Sugars, Fats, and all That

Not all carbs are bad. Here’s why: all carbs, no matter what their source, must first be metabolized (i.e., converted) to glucose. Any excess glucose is converted to body fat. Refined sugars, like table sugar (i.e., sucrose) or fruit sugars (e.g., fructose) are converted to glucose very efficiently. On the other hand, more complex carbohydrates – esp. the ones associated with dietary or insoluble fibers (e.g.,cellulose) – have a much different effect on the body. They are metabolized much less efficiently (some, like cellulose, cannot be metabolized at all) and far more slowly than simple sugars. Moreover, the insoluble portions of such carbohydrates have other beneficial effects – producing improved cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart disease, increased appetite suppression, some forms of cancer protection (e.g., colorectal cancer) and so forth.

ASIDE: fat is the body’s preferred energy source and your metabolism goes to great lengths to conserve and produce fat. During a marathon, for example, a runner will exhaust his/her liver’s store of sugar (a.k.a., glycogen). Once the glycogen is depleted, the liver will then begin to break down protein for energy. It won’t touch its fat reserves. By the way, your body burns fats to keep warm. It’s why swimming is such a great exercise for weight control. The water is usually colder than the air and your body burns its fat reserves to maintain a normal temperature.

Lesson: reduce intake of refined sugars and starches (long chains of glucose molecules found in potatoes, pasta, cakes, breads, etc.). Get the bulk of your daily carbs from foods with high fiber content (black beans, split peas, lentils, broccoli and some berries (Raspberries, blackberries) and fruits (pears). As for cereal, oatmeal is pretty good.

Dietetically incorrect after six years


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