This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Types of Food

Insulin is the hormone released in response to blood sugar rise, and works to allow cells to uptake the sugar for energy. Dietician Diane Kress postulates that insulin response in some people is skewed so that the fat cells take up all the sugar, leading to growing fat cells and no sugar for the other cells.

There are four general substances that can generate blood sugar to power cells. These substances come from foods that we digest. They are: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and alcohol.

Carbohydrates are the starches and sugars: breakfast cereal, potatoes, breads, and so forth. They yield 4 kcal per gram.

Proteins are things like meats, egg whites, and tofu. They also yield 4 kcal per gram.

Fats are, well we know what they are: butter and oil. They yield 9 kcal per gram. Molecularly fats are long carbon chains with hydrogen atoms. "Saturated" fats are the ones that are filled with hydrogen atoms so they lie flat and on a larger scale are solid at room temperature: butter, fat in steak, and so forth. "Unsaturated" fats means that they don't have as much hydrogen and are bent. These are the oils such as safflower and corn oil that are liquid at room temperature. "Monounsaturated" oils have just one hydrogen missing; olive oil is a good example. Hydrogenated fats are unsaturated oils exposed to hydrogen to saturate them. The trans fatty acids refers to a specific type of bond that develops in the fat when an unsaturated oil is hydrogenated: I don't want to go into too much detail with the biochemistry, but feel free to write to me if you wish for further explanation. The trans fatty acids are considered unhealthy.

Alcohol is ethanol; if you're drinking another sort of chemical alcohol you'll get in trouble. It yields 7 kcal per gram.

These substances are broken down in the digestive process through different metabolic pathways. Carbohydrates are the substance that cause insulin to be released: proteins, fats, and alcohol don't. Carbohydrates are also most quickly broken down to yield glucose in the body.

To be continued...

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