CTF is preparing for the Fall and Winter holidays by discussing how sugar and carbohydrate intake affect immunity and how you can help keep you and your children well through the festivities. We will offer daily recipes at the bottom of each post. We will return to the Bone Broth Marathon at the completion of this series.
These posts are longer than my usual, to-the-point-here’s-the-recipe posts. If you’re just here for the recipes, scroll down. It’s at the end of the post.
What is a Carbohydrate?
A carb is made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. All carbs are built of simple sugar molecules called monosaccharides and can be places into three categories: sugar, starch and fiber.
Fiber can not be broken down by the human intestine so we do not absorb monosaccharides from it. When looking at the carb count of a food or dish, you can subtract the carbohydrates from fiber as they are not absorbed by the body. Fiber also slows digestion, helping to smooth out the peaks of carbs hitting your system.
Sugars and Starches
All sugars and starches, both simple and complex, ultimately break down in the body into monosaccharides called glucose, fructose and galactose. While starches do not taste as sweet as sugar, the body breaks them down into monosaccharides and processes them them the same way as a sugar.
- Fructose is associated mostly with fruit and starchy vegetables such as corn or it can come from the breakdown of complex carbohydrates. Fructose skips circulation and is shuttled straight to the liver for processing.
- Galactose is from mammal milk. The body converts galactose to glucose.
- Glucose is used to fuel the cells of the body by circulating through the blood stream.
If there is more glucose circulating than the body can use, the liver and muscles store it as glycogen. If the body doesn’t need any glycogen at the time, it becomes fat. That is why when you loose weight in a healthy way, your fat is used up before muscle as it is the easiest form of glycogen for the body to access when it is needed.
What We’ve Learned
So what we have learned previously is that about half of the food intake in most Americans is broken down by the body into glucose, unneeded glucose is converted to glycogen, and unneeded glycogen is stored as fat.
That explains a lot as to where the obesity and diabetes epidemic is coming from in us US, doesn’t it?
Next post we’ll look at how that rising glucose in the blood stream affects insulin, which in turn affects the immune system.
From the Menu Mailer
This apple pie isn’t really like a regular apple pie. It is a hit with my kids.
3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
¾ cup rapadura
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg (or egg replacer if allergic)
¾ cup coconut oil or butter, melted
1 cup flour of your choice (I used ¾ cup sorghum, ¼ cup tapioca and 1 tsp xantham gum)
½ tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pie plate, layer the slice apples into the plate and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbs of the rapadura with the cinnamon and sprinkle over the apples. In a bowl, beat the egg and then whisk in the oil, flour(s) and salt. Pour over the apples. Make for 60 minutes or until browned and a little crispy on the edges.
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