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HPRO 3250 (14)
Jo Welch (14)
Chapter 4

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Dalhousie University
Health Promotion
HPRO 3250
Jo Welch

Chapter 4 Recap Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients classes that provide energy to our bodies. Carbohydrates contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Plants make one type of carbohydrate, glucose, through the process of photosynthesis. Simple carbohydrates include monosaccharides and disaccharides. Glucose, fructose, and galactose are monosaccharides; lactose, maltose and sucrose are disaccharides. All complex carbohydrates are polysaccharides. They include starch, glycogen, and fibre. Starch is the storage form of glucose in plants, while glycogen is the storage form of glucose in animals. Fibre forms the support structures of plants; our bodies cannot digest fibre. Different types of fibres have different physical properties. Soluble fibres absorb water and swell to form gels, which slow down movement of material through the intestinal tract. Insoluble fibres attract water and speed up the movement of material through the large intestine. Carbohydrate digestion starts in the mouth and continues in the small intestine. Glucose and other monosaccharides are absorbed into the bloodstream and travel to the liver, where non- glucose sugars are converted to glucose. Glucose is either used by the cells for energy or is converted to glycogen and stored in the liver and muscle for later use. Two hormones, insulin and glucagon, are involved in regulating blood glucose. Insulin lowers blood glucose levels by facilitating the entry of glucose into cells. Glucagon raises blood glucose levels by stimulating gluconeogenesis and the breakdown of glycogen stored in the liver. The glycemic index is a value that indicates the potential of foods to raise blood glucose and insulin levels. Foods with a high glycemic index cause sudden large increases in blood glucose and insulin, while foods with low glycemic index cause low to moderate fluctuations in blood glucose. The glycemic load may be of greater value that the glycemic index alone because it takes into account the amount of the food eaten. Carbohydrates are an excellent energy source for us at rest and during exercise, and provide 4 kcal (17 kJ) of energy per gram. Carbohydrates are necessary in the diet to spare body proteins and prevent ketosis. Complex carbohydrates contain fibre and other nutrients that can reduce the risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Fibre may reduce the risk of colon cancer; helps prevent hemorrhoids, constipation, and diverticulosis; may reduce risk of heart disease; and may assist with weight loss. The RDA for carbohydrates is 130 grams per day; this amount is sufficient only to supply adequate glucose to the brain. The AMDR for carbohydrate is 45% to 65% of total energy intake. Added sugars should provide 25% or less of total energy intake. Added sugars are sugars and syrups added to foods during processing or preparation. Our intake of added sugars should be 25% or less of our total energy intake each day. Sugar causes tooth decay but does not appear to cause hyperactivity in children. Higher intakes of simple sugars are associated with increase in triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins. Diets high in sugar can cause unhealthy changes in blood lipids but do not cause diabetes. The relationship between added sugars and obesity is controversial. The adequate intake for fibre is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. May Canadians eat only half the fibre they need each day. Foods high in fibre and complex carbohydrates include whole grains and cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables. The more processed food, the fewer complex carbohydrates it contains. Alternative sweeteners can be used in place of sugar to sweeten foods. Most of these products do not promote tooth decay and contribute little or no energy. The alternative sweeteners approved for use in Canada are considered safe when eaten in amounts less than the acceptable daily intake. Some are not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women, however. Diabetes is a disease that results in dangerously high levels of blood glucose. Type 1diabetes typically appears at a young age; the pancreas cannot secrete sufficient insulin injections are required. Type 2 diabetes developing over time and may be triggered by obesity: the body’s cells are no longer sensitive to the effects of insulin or the pancreas no longer secretes sufficient insulin to meet body needs. Supplemental insulin may or may not be needed to treat type 2 diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of dangerous complications, such as heart disease, blindness, kidney diseases, and amputations. People with type 2 diabetes also must monitor their blood glucose levels closely. Lifestyle plays an important role in controlling diabetes. Many cases of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and the achievement and maintenance of a healthy body weight. Hypoglycemia refers to lower than normal blood glucose levels. Reactive hypoglycemia occurs when the pancreas secretes too much insulin after a high-carbohydrate meal. Fasting hypoglycemia occurs when the body continues to produce too much insulin even when someone has not eaten. Lactose intolerance results from the inability to digest lactose because of insufficient amounts of lactase. Symptoms include intestinal gas, bloating, cramping, dia
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