells, it's just the excess that gets stored as fat. And if you're exercising, some of those sugars will be stored in the muscles, not the fat. I just thought I'd point that out.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:03 PM

http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37385

Glucose and Fructose are not equal.

Two groups, same calories from glucose vs fructose. After 10 weeks, all gained three pounds but....

The fructose group gained a disproportionate amount of visceral fat, which increased by 14%

fructose group saw a worsening of blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity.

They also saw an increase in small, dense LDL particles and oxidized LDL

Liver synthesis of fat after meals increased by 75%, etc...

800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

(1655)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:35 PM

Metabolically, glucose and fructose are rather different, of course. I'm not quite ready to jump onto the "fructose is poison" bandwagon, though...

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:04 PM

btw, for healthy people I think some fruit is fine. I do not restrict myself from eating fruit. But Fructose and Glucose are not the same thing.

800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

(1655)

on March 28, 2013
at 03:11 PM

I'm not so sure the study speaks for itself -- it was about feeding people lots of isolated chemicals in sweetened drinks, the two groups were small, not isocaloric, etc. I also don't see what does "choose one" means -- most fruits contain both, for example.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:40 PM

did not say it was poison. But the study speaks for itself. If you had to choose one, glucose would be superior.

1
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:00 PM

Why bother with fruits? Table sugar is readily available and less expensive. You can probably get a deal on HFCS, if you buy in bulk.

... okay, seriously now. Both sugary fruits and dense, starchy sources of carbohydrates like roots and tubers have their possible benefits and harms. Sadly, I can't give you an answer as to what will work for you, but it will be extremely unlikely that you function optimally on zero roots or tubers. You may require more sugary fruits than others, though.

For me, if I don't get adequate (read: a lot) of roots and tubers a day, I can't fuel my regular (and often strenuous) physical activity. I definitely like me my sugary fruits, though. I like my fatty fruits even more - yay avocados!

There are families of fruits that have both sugar and starch like winter squashes, as well as roots and tubers that are primarily sugar and not starch like beets. They may suit your situation better than super-dense starchy sources like cassava.

UPDATE.

I just realized that HuntingBears specifically pointed out "bananas" as the fruit that makes them feel good, which is interesting. Bananas are a great example of a fruit that contains some sugar, but a lot of starch (and fiber). About a 4:2:1 ratio for those three items in a serving.

This makes me curious as to what they consider a "complex carbohydrate"? I know the definition can be broad, but usually it's "food items that contain a good amount of starch."

If grapes made them feel better (pretty much mainlining sugar with those), the implied premise in the question would be clearer.

800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

(1655)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:33 PM

"it will be extremely unlikely that you function optimally on zero roots or tubers" -- why is that? What is that starch provides to the body besides glucose? And what if you go by PHD and eat white rice but no roots/tubers? All in all that seems a bit to absolute statement to me.

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:38 PM

agreed ---------

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 28, 2013
at 04:47 PM

@Lumifer Variety is exactly why I'm saying they should not be avoided. :-) Regardless, potatoes are boring - there's a lot out there to explore. They are not "empty calories", however.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 28, 2013
at 03:20 PM

@Lumifer I somewhat less disagree with you now. ;-) To clarify my position then, yes, I believe an active lifestyle that is also optimally healthy, definitely includes some root vegetables. I suppose I have bias, however, as I could see that someone that isn't active wouldn't need as much (hypothetically, zero?). However, I don't really consider people that aren't active "functioning optimally" to begin with. (Not pointing anyone out, just explaining my train of thought.)

800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

(1655)

on March 28, 2013
at 03:04 PM

@greymouser I'm not advocating any restrictions. You have effectively said that tubers are **necessary** because without them you won't be able to "function optimally". That imples that a tuber/root-less diet is incomplete in some important way, that you can't successfully replace tubers/roots with other foods. I don't see why that should be so. And, of course, even if tubers/roots are unnecessary it does NOT follow that you should avoid or restrict them.

800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

(1655)

on March 28, 2013
at 04:08 PM

@greymouser Well, I'm still unconvinced of the merits of your point of view :-) but that's perfectly fine. As a practical matter, I eat little tubers/roots (mostly carrots, parsnips, turnips, this kind of things) but a fair amount of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, leeks, green leaves, etc. I tend to view potatoes and such as more or less "empty calories" and, carb-wise, prefer a variety of biochemically-complicated greenery :-)

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:59 PM

@Lumifer It is the opposite of an absolute statement - it specifically advised against absolute restriction of an entire class of real, whole foods. The "why & what" is that root vegetables are not the "starch delivery units" that you would have us believe starch should be treated as, like white rice. If you believe that PHD states that you should not eat sugary and starchy roots and tubers, you should read the book again. Multiple *pounds* of sugary and starchy vegetables a day are suggested in the book. Rice and rice products are suggested for sake of ease, since rice isn't the worst grain.

0
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on March 28, 2013
at 02:41 PM

According to this detailed explanation on how the metabolism of fructose and sucrose works, it seems that fructose stimulates appetite at hypothalamus level whereas sucrose tends to down-regulate it.

That could explain why starchy carbs are more satisfying and fructose by-products generate so much cravings.

http://themedicalbiochemistrypage.org/fructose.php

That being said, I don't think that a little bit of natural occurring fructose in fruits should be of much concert since the benefits may far ought-weight the odds of fructose, but when you consider how much of this it is in artificially sweetened products, then the whole picture changes, I guess.

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