6

votes

What's the difference between starch and glucose for our health?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 15, 2011 at 8:00 AM

A lot of talking about starches these days. I have never really avoided them, and keep a kind of power law variation in my starch consumption (I don't know if Art De Vany would be proud...). Some days have a lot, some less, some none...

Since starch is readily converted to glucose, what is the difference for our health between these two?

What is the difference between let's say 500 cal of starch and 500 cal of glucose?

Thanks,

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:55 PM

good links, definitely worth checking out.

Medium avatar

(3259)

on November 15, 2011
at 07:09 PM

Thanks Pieter...

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Riveted, there's one paleohacker (pfw) that knows quite a bit about this stuff. See here (if you haven't already): http://paleohacks.com/questions/7410/could-somebody-explain-the-importance-of-klebsiella-bacteria-re-paleo-diet#axzz1dnRwYkCI

Medium avatar

(3259)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:22 PM

Pieter - just remembered. The question I posed to Quilt on his blog was about eggs and autoimmunity, not starch. Wouldn't want to misquote the Doc.

Medium avatar

(3259)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:14 PM

I've found it buried in a few paleo blogs, and have posed questions to certain bloggers (Jaminet, Kruse - both acknowledged it could be problematic for certain diseases) but I can't find the links for the life of me. Cooling Inflammation has a bit on kleb: http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/search/label/Klebsiella

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on November 15, 2011
at 04:38 PM

Riveted, thanks for reminding me about these possibilities. Haven't read about this in paleo circles. Maybe this needs more attention. The microbiome is important.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:19 PM

Traditional starches aren't really a source of anything but energy. Take sago for example: "100 grams of dry sago typically comprises 94 grams of carbohydrate, 0.2 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of dietary fiber, 10 mg of calcium, 1.2 mg of iron, and negligible amounts of fat, carotene, thiamine, and ascorbic acid, and yields approximately 355 calories" - Wikipedia

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:14 PM

Just remember to also keep a power law variation in your use of power laws.

A993550f2a130df8d3462c08582f08ec

(589)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:10 PM

But he's not asking about starch vs sucrose. He wants to know the effects of glucose monomers (pure glucose) vs glucose polymers, aka starch.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:07 PM

Starch and sucrose are both sources of glucose. Hpowever starch is better.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:37 PM

The basis for GI tests is response to pure glucose. Cooked starch response is always somewhat lower, say 80 potato starch vs 100 glucose. Some cooked starches, such as carrots and sushi rice, come very close to glucose though. Regarding oral amylose, enzymatic breakdown is a serious problem because of residual food, but sugars are immediately available.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 15, 2011
at 01:33 PM

Saliva has enough amylase to start breaking down starch in the mouth. I wouldn't argue that starches are all that much more safe than glucose in the mouth.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 15, 2011
at 01:19 PM

The question pertains to starch vs glucose, not sucrose.

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6 Answers

7
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:05 PM

I think SCD or GAPS would argue that starch hangs around in the gut for longer periods feeding some of the "bad guys" that can lead to gut dysbiosis, where glucose or any simple sugar is fairly quickly shuttled out thereby not providing a source of energy for the "bad guys".

6
6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:07 PM

Starch has 2 advantages over monomeric glucose--it's easier on the kidneys and easier on the digestive system.

Glucose polymers have a lower renal solute load than pure glucose, which means they're less stressful to your kidneys and potentially less dehydrating.

Starch is also less likely to contribute to diarrhea than glucose. Here's a randomized study in which a starch-containing rehydration solution was more effective than glucose solution in treating cholera.

Finally, starch is less sweet than pure glucose. Too much sweetness can cause nausea. Athletes such as cyclists often substitute glucose polymers for simple sugars during rides to avoid nausea.

5
Medium avatar

(3259)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:51 PM

Starch may also be implicated in a number of autoimmune conditions - ankylosing spondylitis and Crohn's, for example. Dr. Ebringer studies the link between dietary starch, klebsiella pneumoniae, and these diseases. He also talks about it.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on November 15, 2011
at 04:38 PM

Riveted, thanks for reminding me about these possibilities. Haven't read about this in paleo circles. Maybe this needs more attention. The microbiome is important.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:55 PM

good links, definitely worth checking out.

Medium avatar

(3259)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:14 PM

I've found it buried in a few paleo blogs, and have posed questions to certain bloggers (Jaminet, Kruse - both acknowledged it could be problematic for certain diseases) but I can't find the links for the life of me. Cooling Inflammation has a bit on kleb: http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/search/label/Klebsiella

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Riveted, there's one paleohacker (pfw) that knows quite a bit about this stuff. See here (if you haven't already): http://paleohacks.com/questions/7410/could-somebody-explain-the-importance-of-klebsiella-bacteria-re-paleo-diet#axzz1dnRwYkCI

Medium avatar

(3259)

on November 15, 2011
at 07:09 PM

Thanks Pieter...

Medium avatar

(3259)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:22 PM

Pieter - just remembered. The question I posed to Quilt on his blog was about eggs and autoimmunity, not starch. Wouldn't want to misquote the Doc.

5
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:13 PM

The only difference between pure starch and glucose would be the radipidity with which the starch is broken down into glucose and absorbed. Somewhat slower, but I don't think it makes that much of a difference in terms of how high glucose or insulin is spiked or area under the curve for either.

But starch is usually eaten (by paleos, anyways) as something like a sweet potato or potato. There's a lot going on in a potato or other real food starch. Vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. Can't really compare it to pure glucose in terms of nutritional benefit - starch wins there. Even white rice is somewhat better than pure glucose, but if all you want is fuel, the glucose gel-packs would work, I guess. I'll stick with my butter and coconut oil, thanks.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:19 PM

Traditional starches aren't really a source of anything but energy. Take sago for example: "100 grams of dry sago typically comprises 94 grams of carbohydrate, 0.2 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of dietary fiber, 10 mg of calcium, 1.2 mg of iron, and negligible amounts of fat, carotene, thiamine, and ascorbic acid, and yields approximately 355 calories" - Wikipedia

2
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:13 AM

Starches are good in that they provide glucose without the fructose that comes in sucrose.

A993550f2a130df8d3462c08582f08ec

(589)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:10 PM

But he's not asking about starch vs sucrose. He wants to know the effects of glucose monomers (pure glucose) vs glucose polymers, aka starch.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 15, 2011
at 01:19 PM

The question pertains to starch vs glucose, not sucrose.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:07 PM

Starch and sucrose are both sources of glucose. Hpowever starch is better.

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 15, 2011
at 01:09 PM

Both digest and supply energy quickly. Starch is worse for blood sugar than sucrose (table sugar), but you want a comparison between glucose (regular corn syrup) and starch. Since both of these are relatively pure glucose, the advantage of starch is that it is not soluble in your mouth, and would cause less dental/gum problems.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 15, 2011
at 01:33 PM

Saliva has enough amylase to start breaking down starch in the mouth. I wouldn't argue that starches are all that much more safe than glucose in the mouth.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:37 PM

The basis for GI tests is response to pure glucose. Cooked starch response is always somewhat lower, say 80 potato starch vs 100 glucose. Some cooked starches, such as carrots and sushi rice, come very close to glucose though. Regarding oral amylose, enzymatic breakdown is a serious problem because of residual food, but sugars are immediately available.

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