Aug 8, 2014

carbs carbs carbs

I've had carbs on the mind lately, not because I'm not eating any, but rather that there is some interesting research and discussions going on.  I wanted to list them here because I'm still doing research.

Resistant Starch (RS)
  • This has been coming up a lot lately. It can be thought of as a type of fiber. In other words it's a form of carbohydrate that is not easily digested by our bodies. There's a few places that it mainly comes from. Green bananas, potatoes that have been cooked but then cooled, and rice that has been cooked but then cooled. It has to be cooled because the RS denatures at medium high heats. I don't know about you but none of these are things I would normally eat. EXCEPT. Potato chips. Yea. That's what I thought. Potato chips are good or you? Not really. They are still going to dump a ton of carbs into you and they are generally cooked in bad vegetable oils (PUFA). But they do have resistant starch. And can probably be eaten in moderation. Actually scrap that. No eats potato chips in moderation.
  • What's so good about resistant starch? Basically it's a food source for good bacteria in your gut. And this is slowly becoming a topic in the low carb circles. Gut bacteria seems to have a number of complicated side benefits. In addition there is some data suggesting it improves glycemic responses as well as satiety (but I don't know if that's via pure bulk filling or modification of grehlin/leptin).
  • It may be the supplemental dietary addition of RS could be beneficial to your gut flora. Most people are adding potato starch powder to water and drinking it. 

Glucose & Fructose & Sucrose
  • Again there are lots of signs that fructose is worse than glucose. But it's complicated because it depends on what you are talking about. 
    • Fructose seems to show significant effect on ApoB counts. This is a measure of how many lipoproteins that carry triglycerides and sterols through your bloodstream you have. Heart disease is correlated with high number counts of ApoB (which by the way is NOT what they measure when you get an LDL blood measurement). Basically if you eat glucose you get a small relative spike in triglycerides which helps keep ApoB transports lower. If you eat fructose you get a triglycerides spike (bad). Confusingly if you eat fructose with glucose (sugar) you get an even worse triglyceride spike. Glucose makes the fructose worse. Although we don't know why.
    • Fructose has not effect on insulin. Weird I know. There is no insulin response. This is technically good if you have metabolic syndrome. BUT....
    • Because it has no effect on insulin it also doesn't stimulate the insulin-mediated glucose cycle that regulates leptin production (the satiety hormone). So basically fructose never fills you up. With fructose you could eat and eat and eat....
    • It also seems to inhibit the suppression of ghrelin (the hungry hormone) after eating. It's like a double whammy. Fructose doesn't make you feel full and it doesn't stop you from being hungry.
    • So what fruits are super high in fructose?
      • Anything dried (dates, raisins, etc.)
      • Grapes
      • Apples
      • Pears
      • Cherries
    • What fruits are low in fructose?
      • Apricots
      • Avocados
      • Peaches
      • Plums
    • But here's the problem. The web can't even agree on which are high and low because people are sloppy and can't normalize for the different sizes of fruit. Mangoes show up on both lists for example. I need a better source. Like I said, I'm still doing research.

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