Slowly Digested Carbohydrates

Slowly Digested Carbohydrates

Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

A study from Switzerland shows that while refined carbohydrates are 
absorbed in the upper intestinal tract to increase risk for obesity 
and diabetes, slowly digested or non-absorbable carbohydrates that 
are absorbed in the colon help to lower cholesterol and prevent 
heart attacks. 

You don't have to avoid all carbohydrates to lose weight. This study 
shows that you need to avoid only the carbohydrates that cause a 
high rise in blood sugar after you eat them. They call out insulin 
to make you hungry. Carbohydrates are single sugars and chains of 
sugars. Only single sugars can be absorbed. So the carbohydrates 
that can be easily broken down to single sugars are absorbed very 
rapidly to cause a high rise in blood sugar, which increases your 
risk for obesity, heart attacks, diabetes, and strokes. 

Other types of carbohydrates include fiber and nonabsorbable 
starches that are not absorbed in the upper intestinal tract, so 
they pass to the colon where bacteria ferment them into fatty acids 
that can be absorbed. These fatty acids help to heal the lining of 
the colon and help to prevent colon cancer. They are absorbed into 
the bloodstream from the colon and travel to the liver where they 
help to prevent heart attacks by blocking the synthesis of 
cholesterol. So you want to increase your intake of fiber and 
nonabsorbable starches found in whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts and 
many vegetables. Try to limit intake of sugar-added foods, fruit 
juices, bakery products, and pastas. 

Effect of diets high or low in unavailable and slowly digestible 
carbohydrates on the pattern of 24-h substrate oxidation and 
feelings of hunger in humans. A Sparti, H Milon, V DiVetta, 
P Schneiter, L Tappy, E Jequier, Y Schutz. American Journal of 
Clinical Nutrition, 2000, Vol 72, Iss 6, pp 1461-1468
Address Schutz Y, Univ Lausanne, Fac Med, Inst Physiol, Rue Bugnon 7, 
CH-1005 Lausanne, SWITZERLAND 

Checked 2/3/10