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  • Sugar vs Starch in Vegetables

    skimming the PHD site, Paul said this:
    The result is that eating vegetables isn’t an effective way to meet the body’s glucose needs. Several pounds of vegetables might add 30 glucose calories net, which is small compared to the 600 we need daily. I don’t think it’s worth the trouble to count them.
    Most of the vegetables deliver carbs as sugars rather than as starch.

    Is this why people advocate potatoes over rutabagas, winter squash etc. Also, would eating root vegetables like this vs potatoes mean your getting fructose vs getting starch?

    trying to understand... mostly because it seems people do well when they add 'starch' like potatores/rice and dont do as well when they add roots like rutabaga or butternut squash
    Get on my Level
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  • #2
    I was under the impression that most of the carbs in winter squash (including butternut) were from starch. NutritionData doesn't break it down totally, but only shows 4g/21.5g as sugar. I know that the carbs in non-starchy vegetables like lettuce are mostly from sugar. Maybe that's what Paul is referring to. Also, I'm not sure if the sugar in vegetables is fructose or what.... just checked ND again. Romaine lettuce has 390mg glucose and 800mg fructose (+2.1g fiber) per 100g (which is a LOT of lettuce). So yeah, I guess veggies do provide more fructose than glucose in general... probably, heh.

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    • #3
      so for glucose go to potatoes and for fructose go to vegetables>?
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      • #4
        Glucose and starch, which breaks down to glucose, are preferable to fructose and anything containing fructose, such as sucrose and HFCS, because of the metabolic damage wrought by fructose.

        Root vegetables are mostly starch. Winter squash and other vegetables which are actually fruits contain varying amounts of starch, glucose, sucrose and fructose. Winter squashes (we call them all pumpkins) get a rough time on this site but they are only about 20% carb, most of which is starch. Unless you're doing VLC there should be plenty of room in your diet for pumpkin. There is in mine.

        If you want fructose (why?), go for the traditional fruits. Anything sweet enough to be commonly called a fruit has plenty of fructose. The fruits that aren't that sweet are usually called vegetables and have little fructose
        Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

        Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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        • #5
          well i wasnt curious about fruit, IMO its all junk, but i was curious of the distinction in fructose content between like rutabagas and 'pumpkins'(winter squash) vs potatoes
          Get on my Level
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          • #6
            Originally posted by MalPaz View Post
            skimming the PHD site, Paul said this:
            The result is that eating vegetables isn’t an effective way to meet the body’s glucose needs. Several pounds of vegetables might add 30 glucose calories net, which is small compared to the 600 we need daily. I don’t think it’s worth the trouble to count them.
            Most of the vegetables deliver carbs as sugars rather than as starch.

            Is this why people advocate potatoes over rutabagas, winter squash etc. Also, would eating root vegetables like this vs potatoes mean your getting fructose vs getting starch?

            trying to understand... mostly because it seems people do well when they add 'starch' like potatores/rice and dont do as well when they add roots like rutabaga or butternut squash
            What about protein to glucose?
            A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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            • #7
              I wrote to Paul Jaminet from PHD about this a little bit ago. Here is what I asked:

              "Would parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, celeriac and other root vegetables count as 'safe
              starches'? What about winter squash? I'm just interested to learn if there
              are any safe starches besides tapioca, white rice, potatoes and sweet
              potatoes."

              This was his response:

              All of those root vegetables are healthy and nutritious foods and we
              recommend them. However, many of them don't have a lot of calories, or have
              calories mostly in the form of sugars rather than starches. So we don't
              usually call them "safe starches." But they're great to eat!

              You might want to check calorie levels at nutritiondata.com for your
              favorite foods. If you rely on those root vegetables for carbs you might
              find you're not getting very many calories.
              Interesting stuff...
              My Before/After Pics
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              • #8
                This is interesting - I have been meaning to follow up on this basic idea after seeing a post on the PHD site where he shows that the sugar content of sweet potatoes is actually very high - the sugar:starch ratio is actually much better in regular white potatoes. Given how sweet potatoes seem to be the generally recommended 'good starch source' this surprised me a bit; maybe it shouldn't have since it says 'sweet' right there in the name :-)

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                • #9
                  Coincidentally, I can't handle sweet potatoes but I could handle regular potatoes.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by confused_monkey View Post
                    Coincidentally, I can't handle sweet potatoes but I could handle regular potatoes.
                    +1!!!!!!!!
                    Get on my Level
                    http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MalPaz View Post
                      Several pounds of vegetables might add 30 glucose calories net, which is small compared to the 600 we need daily. I don’t think it’s worth the trouble to count them.
                      Why are you worrying about this? It's mouse nuts in the grand scheme of things. Sugar isn't evil.

                      Gordo

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                      • #12
                        that wasnt my quote, it was a quot from paul of PHD
                        Get on my Level
                        http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dwkdnvr View Post
                          This is interesting - I have been meaning to follow up on this basic idea after seeing a post on the PHD site where he shows that the sugar content of sweet potatoes is actually very high - the sugar:starch ratio is actually much better in regular white potatoes. Given how sweet potatoes seem to be the generally recommended 'good starch source' this surprised me a bit; maybe it shouldn't have since it says 'sweet' right there in the name :-)
                          Sugar and fructose are entirely different things.

                          Sweet potato (and I'm also assuming the available data refers to the white kind and not the sweeter ones such as the orange fleshed) has about 3.3 grams of fructose for every 34.8 grams of usable carbohydrate (this means minus the fiber even if it does have some caloric value and DON'T forget to count 1/2 of sucrose as fructose when you go to nutritiondata, otherwise you'd end up just counting the 1 g of pure fructose, which is not the correct total). That's 9.5 % fructose . Compare that to a white potato which has 1.3g of fructose for every 32.8 g of usable carbs, you have a starchy organ that's about 4% fructose. Seriously neither one has very much, even if you are consuming a lot of from them. Remember that pure glucose (a sugar) still tastes sweet even without any fructose. This is why the sweet potato tastes so much sweeter.
                          Most leafy vegetables are much higher in fructose. Cooked spinach is 17%. a Raw carrot... get this... is almost 70% fructose (cooked carrots are about 32% because you can access more of the glucose when you break down the cell walls, I guess). If you ate a shit ton of veggies to reach your carb level, you'd be getting more grams of fructose than you would from eating sweet potato to get there.
                          One can easily see why the Authors of the Perfect health diet suggest starches. But either way, I think getting 10g of fructose/day or more is likely okay and the vitamins one gets from consuming a bunch of veggies means they're still very healthy as long as you aren't trying to down a bunch of leaves and berries to fill up your glycogen stores. I don't think anyone here is doing that because it's impractical, but it goes to show people have obviously evolved to utilize starches for energy. I don't think you can get around that from a biochemical standpoint (we treat treat fructose as a poison, carbohydrates (the ones that become glucose) do not appear to CAUSE insulin resistance or leptin in the first place) or an evolutionary/biological anthropology standpoint (the presence of amylase, our ability to store large amounts of glycogen, our history of cooking practices, etc.).
                          Last edited by Zoë; 02-09-2011, 12:13 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gordo View Post
                            Why are you worrying about this? It's mouse nuts in the grand scheme of things. Sugar isn't evil.
                            Gordo

                            What does the woman that discovered the genes that control aging eat?

                            No desserts. No sweets. No potatoes. No rice. No bread. No pasta. “When I say ‘no,’ I mean ‘no, or not much,’” she notes. “Instead, eat green vegetables. Eat the fruits that aren't the sweet fruits, like melon.” Bananas? “Bananas are a little sweet.” Meat? “Meat, yes, of course. Avocados. All vegetables. Nuts. Fish. Chicken. That's what I eat. Cheese. Eggs. And one glass of red wine a day.”
                            Why?

                            “I did it because we fed our worms glucose and it shortened their lifespan.”
                            Glucose and glycation.

                            The body can convert proteins to glucose. Hopefully it's not converting your own lean body mass for that purpose. Let's be clear, though, I'm not anti-starch. I think this becomes an issue of moderation, and this is just more info for each of us to determine how much to moderate.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Zoë View Post
                              Most leafy vegetables are much higher in fructose. Cooked spinach is 17%.
                              The average apple weighs 150g and contains 18g of sugar. A banana contains 30g of sugar. Guess how much sugar your spinach contains? 0.6g in a 150g serving. 50 servings of spinach to get the amount of sugar in one banana. If you're worried about this amount of sugar, I feel for you.

                              Gordo

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