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Trying to wrap my head around the carbohydrate

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  • Trying to wrap my head around the carbohydrate

    I have been doing some research and taste testing of my own on organ meats. The stuff is really incredible. I find that you can really get most of your needs of protein, fat, and most vitamins (need to read more to see which ones I can't get) simply from the animal. What I don't totally get is the last portion: the carbohydrate.

    As I understand it, starch is just a form of pure glucose. There are chiefly two main sugars: glucose and fructose. Sucrose is a 50-50 mix of these. Lots of fructose causes issues with the liver as well as heart. I can't quote any biological reason at this time. Glucose is necessary inside muscle cells from time to time. Here is one issue in the community here. We have weight loss people, and we have maintenance people. I fall into the second category. I can be very active. I know the body (is it liver?) can produce around 150 gms of glucose according to Dr. Doug McGriff's lecture at the 21 Conference that was linked from a thread on this website.

    I basically just want to be able to grow most of my own stuff, and not even think about how much I'm eating. K.I.S.S. I also want to be really, really healthy. If I have my own livestock (cattle, bison), and I have my own chickens for eggs........ What else do I supplement that with? I have been searching through archives here, and I see varying responses. Some of you are quite knowledgeable in this area and have been into this study much longer than I have. Tubers? Green leafys? Gourds? What else would you need and how much of it?? And if you state a category such those mentioned, could you list some vegetables within that group just so we are absolutely same page?

    Also, please explain if complex carbs or simple carbs are more beneficial, and what those terms mean in real terms...ie which foods are which. I used to think I understood this, but now I'm not so sure. I don't know what CW is wrong, and what is right.
    Last edited by wiltondeportes; 05-10-2011, 06:32 AM.

  • #2
    Try to eat all colors of vegetables as a guideline. As long as your salad plate has many different colors, you are doing all right. How much of something? This is an imprecise science. Exercise, eat plenty of colorful veggies, plenty of meat, you know, you'll be fine.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dado View Post
      Try to eat all colors of vegetables as a guideline. As long as your salad plate has many different colors, you are doing all right. How much of something? This is an imprecise science. Exercise, eat plenty of colorful veggies, plenty of meat, you know, you'll be fine.
      That's not really what I'm looking for. I appreciate the response, but I feel there's a much more detailed answer out there.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by wiltondeportes View Post
        That's not really what I'm looking for. I appreciate the response, but I feel there's a much more detailed answer out there.
        That's fine. But be careful of getting caught up in details. Your brain, it can fry like egg.

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        • #5
          If you're already eating eggs and organ meats, then you are doing great. However, like dado said, it's always good idea to "eat the rainbow" of veggies just to make sure you've got all your bases covered.

          Cruciferous vegetables are very dense in nutrients, plus they are delicious and many are easy to grow (at least around here - I don't know much about the Sacramento climate). They include:
          • Broccoli
          • Kale
          • Chard
          • Arugula
          • Watercress
          • Collard greens
          • Cabbage
          • Raddish
          • Bok choy
          • Mustard


          For starch, I'd go with tubers or squash:
          • Sweet potatoes
          • Carrots
          • Parsnips
          • Butternut squash (it keeps very well)


          That should cover the basics. Beyond that, I'd recommend...

          Alliums for their culinary and medical value
          • Onions
          • Garlic
          • Shallots
          • Chives
          • Scallions
          • Leeks


          Herbs for their culinary and medical value:
          • Mint
          • Parsley/cilantro
          • Basil
          • Ginger


          If you do nightshades:
          • Tomatoes
          • Hot pepper (great from both a culinary and medical standpoint)


          Finally, if you wanted to get really fancy and your climate can sustain it, I'd recommend lemons and/or limes for their acid and oils, which have a number of different practical uses.
          The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

          You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout

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          • #6
            Originally posted by theholla View Post
            If you're already eating eggs and organ meats, then you are doing great. However, like dado said, it's always good idea to "eat the rainbow" of veggies just to make sure you've got all your bases covered.

            Cruciferous vegetables are very dense in nutrients, plus they are delicious and many are easy to grow (at least around here - I don't know much about the Sacramento climate). They include:
            • Broccoli
            • Kale
            • Chard
            • Arugula
            • Watercress
            • Collard greens
            • Cabbage
            • Raddish
            • Bok choy
            • Mustard


            For starch, I'd go with tubers or squash:
            • Sweet potatoes
            • Carrots
            • Parsnips
            • Butternut squash (it keeps very well)


            That should cover the basics. Beyond that, I'd recommend...

            Alliums for their culinary and medical value
            • Onions
            • Garlic
            • Shallots
            • Chives
            • Scallions
            • Leeks


            Herbs for their culinary and medical value:
            • Mint
            • Parsley/cilantro
            • Basil
            • Ginger


            If you do nightshades:
            • Tomatoes
            • Hot pepper (great from both a culinary and medical standpoint)


            Finally, if you wanted to get really fancy and your climate can sustain it, I'd recommend lemons and/or limes for their acid and oils, which have a number of different practical uses.
            Much appreciated. I have somewhat of a working list similar to this, but I liked your breakdown into groups. FYI I avoid the nightshade.

            To others, I still want to understand the biological perspective of these different types of carbohydrate compounds in your body.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wiltondeportes View Post
              Also, please explain if complex carbs or simple carbs are more beneficial, and what those terms mean in real terms...ie which foods are which. I used to think I understood this, but now I'm not so sure. I don't know what CW is wrong, and what is right.
              This is a pretty good explanation of how those terms are typically used:

              Carbohydrates are classified as simple or complex. The classification depends on the chemical structure of the food, and how quickly the sugar is digested and absorbed. Simple carbohydrates have one (single) or two (double) sugars. Complex carbohydrates have three or more sugars.

              Examples of single sugars from foods include:

              * Fructose (found in fruits)
              * Galactose (found in milk products)

              Double sugars include:

              * Lactose (found in dairy)
              * Maltose (found in certain vegetables and in beer)
              * Sucrose (table sugar)

              Honey is also a double sugar. But unlike table sugar, it contains a small amount of vitamins and minerals. (Note: Honey should not be given to children younger than 1 year old.)

              Complex carbohydrates, often referred to as "starchy" foods, include:

              * Legumes
              * Starchy vegetables
              * Whole-grain breads and cereals

              Simple carbohydrates that contain vitamins and minerals occur naturally in:

              * Fruits
              * Milk and milk products
              * Vegetables

              Simple carbohydrates are also found in processed and refined sugars such as:

              * Candy
              * Regular (nondiet) carbonated beverages, such as soda
              * Syrups
              * Table sugar
              Carbohydrates: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

              As you can see, both can be important (like the simple carbs in some fruit and vegetables and the complex carbs in starchy vegetables) and both can be harmful (like the simple carbs in table sugar and the complex carbs in whole grains). Personally, I prefer the starchy vegetables for my carbs because they typically don't have much fructose.
              The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

              You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by theholla View Post
                This is a pretty good explanation of how those terms are typically used:



                Carbohydrates: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

                As you can see, both can be important (like the simple carbs in some fruit and vegetables and the complex carbs in starchy vegetables) and both can be harmful (like the simple carbs in table sugar and the complex carbs in whole grains). Personally, I prefer the starchy vegetables for my carbs because they typically don't have much fructose.
                Thanks. So a complex carb is a seperate compound itself right? It's not just saying there are atleast 3 types of sugars in a particular food. By that logic, apricots would be complex carbs (Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Apricots, raw [Includes USDA commodity food A386]). They have sucrose, glucose, fructose, and maltose. So if the complex carb or "starchy food" is a seperate carb, what is the name of that compound?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes, a complex carbohydrate is made up of three or more simple carbohydrates connected by chemical bond. For example, starch (my favorite carb!) is made up of multiple glucose units joined together. If it's straight, it's called amylose, and if it's branched, it's called amylopectin. Plants contain both.

                  Incidentally, glycogen (the compound that animals use to store glucose) is another complex carb made of multiple units of glucose, but the chemical structure is different, in that it's even more branched than amylopectin.

                  Since the carbs in apricots are mostly single sugars, they are a simple carb. They are actually relatively low in fructose though (well, for a fruit at least), which makes them a decent choice.
                  The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

                  You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by theholla View Post
                    Yes, a complex carbohydrate is made up of three or more simple carbohydrates connected by chemical bond. For example, starch (my favorite carb!) is made up of multiple glucose units joined together. If it's straight, it's called amylose, and if it's branched, it's called amylopectin. Plants contain both.

                    Incidentally, glycogen (the compound that animals use to store glucose) is another complex carb made of multiple units of glucose, but the chemical structure is different, in that it's even more branched than amylopectin.

                    Since the carbs in apricots are mostly single sugars, they are a simple carb. They are actually relatively low in fructose though (well, for a fruit at least), which makes them a decent choice.
                    So what processes in the body are carbs actually used for? And which form is most efficient and has the least negative effects?

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                    • #12
                      The simple answer is that carbs are used for fuel. The slightly more complicated answer is that you need a small amount of glucose for certain biological processes, but you don't strictly need to get it from dietary carbohydrates, since your body can synthesize glucose from protein as well. However, if you're seeking optimal health or optimal athletic performance, experimenting with dietary carbohydrate intake can become quite useful. It's definitely worth reading up on.

                      The second part of your question doesn't have an easy answer either. Like you said earlier, fructose is definitely something to avoid. And none of the monosaccharides were found in the evolutionary human diet in quantities close to what we have access to today. On the other hand, starches are very common in hunter-gatherer diets, and they start breaking down to glucose the moment you put them in your mouth (humans produce amylase - an enzyme that breaks down starch to glucose - in their saliva). So who knows - maybe straight glucose isn't so bad either.

                      Plus, the question of which carbohydrates are the best to eat is not the same as which carbohydrate-containing foods are the best to eat, since there are other factors to take into account. For example, if you look at the carb breakdown in broccoli, you'll see that it has no starch, and has more fructose than glucose. But, there are only 1.7 grams of sugar in 100 grams of broccoli, and it's incredibly dense in nutrients. So, it's still a great choice.

                      Ultimately, I think the most practical advice is to just eat a lot of nutrient dense, non-starchy veggies without worrying about their carbohydrate content; use starchy veggies if you need to increase your carbohydrate intake; and limit fruits, especially if they're high in fructose and/or sucrose.
                      The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

                      You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout

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                      • #13
                        I just read the second article. THANK YOU!! That's exactly what I have been reading, but this is far more orderly and comprehensive. He's a good writer.

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                        • #14
                          You are welcome!
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