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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

No Carbohydrate Diet - Part 1.

I did this once!

I am really thankful you guys stayed with me while I was out doing some heavy work.  I once again apologize but it had to be done.

FBS - 122 this morning.  I am learning that there is a magical mixture between sleep, a snack, and stress.  It seems that when I am stressed, getting little or no sleep, and I have a snack at night my body acts more consistent than when I do not have the snack.  Last night I did not have a snack and I was up today.  I shall continue the experiment.

My Story

You know that today I was featured in the e Newsletter from the American Diabetes Association - that was nice and I am grateful they think my story is worth sharing.  I am not saying I hope people follow my exact path; but, I do hope my story encourages one person to take up my challenge and take charge of their diabetes.

You also know that back when, I reached an A1c of 13.1 - probably dead and God was not ready to call me up.  I hit the panic button and knowing nothing more than carbohydrates are what causes our sugar levels to rise, I decided I would eliminate them totally from my diet - that should fix my problem.

So I turned to a great diet, chicken and stir fried vegetables - okay I was getting a little of those things called carbohydrates - but not many.  I had it for breakfast, lunch, and evening meal.  If I had a snack it was just a smaller portion of the chicken and very seldom any vegetables.  I drank a lot of water and stayed off the coffee.  I did however continue to smoke - call me crazy or what - but when a smoke sounds god - IT JUST SOUNDS GOOD!  Like right now!

Needles to say - I would now tell everyone the diet was as crazy as the smoking.  I have now learned a little more about what our bodies need and how it all works - I would say I was taking a big chance with this diet.

So I am going to share the more clinical information of the good and bad about carbohydrates.  Beware - this may get down into some real medical stuff that none of us can pronounce correctly but I find it fascinating how our body works - you all know I think this body of ours is amazing.

Types of Carbohydrates

The American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association lists three types of carbohydrates:

Starches  (also known as complex carbohydrates)
Foods high in starch include:
  • Starchy vegetables like peas, corn, lima beans and potatoes
  • Dried beans, lentils and peas such as pinto beans, kidney beans, black eyed peas and split peas
  • Grains like oats, barley and rice. (The majority of grain products in the US are made from wheat flour. These include pasta, bread and crackers but the variety is expanding to include other grains as well.)
Sugars

Sugar is another type of carbohydrate. You may also hear sugar referred to as simple or fast-acting carbohydrate. There are two main types of sugar:
  • naturally occurring sugars such as those in milk or fruit
  • added sugars such as those added during processing such as fruit canned in heavy syrup or sugar added to make a cookie
On the nutrition facts label, the number of sugar grams includes both added and natural sugars.

Fiber

Fiber comes from plant foods so there is no fiber in animal products such as milk, eggs, meat, poultry and fish.
Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. When you consume dietary fiber, most of it passes through the intestines and is not digested.
For good health, adults need to try to eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day. Most Americans do not consume nearly enough fiber in their diet, so while it is wise to aim for this goal, any increase in fiber in your diet can be beneficial. Most of us only get about ½ what is recommended.

Other Sources

Other sources or the more in depth scientific community lists 5 types of carbohydrates:

Monosaccharides 

The word monosaccharide is derived from mono, meaning "one", and saccharide, meaning "sugar". The common monosaccharides are glucose, fructose, and galactose. Each simple sugar has a cyclic structure and is composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in ratios of 1:2:1 respectively. 

Disaccharides 

Disaccharides, meaning "two sugars", are commonly found in nature as sucrose, lactose and maltose. They are formed by a condensation reaction where one molecule of water condenses or is released during the joining of two monosaccharides. The type of bond that is formed between the two sugars is called a glycosidic bond. 

Oligosaccharides 

Carbohydrates that contain more than two simple sugars are called oligosaccharides or polysaccharides, depending upon the length of the structure. Oligosaccharides usually have between three and ten sugar units while polysaccharides can have more than three thousand units. These large structures are responsible for the storage of glucose and other sugars in plants and animals. 

Polysaccharides 

Important oligosaccharides are raffinose and stachyose. Composed of repeating units of galactose, glucose and fructose, these oligosaccharides are of nutritional importance because they are found in beans and legumes. Because of their unique glycosidic bonds, raffinose and stachyose cannot be broken down into their simple sugars. Therefore, they cannot be absorbed by the small intestine and are often metabolized by bacteria in the large intestine to form unwanted gaseous byproducts. Commercial enzyme preparations such as Beano can be consumed before a meal rich in beans and legumes in order to aid the small intestine in the breakdown of these oligosaccharides.

Nucleotides

Polysaccharides or complex carbohydrates are usually monomers and consist of thousands of repeating glucose units. Naturally, they allow for the storage of large quantities of glucose. Starch is the major storage form of carbohydrate in plants and has two different types: amylose and amylopectin. Although digestible alpha glycoisidic bonds link both types of starch, each type is unique in their branching of glucose. While amylose is a straight chain polymer, amylopectin is highly branched. These differences account for the fact that amylopectin can form stable starch gels which are able to retain water while amylose is unable to do so. Therefore, amylopectin is often used by manufacturers to produce many different kinds of thick sauces and gravies. Sources of starch include potatoes, beans, bread, pasta, rice and other bread products. 

WOW, and I thought it was just simple to count carbohydrates and I was done!  No wonder our bodies appear to act differently all of the time - with all of these variants - it does make us and the carbohydrate world unique.  All the more reason to get to know our foods and how our body processes them.

I would say just on this knowledge - we need to consume carbohydrates.  In the next post we will discuss what carbohydrates do for our bodies and why they are important.

God grant me the ability to understand the complexities of what I eat and how it impacts my body.  Help me to understand I am unique and what works for one person may not work for me.  Grant me the courage to go on my journey with all the help I can get.

Bob,

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Please leave your comments or suggestions - looking to getting some good discussions going. Tell me what you have tried and what has or has not worked.

Thanks for the support