Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: Are sugar and starch metabolically identical, thus health wise identical? page

  1. #1
    AMonkey's Avatar
    AMonkey is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    738

    Are sugar and starch metabolically identical, thus health wise identical?

    I was reading an article in the paper drawing attention to a UK health body's criticism of super market food which the supermarkets claimed was healthy, despite having 'high' levels of sugar. The article mentioned noodles which had ~38g of sugar per ~380g of noodles, which is only 10g of sugar/100g. This didn't seem to be a strong factor to criticise the supermarket food on, as as tangerines (mandarins) have 11g of sugar/100g. Other fruits have even higher proportions of sugar. Clearly I'm not suggesting that fruits are unhealthy because of sugar, or that super market noodles are healthy, but if you are going to criticise a food, picking out one factor in isolation seems pretty stupid to me.

    Additionally carb rich sources like rice, pasta and potatoes have high levels of starches (typically around ~20g/100g). Bread can be up to 50g of carbs/100g.

    As far as I'm aware starch and sugar are processed by the body in the same way, they are broken down into glucose and fructose and then further processed. Thus, ignoring other factors (such as any vitamins, minerals, fibre etc), eating a slice of white bread is just as healthy as eating a bowl of sugar.

    Am I correct about the metabolism of sugar and starches? Or are starches broken down slower, or into different constituent parts?

  2. #2
    peril's Avatar
    peril is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sydney, NSW
    Posts
    2,677
    Starch breaks down to only glucose. Sugar to glucose and fructose. Very different
    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

  3. #3
    Omni's Avatar
    Omni is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    929
    In some ways the bowl of sugar is healthier as fructose does not spike insulin, the GI index is lower.
    Whoever wrote the article either didn't understand what they were writing fully or poorly explained the issues.

  4. #4
    Timthetaco's Avatar
    Timthetaco is online now Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    799
    Starch, sugar, glycemic index, digestion, health effects...

    Twenty page thread minimum.

  5. #5
    Traderjodie's Avatar
    Traderjodie is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    28
    They may break down in the body similarly but they definitely have different effects on my personal eating patterns. Something that tastes noticeably sweet will trigger me to eat much more. There is something about the way it sits in my mouth that just turns me into a wild scroungy beast. A starchy white baked potatoe doesn't have that effect at all. I won't even guess at the science at work here except to say that the pleasure center of the brain must be involved somehow.

    Upshot is that I can eat potatoes and not cookies. Of course, I had better be careful what I put on that baked potatoe or that pleasure center is going to do me in again!

  6. #6
    JoanieL's Avatar
    JoanieL is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Laissez le bon temps rouler!
    Posts
    6,568
    Did it come straight from the ground, boat, or butcher? Eat it.

    Did it go to a factory or two to be processed down and packaged? Don't eat it.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

    B*tch-lite

  7. #7
    Gladmorning's Avatar
    Gladmorning is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    531
    Quote Originally Posted by JoanieL View Post
    Did it come straight from the ground, boat, or butcher? Eat it.

    Did it go to a factory or two to be processed down and packaged? Don't eat it.
    Yup, yup, yup, mmhmm. I think people (including myself) get stuck on this stuff way too. What Joanie said is the basis of primal. So, stop trying to science it. Just eat the food, damnit. Don't worry which is less healthy/more healthy between bread and sugar. You're not eating it anyway, right?
    The process is simple: Free your mind, and your ass will follow.

  8. #8
    StephenHLi's Avatar
    StephenHLi is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Framingham, MA
    Posts
    178
    Quote Originally Posted by AMonkey View Post
    I was reading an article in the paper drawing attention to a UK health body's criticism of super market food which the supermarkets claimed was healthy, despite having 'high' levels of sugar. The article mentioned noodles which had ~38g of sugar per ~380g of noodles, which is only 10g of sugar/100g. This didn't seem to be a strong factor to criticise the supermarket food on, as as tangerines (mandarins) have 11g of sugar/100g. Other fruits have even higher proportions of sugar. Clearly I'm not suggesting that fruits are unhealthy because of sugar, or that super market noodles are healthy, but if you are going to criticise a food, picking out one factor in isolation seems pretty stupid to me.

    Additionally carb rich sources like rice, pasta and potatoes have high levels of starches (typically around ~20g/100g). Bread can be up to 50g of carbs/100g.

    As far as I'm aware starch and sugar are processed by the body in the same way, they are broken down into glucose and fructose and then further processed. Thus, ignoring other factors (such as any vitamins, minerals, fibre etc), eating a slice of white bread is just as healthy as eating a bowl of sugar.

    Am I correct about the metabolism of sugar and starches? Or are starches broken down slower, or into different constituent parts?
    Define healthy.

    Define your health goal.

    A.) if your goal is to improve insulin sensitivity the bowl of sugar is less unhealthy. (i.e. too much glucose may derange insulin workings).

    B.) if your goal is to reduce fatty liver, the slice of bread is less unhealthy. (i.e. too much fructose increases fatty liver)

  9. #9
    The Scientist's Avatar
    The Scientist is offline Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    79
    Quote Originally Posted by StephenHLi View Post
    Define healthy.

    Define your health goal.

    A.) if your goal is to improve insulin sensitivity the bowl of sugar is less unhealthy. (i.e. too much glucose may derange insulin workings).

    B.) if your goal is to reduce fatty liver, the slice of bread is less unhealthy. (i.e. too much fructose increases fatty liver)
    I have to call you out on claim A. The evidence is clear that fructose is much more of a problem for insulin sensitivity. The paper shown here demonstrates that quite thoroughly. They put two groups on with a fructose of glucose-suplemented diet (25% of calories) and measured insulin sensitivity, liver de novo lipogenesis, and many other interesting things. Fructose induced dramatically higher levels of liver DNL and also reduced insulin sensitivity and increased postprandial glucose levels. Avoid fructose if it is not in an actual piece of fruit at all costs.

  10. #10
    The Scientist's Avatar
    The Scientist is offline Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    79
    The big problem is this:

    Glucose can be easily metabolized by every tissue in your body, and if there is an excess, you just store it as glycogen. It only becomes a major problem if your glycogen stores are full and you have to store it as fat. Of course, most people on a SAD have full glycogen stored most of the time.

    Fructose is a huge problem because your liver is the only organ that can metabolize it, and there is no way to easily store it. This means that it takes more than five times as much glucose as fructose to produce an equivalent metabolic load on the liver. In many ways fructose acts on the liver in the same manner as ethanol. This is is why alcoholic an non-alcoholic liver disease pathology looks so similar, and why fructose consumption is a major risk factor for NAFLD. See this review for more details.
    Last edited by The Scientist; 02-23-2013 at 02:02 PM.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •