Continued functions of carbohydrates.
FBS 123 this morning. I am getting more and more convinced that this runs about 24 hours behind. When I ate bad the next morning I was okay - Friday. But today I am high and that is after a good day of eating yesterday. Must continue to monitor.
Today I will finish on the functions of carbohydrates and why we should have them in our diet. The final series will be a discussion of the different types of diets and what we might want to do as diabetics.
There are two remaining functions that are worth discussing.
Dietary FiberDietary fibers such as cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, gum and mucilage are important carbohydrates for several reasons. Soluble dietary fibers like pectin, gum and mucilage pass undigested through the small intestine and are degraded into fatty acids and gases by the large intestine. The fatty acids produced in this way can either be used as a fuel for the large intestine or be absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore, dietary fiber is essential for proper intestinal health.
In general, the consumption of soluble and insoluble fiber makes the elimination of waste much easier. Since dietary fiber is both indigestible and an attractant of water, stools become large and soft. As a result, feces can be expelled with less pressure. However, not enough fiber consumption will change the constitution of the stool and increase the amount of force required during defecation. Excessive pressure during the elimination of waste can force places in the large intestine wall out from between bands of smooth muscle to produce small pouches called diverticula. Hemorrhoids may also result from unnecessary strain during defecation.
I know it is a crappy subject but worth noting and understanding how our body tells us when something is not right.
The disease of having many diverticula in the large intestine is known as diverticulosis. Although diverticula is often asymptomatic, food particles become trapped in their folds and bacteria begin to metabolize the particles into acids and gases. Eventually, the diverticula may become inflamed, a condition known as diverticulitis. To combat the disease, antibiotics are administered to the patient to destroy the bacteria while the intake of fiber in the diet is decreased until the inflammation has subsided. Once the inflammation has been reduced, a high fiber diet is begun to prevent a relapse.
Besides the prevention of intestinal disease, diets high in fiber have other health benefits. High fiber intake reduces the risk of developing obesity by increasing the bulk of a meal without yielding much energy. An expanded stomach leads to satisfaction despite the fact that the caloric intake has decreased.
Beyond dieters, diabetics can also benefit from consuming a regular amount of dietary fiber. Once in the intestine, it slows the absorption of glucose to prevent a sudden increase in blood glucose levels. A relatively high intake of fiber will also decrease the absorption of cholesterol, a compound that is thought to contribute to atherosclerosis or scarring of the arteries. Serum cholesterol may be further reduced by a reduction in the release of insulin after meals. Since insulin is known to promote cholesterol synthesis in the liver, a reduction in the absorption of glucose after meals through the consumption of fiber can help to control serum cholesterol levels. Furthermore, dietary fiber intake may help prevent colon cancer by diluting potential carcinogens through increased water retention, binding carcinogens to the fiber itself and speeding the passage of food through the intestinal tract so that cancer-causing agents have less time to act.
For my green drink I do not juice, I use products and have a Nutri-Bullet. It allows my body to get a significant amount of fiber in the morning and I think is one of the major reasons I get better balance throughout the day.
Biological Recognition ProcessesCarbohydrates not only serve nutritional functions, but are also thought to play important roles in cellular recognition processes. For example, many immunoglobulins (antibodies) and peptide hormones contain glycoprotein sequences. These sequences are composed of amino acids linked to carbohydrates. During the course of many hours or days, the carbohydrate polymer linked to the rest of the protein may be cleaved by circulating enzymes or be degraded spontaneously. The liver can recognize differences in length and may internalize the protein in order to begin its own degradation. In this way, carbohydrates may mark the passage of time for proteins.
God's Amazing body at it again.
As I mentioned, the final post on this series will be a discussion of the different diets and why they may or may not be good for us.
May God grant us the ability to understand our bodies and feed it the fuels it so desperately wants and needs. Let us give thanks to him for this amazing body of ours - even if it is inflicted with Diabetes.