Although starch digests more slowly than some sugars and starch-rich foods often contain fibers that slow the release of glucose into the blood even further, the presence of glucose in the mouth helps our bodies coordinate the proper insulin response needed to keep our blood sugar stable. Some of us may tolerate natural sugars better than starches because we have low amounts of the enzyme salivary amylase, which begins converting the starch to sugar within our mouths. If your blood sugar response to starch is poor, providing you do not have diabetes, it is a worthwhile experiment to see if you tolerate natural sugars better.
Do you ever feel cranky or foggy or hungry in the hours after a meal, especially when it’s rich in carbs? Well, then this video may be just for you.
I’m Dr. Chris Masterjohn of ChrisMasterjohnPhD.com and you’re watching Chris Masterjohn Lite, where the name of the game is “Details? Shmetails. Just me what works!” and today we’re talking about why you may tolerate sugar better than starch.
The first thing that happens when we eat starch is we begin breaking it down into sugar right in our mouths with an enzyme contained in our saliva, and although we may not notice the sweet taste, our bodies do, and that sweet taste generated in our mouths allows our bodies to know that carbohydrate is coming and allows our bodies to prepare for that carbohydrate so that we can can digest it, absosrb it, and metabolize it in a smooth and stable way. The problem is that some of us have a lot of this enzyme in our saliva and some of us don’t. And if we don’t have much of that enzyme, what happens when we eat starch is we don’t break it down to sugar in our mouths and our body doesn’t know that it’s coming.
And then when it does come and we do digest it, our body isn’t prepared to handle it, so our blood sugar can spike up too much and crash back down too much as a result and that can make us feel like we’re swinging, whether it’s our mood or our energy, we’re swinging just like our blood sugar’s swinging. So, there’s not a good way to test your genetics but you can do a really simple experiment at home just to see what kind of foods you tolerate best.
So what you would want to do for this experiment is to compare how you respond to an equal amount of carbohydrate from sugar and from starch. If you have a glucometer you could measure how your blood sugar responds, or you could just log your symptoms and write down how you feel after these meals. And you want to try to do each meal several times, in random order, and under pretty much the same conditions.
So, for example, do each one when you wake up in the morning, or do each one at lunch. And you want to make sure the carbohydrate load is the same. So the purest way to do this would be to purchase some potato starch and to purchase some pure dextrose and weigh out 50 g of each of those.
You can also use foods, for example you could compare potatoes to overripe bananas, but if you do that you should look up on nutritiondata.com the amount of carbohydrate in a given weight of that food and weigh it out to make sure that you’re getting the same carbohydrate load from each of the two foods.
However you choose to do it you should try to make sure that you get a few measurements, say three of each, so three with the banana, three with the potato, three with the dextrose, three with the potato starch.
And you want to do ‘em in random order. So flip a coin each day to decide which one you do. And if you find that you tolerate the sugar better than the starch, then what I would do is try to find the amount of natural sugar that it takes for you to be able to add to a starch-rich meal to be able to feel well with that meal. So for example let’s say that you want to eat potatoes or rice or whathaveyou as your starch. Well, if you know that you respond better to sugar it may be that all you need to do is add a little bit of sugar to the beginning of that meal.
So maybe eating a teaspoon of honey or two teaspoons of honey before the meal is going to be enough to do the trick. So just fine whatever is the minimal dose of natural sugar that you need to add, and then if that works you have a quick fix that will allow you to eat a broader spectrum of foods, and to feel good after you eat them.
Now. Don’t try this if you have diabetes. If you have a medical condition, make sure that you talk to your doctor before you try any kind of experiment related to your blood sugar.
But if you’re healthy and you just want to be able to tolerate more foods and to feel better after you eat, then I think this is a great experiment try.
All right, signing off, this is Chris Masterjohn of chrismasterjohnphd.com. You’ve been watching Chris Masterjohn Lite, and I’ll see you in the next video.