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Starch or Sugar - Which is worse for you when trying to reduce body fat, and why?

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  • Starch or Sugar - Which is worse for you when trying to reduce body fat, and why?

    Along the same vein when I was asking about eating pumpkin vs. a banana, I realized what I probably should have asked for was an opinion which was better to remove/reduce from my diet - starch (primary source - tubers) or sugar (primary source - fruits) from primal foods (I've just eliminated dairy [except butter] and nuts this week) to try and reduce my body fat percentage further (I'm probably hovering around 10-12% and I'd like to hit 8-9%). I understand it would probably better to nix both starch and sugar, but seeing how I just removed dairy and nuts, I want to keep a little diversity in what I should be eating for optimal health.

  • #2
    Starch is better because it converts directly to glucose. Also, it is more likely that humans consumed starches (from tubers) more than sugar. Sugar, especially from fruits, are worse because of the fructose content.
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    • #3
      Both are treats for me. Fruit, and starch (potatoes and sweet potatoes). I agree with rphlslv.

      As for diversity, I've never felt more diverse in my eating.

      There are so many options for meat, and breakfast is never the same two days in a row because eggs are so versatile.

      Veg can really compliment a dish, and I always experimenting with new ways to make greens tasty! The sky's the limit with BAS!!!
      Last edited by lil_earthmomma; 05-09-2010, 06:40 PM.
      The more I see the less I know for sure.
      -John Lennon


      • #4
        Starch is sugar. As explained by Dr & Dr Eades, a starch is a long chain of sugar which begins to dissolve the moment it hits the GI tract, which means once it enters your mouth. Dr Mary Dan Eades even suggests in the film Fat Head to take a cracker and place it on your tongue; let it soften and dissolve in your saliva without chewing. It'll get sweeter the longer it sits there.

        Wikipedia is helpful here. There's no more damning evidence against starches than the included wiki-definition: "Starch is the most important carbohydrate in the human diet and is contained in many staple foods. The major sources of starch intake worldwide are rice, wheat, maize (corn), potatoes and cassava. Widely used prepared foods containing starch are bread, pancakes, cereals, noodles, pasta, porridge and tortilla."


        • #5
          It's a difficult choice. Normally I'd say that sugar is more dangerous than starch because of the fructose, but if you only consider raw fruit vs (cooked) tubers, I would recommend the fruits because they contain more micro-nutrients and anti-oxidants.
          MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)


          • #6
            If you are cutting way back anyway, why not try carbohydrate timing? consume starch or fruit only in a 2 hour window after you exercise, when your insulin will be a little higher from the exercise anyway, and you are primed to replenish used glycogen stores. Have starch one day, fruit another, or try only starch, or only fruit and see what works best for you?


            • #7
              With sugars from fruit and starch from tubers give your goals. (and I was just where you are not long ago) I would go with cut out the tubers completely and limit the fruit to a few times a week.


              • #8
                Well, at this point, I've actually given up fruit as well, but haven't given up my starchy vegetables (I mix it up with pumpkin, kabocha, and okinawan sweet potatoes). I've been eating these instead of a banana usually post-workout because they contain less sugar, although the fact that these were starchy vegetables was/is a main concern.

                If starches are treated as sugar by the body as mentioned earlier, then why are they listed separately then? From some googling, it looks like sugar from fruit is sucrose - (glucose and fructose) while a starch is basically just glucose...? So the basic question might be, it is better to consume more glucose or intake more fructose with a reduction in glucose?