All of us living the Low Carb lifestyle use the words carbohydrate, sugar, and starch on a daily basis. But although we use the words freely, not everyone is clear on just what those words mean, how the substances relate to one another, or how they relate to other things we eat.
Dr. Beth Gruber, Contributor at CarbSmart.com
Dr. Gruber is a graduate of the Southern California University of Health Sciences, and has been in private chiropractic practice in Long Beach, California since 1964. She also received both a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree from California State University at Long Beach. She has written on health-related subjects for over 30 years, for several different publications. She lives in Southern California with her husband. Both she and her husband follow and live the low carb lifestyle full time.
Dr. Gruber is a graduate of the Southern California University of Health Sciences, and has been in private chiropractic practice in Long Beach, California since 1964. She also received both a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree from California State University at Long Beach. She has written on health-related subjects for over 30 years, for several different publications. She lives in Southern California with her husband of 33 years. Both she and her husband follow and live the low carb lifestyle full time.
We’ve been talking about dieting and the history of diets. Most recently we looked at some of the herbal preparations that claim to help for obesity. In discussing herbal remedies, I reminded readers that just because these products are called herbs, and are considered to be “natural,” does not necessarily mean they are safe, and free from side effects. The herbs may, in fact, be safe at usual and customary dosages and amounts, but you should don’t merely assume they are because they seem to be related to parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme!
In my last article, I discussed the development of the diet pill phenomenon. This brilliant marketing strategy changed the course of the medical treatment for obesity by grouping together different kinds of drugs that might (or might not, for that matter) have some relation to weight loss, and then selling the patient all the drugs at once. The plan was enormously lucrative for the drug companies who manufactured the chemicals, and also for the so-called “fat doctors” who prescribed them. But before we put all the blame on the drug companies and the doctors, we must face a certain reality. The public was very willing to hear the message that overweight can be treated with chemicals.
In my last column, we followed sugars and starches through the trail of digestion. We followed the carbohydrate foods through the mouth and down to the upper part of the bowel as they were broken into simple sugars by the action of enzymes produced in the mouth, the stomach, and the small intestine.
As we have discussed in previous articles, digestible carbohydrates must be brought to the simple sugar stage before they can be absorbed. And, as we have learned, this is done in the mouth, stomach, and small intestines by digestion via the action of enzymes in a process called hydrolysis, which involves break down by the removal of water. When the sugars have reached the small intestines, no matter what carbohydrates are the source, they have all become simple sugars. The sugars diffuse through the selective membranes of the small intestines, and then enter the blood.
We are continuing our discussions of diets, dieting, and the various ways people have attempted to lose weight. In the last article we looked at the phenomenon of women’s magazines as a huge factor in the return of calorie counting after World War II. And we saw the rise of meals in a can, which are still with us today.