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Friday, April 24, 2009

Complex Carbohydrates and Avoiding Sugar - Still the Health Protectors?

The following is an article we wrote yesterday and submitted to article directories:

Complex carbohydrates are touted to protect one from a number of diseases and conditions including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. So knowing that we have these weapons to protect ourselves, why do some people not still see the light?

North Americans’ intake of refined sugar is estimated at 33 kg plus 20 kg more of syrup high in fructose per person each year. Fructose is used to sweeten syrups, low-fat food and beverages. The trouble with taking too much of this is that the liver changes too much sugar in the diet into lipid. The increased lipid closes down a gene namely, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).

This shutting down of the SHBG reduces the quantity of SHBG protein in the blood. This is not good as this protein plays an important part in regulating the quantity of estrogen and testosterone. With the less amount of SHBG comes higher risk for a number of conditions like uterine cancer.

The reduced SHBG amount also affects the metabolic state of the liver. Thus SHBG levels are employed to show a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. It is therefore good to follow the advice to avoid eating sugar and to eat complex carbohydrates.

This leads us to the question as to what complex carbohydrates we can eat. Basically, these are foods in the form of whole grain like brown rice, muesli, oats and wholegrain breads. These complex carbohydrates are broken down more gradually than those of their cousins, the simple carbohydrates. That is why they are able to provide a slow but steady source of energy during the day.

Some more examples of complex carbohydrates are bran, maize, peas, pasta, macaroni and spaghetti. These are really starch or sugar that are bonded together forming a chain so the digestive enzymes have a harder job of breaking them down making them longer to digest. This has also an added bonus in the sense that it restricts the quantity of sugar that is converted into fat.

Complex carbohydrates should be a main part of the diet. In fact it should form half of the calories each day like the aforementioned foods plus cereals, fruits and vegetables. Simple sugar should only form a few of the calories allotted each day. This is some kind of tip you will get at Free Diabetes Alert when you sign up for free newsletter.

Dr. Hammond who is scientific director of Vancouver, Canada’s Child and Family Research Institute said that SHBG can be used to monitor the functioning of the liver way before the symptoms appear. This is good news because quite a number of people who have diabetes do not even know they have it. This puts them at a disadvantage because they cannot work on strategies to beat diabetes and stop the complications.

The new findings can also be used to find out whether the drugs and dietary strategies are effective in treating the conditions. This also dismisses the assumption that SHBG is reduced by too much insulin. Insulin therefore is not to blame for the low SHBG levels but rather the sugar metabolism in the liver is what counts. So what is the moral of the story? Eat complex carbohydrates.

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