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General Nutrition and Diet Facts



Carbohydrates Benefits


Carbohydrates is of two forms: Complex and Simple.
Simple carbohydrates are one, two, or at most three units of sugar linked together in single molecules.
Complex carbohydrates are hundreds or thousands of sugar units linked together in single molecules.
Simple sugars are easily identified by their taste: sweet.
Complex carbohydrates like potatoes will not be sweet as simple sugars.

Complex carbohydrates consists of two groups : High fiber and Low fiber.
High-fiber complex carbohydrates are not digestible , because we do not have the enzyme to do the job. Cows have that enzyme, that is why they can get calories by eating grass, and we cannot. The main stuff in high-fiber complex carbohydrates which is indigestible by humans is called "cellulose."

Vegetables of high-fiber (high-cellulose) are the healthiest choices for human nutrition and intake of these foods is associated with lowered incidences of hypertension, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, etc.Some of them are lettuce and broccoli. Examples of low-fiber complex carbohydrates are banana, tomato, and all cereals and grains, potatoes and rice.

It does not matter whether a carbohydrate is simple or complex.After digestion it appears in the circulatory system in the simple form as glucose on its way to the cells where it is used for energy. To transform complex into simple form complex carbohydrates must be digested by the enzyme amylase. Amylase is secreted by the salivary glands, which empty into the mouth and by the pancreas which empties into the head of the duodenum.

Fiber is an important part of our diet, which is necessary to protect us from some diseases. There are "essential" fatty acids and "essential" amino acids (from protein), however there are no known essential carbohydrates.

Most of our carbohydrates come from cereals and grains. Our bodies are not genetically designed to thrive on large amounts of these fiberless complex carbohydrates. With the popularity of cereal- and grain-based health diets, carbohydrate metabolism has been upset in approximately 3/4 of the population which simply cannot handle this large load of carbohydartes. Increased insulin output from the pancreas, over the years, results in hyperinsulinism, insulin resistance and the resulting diseases like hypertension, dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis and heart disease.

To get maximum health complex carbohydrates with lots of fiber should be consumed. The problem happens when carbohydrates are altered by processes which provide empty calories stripped of much of their original food value.

Here is the relationship between simple sugars and mucus formation.The biochemical name for mucus is mucopolysaccharide. This literally means "mucus of many sugars," and it tells us how mucus is formed through the linking together of sugar molecules. If a person have a condition such as asthma or emphysema, in which mucus is part of the problem, we can supress this by stopping more intake of simple sugars and lowering the intake of complex carbohydrates (which convert to simple sugars upon digestion). Some examples are sweet fruits as plums, peaches, apples, etc., must go along with breads, pastas and pastries.

Complex carbohydrates which are present in vegetables which are rich in fiber are the most healthy form of sugar.Eat fruits, do not juice them and drink them, unless you are on a juice fast.Eating the whole fruit results in the inclusion of natural fiber, which allows proper absorption of sugars. To make the juice, dilute it with twice the recommended amount of water, so as to get the taste without overdosing on simple sugars.

What will happen if we intake excess amount of carbohydrate?

This can be a cause for generalized vascular disease. The high-carbohydrate diet which is now so popular causes the pancreas to produce large amounts of insulin, and if this happens for many years in a genetically predisposed person, the insulin receptors throughout the body become resistant to insulin. Because insulin's action is to drive glucose into the cells and this results in chronic hyperglycemia which is also called "high blood sugar." A large portion of this sugar is stored as fat resulting in obesity. Excess insulin also causes hypertension and helps initiate the sequence of events in the arterial wall which leads to atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Adult onset diabetes is known to be greatly benefited by the adoption of a low carbohydrate diet, moderate in fat, which stresses the importance of a regular intake of sufficient protein. Many cancers such as breast, colon and lung cancer, apparently have a hereditary tendency. It may be, however that nutritional habits are passed on from one generation to the next, thus accounting for the familial tendency toward cancer.

Excess fats damage the immune system through irradiation by free radicals during peroxidation of fats. Excess carbohydrates upset the hormonal system mentioned above (known as the "eicosanoids") and results in an imbalance favoring the type of eicosanoid (known as "prostaglandins E-2" or "PGE-2") which also suppresses the immune system. Thus obesity is associated with a higher incidence of infection.


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