Sugar – Hidden in Carbohydrates
Some nutritional concepts and terminology can be confusing if you’re not familiar with how food works in the body.
Take “carbohydrates”, for example.
Carbohydrates are composed of sugar molecules.
As you chew, an enzyme in your mouth (salivary amylase) immediately starts to break down the carbohydrate molecules into simpler sugars containing 2 sugar molecules linked together; referred to as disaccharides.
Later, in the small intestine these disaccharides are broken down into the monosaccharides, such as “glucose”, and absorbed into the blood stream.
Carbohydrates consumed from real foods found in nature, like vegetables and fruits, provide energy PLUS contain the nutrients your body needs to build and maintain all of the cells in your body.
When consumed from processed foods made from overly refined grains, like white rice and breads, carbohydrates provide energy but no nutrients. This prevents your body from being able to function normally or healthily and eventually leads to symptoms and disease. I wrote a bit about this in a previous blog, How Unhealthy Food Causes Disease.
The symptoms and disease that you personally develop will depend on your genetic predisposition, or sensitivity, to the stressful internal environment that you are creating for your body and cells by eating nutrient-poor foods.
Not only do refined carbohydrates and sugars cause obesity and diabetes but they lead to heart disease, liver disease, gastrointestinal conditions, arthritis, as well as brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Hide and Seek Sugar
So remember that you have control over your genetic destiny. Don’t feed your predisposition for disease.
Avoid added hidden sugar by reading the labels of the foods you buy. Start in your kitchen.
Do you see any of the following names for sugars on the labels of foods in your pantry or fridge?
Brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, honey, invert sugar, malt sugar, molasses, raw sugar, syrup, or any word ending with “ose.”
If so, get rid of them…or at least start reducing the amount of added sugar in your diet until you are using only real food from nature to meet your sweet needs.
To find out how much you know about refined carbohydrates and health, take the Is Disease Hereditary™? Sugar Quiz to test your level of sugar literacy?
American Heart Association. Accessed February 21, 2015 at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Sugars-101_UCM_306024_Article.jsp.
American Heart Association. By any other name it’s still sweetener. Accessed May 30, 2015 at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/By-Any-Other-Name-Its-Still-Sweetener_UCM_437368_Article.jsp
Dashti HS, et al. Habitual sleep duration is associated with BMI and macronutrient intake and may be modified by CLOCK genetic variants. Am J Clin Nutr January 2015 vol. 101 no. 1 135-143. 25527757
National Library of Medicin – MedlinePlus. Carbohydrates. Accessed on 8 July 2015 at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002469.htm
USDA. Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Accessed May 30, 2015 at http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/.
World Health Organization. Guideline: sugars intake for adults and children. Accessed May 30, 2015 at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/sugar-guideline/en/.
Quiz Photo Credits:
Honey. Copyright: jamesstar / 123RF Stock Photo
Peach. Copyright: chuhail / 123RF Stock Photo
Quiz photo. Copyright: subbotina / 123RF Stock Photo
Sugar plum. Copyright: jehsomwang / 123RF Stock Photo
Sweet tooth: Copyright: blueringmedia / 123RF Stock Photo