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Thread: Carbs plus sugar = total sugar? page

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    mindo's Avatar
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    Carbs plus sugar = total sugar?

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    Hi all. I have a question. A banana has about 25 grams of carbohydrates and 12 grams of sugar. Does that mean it would be a grand total of 37 grams of sugar since carbs turn into sugar?

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    Allan

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    twa2w's Avatar
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    no, the carb figure usually includes the sugar

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    mindo's Avatar
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    I hope so cause that would be good news. Thanks!

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    Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Bananas, raw

    You can see the heading is total carbs, and the indented item is sugars, meaning it's a subset.

    My question is.....what is the breakdown on the other carbs? Are they complex carbs rather than "sugars"??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnabair View Post
    Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Bananas, raw
    You can see the heading is total carbs, and the indented item is sugars, meaning it's a subset.

    My question is.....what is the breakdown on the other carbs? Are they complex carbs rather than "sugars"??
    Short answer: Yes.
    Longer answer: It depends which definition of "complex carbs" you are using TBH...

    If by "complex carbs" you are referring to starches (molecularly complex as compared to sugars) then yes
    (dessert bananas are closely related to Plantains, which are loaded with starches)

    If you feel "complex carbs" is a loose & subjective term involving fiber, GI, level of processing, nutritional content, etc...
    (aka the brown rice is "complex"/white rice is "simple" argument) then the picture gets a tad more blurry
    Last edited by Fury; 10-04-2011 at 12:35 AM.

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    mindo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnabair View Post
    Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Bananas, raw

    You can see the heading is total carbs, and the indented item is sugars, meaning it's a subset.

    My question is.....what is the breakdown on the other carbs? Are they complex carbs rather than "sugars"??
    I notice "fibre" is part of the breakdown under "carbohydrates." Does this mean the grams of fibre has been subtracted from the number of total carbohydrates?

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    The way that the US outlines nutrition guidelines is you calculate the total calories, then you calculate how much fat and protein is in it. You subtract the fat and protein and what you're left with is "total carbohydrate". Carbs aren't actually calculated and are just assumed, which is why they're unreliable. For example, if you take Greek Yogurt, once the fat content and protein is determined, what you're left with is Total Carbohydrate. My Greek Yogurt from Trader Joe's has 7g of carbohydrate per cup according to the label, but this isn't actually correct. The fermentation process converts lactose into lactic acid, so the real carbohydrate content of my yogurt is actually around 3-4g per cup, so the label isn't factual. It's far more extreme for kefir, which is heavily fermented. That's just how the US mandates that carbohydrate is calculated.

    In the case of the banana, if you have 25g of total carbohydrate and 12g of "sugars", the remaining would be dietary fiber, sugar alcohols and "other". Realistically, there's pretty much always a margin of error in Total Carbohydrate because it's the macronutrient that isn't calculated. It's just the sum total of fat, protein and whatever's left to get the total caloric value. But to answer your questions, no, it wouldn't have 37g of carbohydrate. It's just that roughly 50% of the carbohydrate found in a banana is sugar. The rest is starch, fiber, sugar alcohols and whatever's remaining from the margin of error in the calculations.
    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 10-09-2011 at 03:29 PM.
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