Let’s talk starch — Yes, that generalized, obscure classification of foodstuff that most people don’t fully have a concrete understanding of. Starch, also called amylum is a carbohydrate, which consists of a large number of glucose units. In layman’s terms, starch is a classification of foodstuff that the body uses for sugar, thus energy. Amazingly, because many people lack a complete comprehension of the science behind this definition and how our bodies biologically respond to starch, many needlessly suffer from obesity, candida infections, GI discomforts as well as bone and joint problems.
DID YOU KNOW:
- Most legumes are 70% starch and 30% Protein
- Starch is used as commercial adhesive similar to glue
- Starch is the most common carbohydrate in the human diet
THE SCIENCE OF IT ALL
Starch is a carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are broken down into four classifications. Monosaccharides, Disaccharides, Oligosaccharides and Polysaccharides. Don’t let these long tongue-twisting definitions discourage you. Simply put, saccharides are carbohydrate chains that contain sugar molecules.
Monosaccharides are composed of 1 sugar molecule, Disaccharides, 2, Oligosaccharides, 3-10 and Polysaccharides, up to 10,000 or more. Just think of it as houses with the number of corresponding rooms. Mono: 1 room, Di: 2 rooms, etc. If you need to break down the house and use the lumber from the house for energy production, which house will take longer to breakdown?
Now we can apply this phenomena to the human body. Because carbohydrates, thus sugars, are the body’s main source for energy production, simplicity in this case is best. Fewer sugar molecules means the carbohydrate will be processed by the body faster and more efficiently.
Interestingly, Monosaccharides include chiefly two kinds of sugars, the sugar of human blood and the sugar in fruits, such as grapes. So, no matter what someone tells you, the body needs sugar to function properly.
It’s not sugar itself that causes most health problems associated with sugar addictions and diseases like Candidiasis. Because starch is a carbohydrate that is made up of more than one sugar molecule, the body has to work harder to break it down and utilize it for energy. When we think of the various foods we love that fit into the starch category, we rarely think of them as energy producers.
Yes, I remember how a soft, chewy, sweet loaf of Hawaiian Bread tasted, but the truth is, it is not a suitable source of energy for the human body. The general principle to use when eating starch is: the less processed and dense, the better. Mono and Disaccharides should be your preferred source of carbohydrates. If you must have starch, have it wholly. Eat whole, unprocessed grains and feel the difference. You’ll find you’ll have more energy and be full of vitality.
MULTI-DIMENSIONAL CARBS TO AVOID
- Regular Commercial Wheat Bread
- Fried Potatoes
- Donuts and baked snacks
INSTEAD EAT MORE OF THESE:
- Sprouted, Flour-less Breads
- Garbanzo Beans and other legumes
Very well written and solidly based on the cutting edge of nutrition science, this article should go far to help our vegetarian brothers and sisters understand why too many vegetarians and vegans still suffer undesirable rates of chronic disease, like the S.A.D. counterparts. The role of amylase in the saliva is very important and is one of the main reasons to 1) chew our foods from 32 to 48 times before swallowing, to allow the amylase to turn polysaccharides into disaccharides before moving the food into the upper stomache; and 2) “chew” our smoothies and juices to allow the conversion to take place in the mouth. When the pancreas has to put out large amounts of amylase, it puts a much greater burden on this phenomenal multitasking organ.
I love the science of nutrition. Your article is a gem. Keep up the great work.
I dumped 124 pounds eating super high starch, vegetarian foods. http://www.starchitarian.com