Hello all and welcome to FYI Thursdays. This is when I pick a topic or significant word and either define or discuss it. Today let’s talk about carbohydrates: fruits and vegetables.
There has been a lot of negative discussion in the diet world about carbs (slang word for carbohydrates – it’s easier to type than carbohydrates). There is the carboholics diet, the Atkins’ Diet, and the full fats diet. All of them tell you to limit your carb intake. However, to limit your carbs is to cheat your body of its main source of energy.
Carbohydrate foods are broken down into their basic sugar building blocks, and when we eat carbs, those sugars make their way into our bloodstream either slowly or quickly, depending on the type of foods we choose. (Un-Junk Your Diet) Carbs used to be classified as simple or complex, or you can just say bad carbs (simple) or good carbs (complex). The more processed the carb, the worse it is for you. The job of the carb is to be ingested and break down into its simplest form – glucose (sugar). We actually need sugar to fuel us, but only the right kind of sugar. Carbs affect your blood sugar levels. The simple sugars dump into your blood stream quickly and cause a spike. You feel energized and hopped up. But just as quickly as the simple sugar spiked, it will crash back down making you feel lethargic and depleted. Examples of simple sugars are refined sugars, also known as fructose, which is processed from corn, sugar cane and other items. You find them added to most of the processed food you purchase, especially if the product has had its fat reduced. The producer had to replace that fat with something and adding sugar helps the eater not miss the fat. Now is a good time to warn you about the high fructose corn syrup. It is a highly processed sugar that is dangerous for our bodies.
You see there are two kinds of sugars: glucose and fructose. Our bodies were made to process glucose. It is natural and necessary. Fructose, on the other hand, is a man-made substance that our bodies have had to learn how to deal with and we don’t deal with it well. Do some of your own research into this. You will be surprised at what the food industry is doing to us just to make a dime.
Glucose is the product of the complex carbs. They are also known as starches. These food items break down into slower absorbed sugars. They do not cause the sudden spike in the blood sugar like fructose does. You have heard the caution about white rice, white potatoes and white bread. The white rice and white bread are highly processed items, they create fructose when they are digested, fructose spikes your blood and what the body doesn’t use for energy at that moment, it stores as fat. The white potato can go either way – if you eat it basically whole (like baked) you will get glucose, but you boil and mash that tater, or fry that tater, you have processed that tater and you will get fructose.
The closer your fruits and vegetables are to their original self, the better off you are.
I know this discussion is over simplified. My purpose is to spark your interest in the subject and direct you to further research on your own. Let me know what you find out. I am anxious to find out what you think about this topic and how it affects your life.
Bye for now. I’ll speak to you again soon.