Talk

Advanced search

'sugar is a carbohydrate but not all carbohydrate are sugars' aibu to think this statements wrong

(30 Posts)
bluegreenyellow Wed 12-Apr-17 19:30:23

the nhs own website says here www.nhs.uk/Livewell/loseweight/Pages/the-truth-about-carbs.aspx however from a biochemistry point of view they are wrong as As a chemical term, “sugar” usually refers to all carbohydrates of the general formula Cn(H2O)n. All carbohydrates are saccharides. The word saccharide comes from the Greek word meaning sugar. so is it actually more true to say from a nutrition point of view your body turns all carbs into glucose and as long as you burn it of it dosnt matter how you eat your carbs? whether through potatoes or nuts to sweets there all used the same way by your body. and the nhs information should reflect this

UncontrolledImmigrant Wed 12-Apr-17 19:33:19

Sugar does not refer to all carbohydrates. The rate at which simple sugars enter the bloodstream and the effect this has on insulin production is utterly different to that of complex carbohydrates.

Hth

lljkk Wed 12-Apr-17 19:36:13

You think like a chemist.
The average person needs to think about food in other categories.
Sugars are obviously sweet things.
Other carbs are not sugars.
So the carbs in a carrot isn't the same as 2 spoonfuls of sugar in a cuppa.

Are you the sort of person who thinks the carbs from potatoes = carbs from raisins = carbs from crystal sugar = all equally nutritionally poor? This whole anti-carb mania is getting on my nerves.

Don't our brains NEED something like 60 carbs a day to function at all?

FlapAttack78 Wed 12-Apr-17 19:41:00

Some carbohydrates are starches.. which aren't sugars.

Its like saying all dogs are animals but not all animals are dogs.

DJBaggySmalls Wed 12-Apr-17 19:41:22

'sugar is a carbohydrate but not all carbohydrate are sugars' YANBU about that statement, sugars are simple carbohydrates, starches are complex ones.
But they two are not interchangeable from a dietary POV. Complex carbohydrates are the healthier choice.

Firesuit Wed 12-Apr-17 19:45:35

According to google:-

sugar definition chemistry

As a chemical term, “sugar” usually refers to all carbohydrates of the general formula C n(H 2O) n. Sucrose is a disaccharide, or double sugar, being composed of one molecule of glucose linked to one molecule of fructose.

sugar definition biology

noun, plural: sugars. (1) Any monosaccharide or disaccharide, used especially by organisms to store energy. (2) Any sweet, crystalline solid disaccharide used as sweetener or preservative. Supplement. The term sugar is the generic term for any disachharides (e.g. sucrose) and monosaccharides (e.g. fructose, glucose).

sugar definition nutrition

Sugars are a type of simple carbohydrate. They have a sweet taste. Sugars can be found naturally in fruits, vegetables, milk, and milk products. They are also added to many foods and drinks during preparation or processing. Types of sugar include glucose, fructose, and sucrose.

Firesuit Wed 12-Apr-17 19:47:35

It's like saying a tomato is actually a fruit. The relevant Wikipedia article says yes it is a fruit, botanically, but for culinary purposes it's a vegetable, and it adds that it is legally a vegetable under US law.

user1491260401 Wed 12-Apr-17 19:58:14

Sugar usually refers to sweet tasting water soluble saccharides. There are polysaccharides such as cellulose that wouldn't normally be considered a sugar but is a carbohydrate. Humans can't digest carbohydrates of this form so in terms of nutrition they are listed as "dietary fibre".

bluegreenyellow Wed 12-Apr-17 20:07:13

Some carbohydrates are starches.. which aren't sugars. yes they are
Are you the sort of person who thinks the carbs from potatoes = carbs from raisins = carbs from crystal sugar = all equally nutritionally poor?
yes and no im someone who does exercise and thinks yes i can have this muffin or yes i can have this soft drink as long as i excercise from a nutrition point of view your body converts all carbs the same way

ThePurpleSheep Wed 12-Apr-17 20:21:48

UncontrolledImmigrant your post is contradictory. Complex carbohydrates cause an insulin response because they are a sugar. Just because it is a different response to that caused by simple sugars, doesn't mean that complex carbs are not also sugar.

Gingernaut Wed 12-Apr-17 20:30:21

Complex carbohydrates are broken down by the body into their component sugars.

Refined sugars and processed carbohydrates aren't really very good for us as the sugar passes into the bloodstream very quickly and is consumed over a short period of time.

Complex carbohydrates (porridge etc) are better as they are broken down more slowly and release energy over a longer period, preventing the energy boom and bust cycle.

Gingernaut Wed 12-Apr-17 20:31:39

The total carbohydrate load has to be taken into account, not just the sugar component.

UncontrolledImmigrant Wed 12-Apr-17 20:32:42

No it is not contradictory.

All carbohydrates will be metabolised to glucose, but simple sugars will do so at a faster rate than complex carbohydrates.

They are not chemically identical, not do they have the identical effect on the body.

Hth

bluegreenyellow Wed 12-Apr-17 20:46:20

All carbohydrates will be metabolised to glucose, but simple sugars will do so at a faster rate than complex carbohydrates.

They are not chemically identical, not do they have the identical effect on the body.
they dont if you dont burn it of and diffrent complex carbs have different gi rates so when you said Sugar does not refer to all carbohydrates. after all this study says “It is important to state at the outset that there is no direct connection between added sugars intake and obesity unless excessive consumption of sugar-containing beverages and foods leads to energy imbalance and the resultant weight gain.” www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14522746 i think the nhs should of said this

Rainydayspending Wed 12-Apr-17 21:17:40

Starches are sugars. They are long complex strings of them which your body cannot use immediately. It has to break them down (such as with amylase found in saliva) into usable sugar molecules (glucose).
The more glucose in your diet the less your body has to work to digest it.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 12-Apr-17 21:30:43

i think the nhs should of said this

I think you are probably right here. However I suspect there's not much point. The people that already know it don't need to read it and a significant proportion of those that don't seem determined to wilfully ignore it.

SharkiraSharkira Wed 12-Apr-17 23:34:45

All carbs are sugars, to some extent. Some are more simple than others and so get broken down/used more quickly. All will eventually be broke down to glucose.

If you don't eat carbs, or you burn through all the ones you have eaten, you then start to break down the body's stores into glucose to use for energy instead.

The way I explained it to ds was using lego blocks, so one molecule of glucose = one lego block. A big tower of, say, 50 lego blocks would be something like pasta. The tower needs to get broken down into individual blocks before it can be used. A chocolate bar might only be a tower of 5 blocks and so will get broken down into useable blocks much more quickly. Sorry if that's a little patronising, I just like that image grin

EffinElle Wed 12-Apr-17 23:41:16

I'm type 1 diabetic and insulin dependent and match my insulin to the carbs I eat. I actually went on a course to learn how to 'carb count' as it's seen as the best way to control blood glucose levels for type 1's.

EffinElle Wed 12-Apr-17 23:43:34

Also lots of type 2 diabetics I know also restrict carbs as part of controlling their diabetes. LCHF is very popular with T 2 diabetics.

RegentsParkWolf Wed 12-Apr-17 23:51:33

OP have you watched the Robert Lustig video 'Sugar - the bitter truth'. He argues that sugar (ie: fructose I think) is metabolised by the body in a different way from other carbs. It's a long video and there's lots of chemistry in it which I didn't understand. I would really like to know a chemists opinion of it if you fancy a bit of homework!!

ErrolTheDragon Wed 12-Apr-17 23:55:35

You think like a chemist

Not this one! I'd agree with the statement in the thread title. 'Sugars' are carbohydrate monomers and dimers; more complex carbohydrates are biopolymers. (With oligosaccharides in between)

Its analagous to amino acids, peptides, proteins (though they're far more structurally and chemically interesting)

bluegreenyellow Thu 13-Apr-17 02:12:20

im not a chemist just saw that statement on the nhs and did a bit of googling and then went to mumsnet

bluegreenyellow Thu 13-Apr-17 02:41:41

'Also lots of type 2 diabetics I know also restrict carbs as part of controlling their diabetes. LCHF is very popular with T 2 diabetics.'yet dr mcdoogal disagrees and says the exact opposite look at the diet kenyan runners have its high carb and regually put lots of sugar in tea

Sugarcoma Thu 13-Apr-17 02:57:34

RegentsParkWolf I haven't seen that video but I'm also type 1 diabetic and I can tell you from literally watching my blood sugar rise and fall in real time, depending on what I eat, that it's nonsense that some sugar is processed differently so there are 'good' sugars and 'bad' sugars, which is the whole Gwyneth Paltrow style agave nectar v white sugar nonsense.

What actually happens, from what I can tell and the small amount of research that I've done, is that different foods get absorbed differently depending on what else is in them. As an example: if I ate 5 apples my blood sugar would spike but not as much as it would if I drank an apple juice made of 5 apples, because intact apples also have fibre, vitamins, water etc which slows the absorption of all the sugar in them, whereas the juice is almost pure sugar. Similarly chocolate bars aren't as bad as, for example, pita bread, because they have fat in them which again slows the sugar absorption as it hits the blood stream.

So tl;dr - it's not that fructose is worse/better than other sugars, but what else is in the food you're eating that will affect how it hits the blood stream.

And OP - you're not wrong.

BreatheDeep Thu 13-Apr-17 03:21:22

Yes, carbs are sugars. No, not all carbs affect your body in the same way. As PPs have said, complex carbs take longer to be broken down so you don't get the spikes you do from simple sugars. Also, it requires more energy from your body to break down complex carbs, therefore more of the calorie content is negated.

You need to think like a biochemist 😉

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now