|Posted by Charles H Small on May 20, 2011 at 6:36 PM|
How Fast Are Simple And
Complex Carbohydrates Metablolized?
Simple sugars give you an instant energy thus in the time immediately following sugar intake and your body stores any excess calories as fat VERY QUICKLY -- within minutes!
In contrast, complex carbohydrates, which are simply polymers of simple sugars, take more time to digest. And while they do end up as simple sugars, if you eat balanced meals, you don't get the same sugar spike rather a steady level of glucose over time or so you feel full longer.
If you eat the recommended fiber with each meal, digestion will be slowed a bit more and you will feel full a bit longer.
All so-called "complex carbohydrates," or what used to be called "starches" (corn, wheat, rice, oats, etc), are turned into simple sugars before they get out of your stomach and into your bloodstream. Simple sugars go by various names with sometimes these prefixes: mono-,di-, and tri-. Some makers of junk food used more than one type of simple surgar to disguise the fact that their worthless, expensive, heavily advertised product has more sugar and a candy bar. Examples of simple sugars are fuit sugar or fructose (as in "high-fructose" corn syrup), cane/table sugar or sucrose, malt sugar that is used to make beer or maltose, etc. etc. They are all "ose's" and they all have the same calories/points per gram or ounce and, more importantly, the same calories/points in your digestive tract.
Sucrose, the technical name for table sugar, cane sugar, or white sugar, is made of one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule bound together. It comes in powdered and granulated form. Sucrose is made from highly processed form of sugar beet or sugar cane plant extracts.
Sugar can hide behind many names on food labels. “Brown sugar” is simply white sugar with some coloring added either in the form of burnt sugar or molasses in amount that is not enough to make it any more nutritious than white sugar. Similarly, "raw sugar”, which appears in larger crystals than the refined granules of table sugar, is also a marketing gimmick. “Raw” suggests “a more natural and healthier sugar.” but raw sugar is nothing more than crystallized, refined white sugar. A 12-ounce can of a typical soft drink, or example, contains about ten teaspoons of sucrose or fructose. One tablespoon of table sugar or sucrose contains 46 calories or almost exactly 50 Weight Watchers points!
The USDA subsidizes the growing of corn on vast "factory farms" in the US so we have a lot of excess corn and so "high-fructose" corn syrum is cheaper than mostly imported cane sugar/sucrose. High-fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, is a highly processed sweetener made from white corn starch. The glucose yielded from the processing is further processed to produce a high percentage of fructose. HFCS has the same sweet taste as sucrose from cane sugar but its production process is chemical-laden and much more complicated. Businessmen and manufacturers value it because it’s 75% sweeter than sugar, it blends well into foods, it’s easy to transport in tanker trucks, it has a long shelf life (due to the addition of genetically modified enzymes), and bottom-line, it’s a lot cheaper. Today, most of us consume more HFCS than cane/beet-sugar/sucrose.
Glucose is the simple sugar actually used by your body to provide energy (the glucose is broken down, and energy is produced), other sugars such as sucrose have to be converted to glucose before they can be used, So glucose will be metabolized faster than other sugars. But the sugar that is most widely used to make things sweet is sucrose because it is much sweeter than glucose.
Complex carbohydrates are simply polymers of simple sugars that are used mainly for energy storage (starch-glycogen) and structural scaffolds (like cellulose in plants). The saliva acid in your stomach begins the breakdown of complex carbohydratess that greatly accelerates in the stomach, where the acid initiates the hydrolysis of complex carbohydrates (starches) into simple carbohydratess (sugars). While simple sugars are digested almost immediatly (becuase those forms are exactly what your bloodstream is looking for), the rate at which complex carbohydrates varies a bit from type to type. This process happens quickly for some foods (white rice, mashed potato, and maltodextrin) and slowly for others (barley, black beans). Unless you are a dibetic, you body secrets insulin in respone to the injestion of any sugar.
THe "insulin response" causes enzymatic and hormonal pathways to engage which do several things in the following "priorities": (1) fuel current energy requirements, (2) synthesize glycogen (the fatty substance stored in your muscles and your liver for immediate use when needed. If you do the same heavy exercise for a couple of repititions, you will use up all the glycogen in the muscle being exercised and you will have to stop exercising), and (3) synthesize triglycerides for energy storage (triglycerides are plain old fat).
If you have no current energy needs (above that which is needed to simply survive) and your glycogen stores are full, ALL of those excess carbohydratess will be converted to fat, fat, fat, and more fat. In the metabolic pathway, the conversion of glucose to pyruvate and finally acetyl CoA is irreversible and is dependant on the concentration of glucose (which is also where the idea that fat cannot be turned into sugar originates-due to the irrevisibility of the oxidation of pyruvate). Thus the more glucose that enters your blood from any type of carbohydrate (simple or complex), the more stimulus there is to store it as fat. THe acetyl CoA formed is then assembled in the liver to fatty acids (Why is it not metabolized? this is because insulin shuts down the oxidation of acetyl CoA), triglycerides and then stored in the adipose tissue ("adipose tissue" is a clinical term for ugly fat you can see including so called "cellulite" which is just plain fat and not something special).