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Carbohydrate Digestion

Carbohydrates are natural organic substances including sugars, starch and cellulose. Carbs provide energy to the body. "Sugar" is not bad for health, and starches do not have always bad effects on blood glucose and lipids. So, it is not right to say that carbohydrates only have bad effects on our body. The digestion of a particular carbohydrate depends upon the complexity of the carb's molecular structure - the more complex this structure is, the harder the digestive system works to break it down in order to absorb it into the bloodstream.

The new theory about carbohydrate digestion and absorption has completely changed the way people used to think about dietary carbohydrates. It has been found that starches are not digested completely, and such indigestible carbohydrates are neutral bulking agents. Carbs can be divided into four types; the first is monosaccharide, like glucose which is found in corn sugar, fructose that is found in fruit sugar and galactose; these type of carbs are rapidly digested; the second type of carb is disaccharides, like sucrose which is found in table sugar, lactose that is found in milk sugar and maltose; these are digested quite quickly.
The third type of carbs is polysaccharides, like starch, which takes long time to digest; and the fourth & the most complex carbs is cellulose which is indigestible plant fiber. The speed of digestion is determined by the chemical nature & resistance level of the carbohydrate. For example, a simple sugar is much less resistant than a starch, and is metabolized or digested much faster. There are two types of carbohydrates: natural and manmade.
Natural carbs are slow digesting carbs, but still it is recommended to consume these carbs as they are a gift bestowed on us by nature. Being natural, they definitely serve as a better choice for deriving energy. Natural carbs are a reservoir of fiber and nutrients. Some of the good sources of natural carbs are wild rice, beans, fruits and red potatoes. Man made carbs get digested quickly compared to natural carbs, as they hit the bloodstream faster than the natural carbs.
The reason that can be attributed to this fact is that the more the number of processing steps a carb food has to go through, the more easily it gets digested in the body. Man made carbs tend to trigger insulin release and the result is that excess carbs get converted and then eventually get accumulated on the body in the form of fats. Examples of man made fast digesting carbs are white bread, white rice, mashed potatoes, cold cereals, fruit juices etc.
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