17

votes

Starch vs. Monosaccharides for Gut Health?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 27, 2011 at 9:04 PM

The GAPS diet is anti-starch, claiming it's more difficult to digest than monosaccharides. However, I've seen Paul Jaminet describe white rice (pure starch) as perhaps the most readily digestible carb source.

Many in the paleo community are anti-fructose, and there seems to be evidence that it uniquely feeds pathogenic bacteria.

VLC and LC diets notwithstanding, what carb source would you prefer for maximizing gut health? Ripe bananas seem like a good option for reconciling the two positions. My problem with bananas is that, for me, they have a poor (high) reward/satiety ratio.

This question is somewhat academic- for practical purposes I usually vary my carb sources. Just curious to hear thoughts from you all.

(Note: this was tangentially discussed at http://paleohacks.com/questions/77237/whats-the-difference-between-starch-and-glucose-for-our-health#axzz1ewN3XI51, but with a different focus).

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 28, 2011
at 10:55 PM

I think you misread my post. I KNOW they have nothing to do with FODMAPS in theory. In practice, those on these diets will limit their intake of FODMAPs. To understand this point, you have to know what foods contain FODMAPs and then see if those are allowed on these diets (they aren't).

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on November 28, 2011
at 09:51 PM

The SCD and GAPS diets have nothing to do with FODMAPS. There are common points, but overall SCD/GAPS are closer to Paleo instead. They're essentially lowish-carb Paleo.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on November 28, 2011
at 08:18 PM

Starch malabsorption exists and can be a problem just like FODMAPs can.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:53 PM

Sorry I wasn't clear. I meant that I suspect that any anecdotal successes that these other diets claim are largely due to FODMAP avoidance and are, thus, mis-attributed to something else, like starch restriction. There is evidence that FODMAPs cause do digestive problems and a plausible biological mechanism explaining it. I don't think the same can be said about starch.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:51 PM

sorry I wasn't clear. I meant, there is evidence supporting claims that FODMAPs can cause digestion problems. I suspect that any anecdotal successesthese other diets claim are largely due to FODMAP avoidance and misattributed to something else, like starch restriction.

Medium avatar

on November 28, 2011
at 06:02 PM

Hmm, I'm skeptical of FODMAPs as the "unifying theory." For example, from a FODMAPs website: "You will still be ingesting a significant level of glucose and other carbohydrates. Overall, limiting your fructose intake will likely be beneficial to your health. But when in doubt, listen to your body (and, of course, doctor)" I agree that limiting FODMAPs is helpful, but am dubious of the implied claim that non-FODMAP carbs won't be fuel for pathogenic bacteria in a compromised gut microbiome.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on November 27, 2011
at 09:19 PM

Thank you, @Logically Illogical, for illustrating to us the proper way to ask a question which is related to a previously-asked question. Everyone please note that @Logically Illogical linked to the old question, and explained how the present question differs from the previous question. +1

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3 Answers

6
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on November 28, 2011
at 01:19 AM

GAPS, and its precursor the SCD diet, do pay attention to simple and complex sugars -- as they should. Complex sugars are more difficult to break apart, and so they end up in the gut unprocessed, free food for yeast and bacteria. For people with gut issues, is best to not eat complex sugars until they have started healing.

I follow a mix of SCD and Paleo with great success. I got a bit of white rice last week, after 2.5 months of strict dieting, and I didn't do great on it. The more sugar you feed the bacteria (complex or simple), the more they will thrive. So at least for us, people with GI problems, let's be careful for a few months while our gut heals.

2
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on November 28, 2011
at 12:44 AM

GAPS dieters avoid starches because they are thought to feed the bad bugs in the gut. This shouldn't be a concern for healthy folks. I'd listen to Chris Kresser's podcast on digestion for lots on this subject.

0
4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 28, 2011
at 05:05 PM

EDITED for clarity:

I suspect that any anecdotal successes that the GAPS or SCD can claim are largely due to FODMAP avoidance (which would occur somewhat accidentally on these diets) and are, thus, mis-attributed to something else, like starch restriction. There is evidence that FODMAPs do cause digestive problems and there is also a plausible biological mechanism explaining it. I don't think the same can be said about starch.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:51 PM

sorry I wasn't clear. I meant, there is evidence supporting claims that FODMAPs can cause digestion problems. I suspect that any anecdotal successesthese other diets claim are largely due to FODMAP avoidance and misattributed to something else, like starch restriction.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on November 28, 2011
at 09:51 PM

The SCD and GAPS diets have nothing to do with FODMAPS. There are common points, but overall SCD/GAPS are closer to Paleo instead. They're essentially lowish-carb Paleo.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 28, 2011
at 10:55 PM

I think you misread my post. I KNOW they have nothing to do with FODMAPS in theory. In practice, those on these diets will limit their intake of FODMAPs. To understand this point, you have to know what foods contain FODMAPs and then see if those are allowed on these diets (they aren't).

Medium avatar

on November 28, 2011
at 06:02 PM

Hmm, I'm skeptical of FODMAPs as the "unifying theory." For example, from a FODMAPs website: "You will still be ingesting a significant level of glucose and other carbohydrates. Overall, limiting your fructose intake will likely be beneficial to your health. But when in doubt, listen to your body (and, of course, doctor)" I agree that limiting FODMAPs is helpful, but am dubious of the implied claim that non-FODMAP carbs won't be fuel for pathogenic bacteria in a compromised gut microbiome.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on November 28, 2011
at 08:18 PM

Starch malabsorption exists and can be a problem just like FODMAPs can.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 28, 2011
at 07:53 PM

Sorry I wasn't clear. I meant that I suspect that any anecdotal successes that these other diets claim are largely due to FODMAP avoidance and are, thus, mis-attributed to something else, like starch restriction. There is evidence that FODMAPs cause do digestive problems and a plausible biological mechanism explaining it. I don't think the same can be said about starch.

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