Carbohydrates: Candies, Noodles And All That Good Stuff

…or are they evil?

Currently, it is a real hot topic, especially since many countries have introduced a sugary drink tax and low-carb and keto diet are becoming very popular among the broad public.  Is it the right way to go in order to lose fat? Yes. And no.

Focussing on one macronutrient or one substance as “the bad guy” does not really make sense and at the end of the day it is the calory deficit which determines if you lose fat or not. In addition, people have different carb tollerances and different types and levels of activity, therefore it may or it may NOT be a good idea to cut carbs from your diet. But first, let us go biochemical (just a tiny bit, do not panic ;)) in order to know more about it.

The fate of sugar and starch

  • Sugar: the sugar as we know it (sucrose) is mainly digested in the upper part of the small intestine, where enzymes cleave it in its components: glucose and fructose. Glucose is used by a lot of our cells as a fuel and is directly absorbed through specific transporters. Fructose‘s fate is similar to the one of glucose.
  • Starch: starch is found in a lot of foods we are consuming daily like bread, noodles, oats, potatoes, rice, lentils and so on. To take the story short, even if it is a “complex carbohydrate” it is made up of glucose and through our digestion it is broken down to -guess what?- glucose.

What happens next? Check here.

From a pure biochemical point of view there is also no difference between a candy and a bowl of rice! And that’s not all: even from the perspective of satiety and weight loss there seems to be no difference in “complex” and “simple” carbohydrates! Even if a carb is a carb for fat loss, for the purpose of a healthy diet you may want to have your carb sources with some extras, like micronutrients and vitamins. That’s why it is a good idea to buy a big bunch of root veggies and do this 😉 .

Want to know more about macros? Then see you next week 🙂

 

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