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Carbohydrates on Food Labels?

Dear Friends,

Can you name this Beautiful Creature?

When one looks at supplements or food labels under the Supplemental Facts, the carbohydrate listings can be confusing. In this newsletter I will go over how to understand the content regarding carbohydrates. In the process, I will also introduce to you and spark your interest for two of our new products coming out later this month.

Last week we discussed the essential sugars, making the point that they are all monosaccharides. There are nine of them: glucose, galactose, mannose, fucose, xylose, sialic acid, N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylgalactosamine, and glucouronic acid. Fructose is a monosaccharide but it is not considered an essential sugar.

When you look at a product label, for example, one of our new products that will be coming out later this month—Energy Sustain Complex, you will notice under the Supplemental Facts several listing for the Carbohydrates with three categories: Sugars, Fibers, and Other Carbohydrates. In the case of Energy Sustain, per 30g daily serving, one gets:

  • Sugars 0.31g
  • Other Carbohydrates 13.10g
  • Dietary Fiber 7.66g

The Sugars category refers to monosaccharides and as you can see the quantity is relatively small.

The Other Carbohydrates division is for complex digestible carbohydrates—the disaccharides, oligosaccharides (3 to 10 single sugar units) and polysaccharides (starches, containing hundreds to thousands of glucose molecules).

Digestible complex carbohydrates, such as starch, fall into two categories—amylose and amylopectin, each containing many glucose molecules linked by alpha bonds. The difference between the two is in the arrangement of the glucose units. Amylose is a linear or straight chain of molecules while amylopectin is highly branched. Our digestive enzymes only act at the ends of the glucose chains, the more numerous the branches in a starch, the more sites (ends) available for enzymatic action. This explains why alpha bonds in amylopectin are digested more rapidly than those in amylose. In the body, this causes blood glucose levels to increase more quickly after digesting amylopectin rather than the slower paced amylose.

The Dietary Fiber grouping contains the soluble and insoluble fibers that our bodies can’t digest as the glucose molecules are linked together by beta bonds. The insoluble fiber absorbs water, helps to remove toxins, and provides bulk—stimulating peristalsis and decreasing intestinal transit time, thus reducing risks of constipation, diverticular disease, and cancer. The soluble fiber provides food for the good bugs, the lactic acid bacteria that ferment and convert soluble fibers into many important metabolites that our bodies need for optimal health. Soluble fibers have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels and blood glucose levels, thereby reducing risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. They also have been shown to protect against leaky gut syndrome and to reduce the risk of colon cancers through their production of the metabolic byproduct—butyric acid.

The Energy Sustain Complex is made up of organic amaranth, organic quinoa, organic buckwheat, organic chia—all seeds, and organic millet, the one true grain. The complex also contains red apple extract. The glycemic index value for the Energy Sustain is 50, which puts it in the category of a low glycemic index (GI) food. More importantly, its glycemic load (GL) is 6.7, and as you know, any food below 10 is classified as a low GL food. What’s more, the longer you let the Energy Sustain sit in water, the more viscous it becomes because of its soluble fibers. Increased viscosity lowers the GL even more.

With the Energy Sustain Complex you have a couple of choices. If you feel the need for a more rapid hit of sugar energy, then drink it immediately upon mixing. On the other hand, if you feel you want a more sustained energy released into your body slowly, let it become more viscous before drinking.

But the Energy Sustain Complex provides much more than just energy because it is food—a whole food. As we have seen above, it provides 7.66g of fiber per serving, that’s one-quarter of the recommended daily intake. It provides a rich supply of amino acid with 4.59g of complete protein per serving. It provides many vitamins and minerals, and essential fatty acids. And, it provides red apple extract. We will further discuss our new global indigenous seeds, grain, and extract in future Forward Thinking newsletters.

Next week, we will get back into Glycobiology and illuminate some of the medical research on glycans and the individual essential sugars that makes them up. This is very relevant as another of our new products is coming out this month, a product that provides powerful amounts of these crucial monosaccharides necessary for the building of the glycans. See you Next Week!

Sincerely yours,

Seann Bardell

Clinical Note:

This week we are highlighting the Cranberry Pomegranate Synbiotic Formula. With organic cranberry and pomegranate extracts, powerful Bulgarian probiotic organisms, supernatant, D-mannose and inulin,this product is proving to be a wonderful support for achieving and maintaining gastro-intestinal and urogenital health.

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