Difference Between Carbohydrates & Starch Print

Many people are unaware of the differences between carbohydrates and starch.

These are composed of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen and are derived from photosynthesis in plants. They are organic molecules. They are classified according to structure, the three main classes being:
  1. Sugars ? such as glucose, fructose, galactose, lactose, sucrose and maltose.

  2. Starches are also known as complex carbohydrates because they are made up of long chains of glucose molecules e.g. potatoes, bread, pasta and rice.

  3. Fibre is mainly found as indigestible cellulose in the coverings of cereals and grains or the skins of fruits and vegetables.

Diet Differences

Since starch is a type of carbohydrate, a ?no starch? diet would still include other forms of carbohydrates, whilst a ?no carbohydrate? diet excludes the eating of starches as well. A healthy diet however requires all food groups as the body requires various nutrients.

Individuals have different needs. A sportsman may require different carbohydrates compared to someone with a more sedentary lifestyle. In general, starches are good for sustained energy. Combine starches with fruits which encompass both sugars and fibre. Honey is a simple sugar and a good source of quick release energy.

Refined carbohydrates such as cakes and pastries should be avoided. They contain high levels of unhealthy fats and their carbohydrates can elevate glucose levels in blood and tissue. A diet rich in these foods can lead to sugar imbalance and other sugar related health problems.   

Islam teaches us moderation in all matters.

Weight Loss

If you are trying to lose weight remember to include foods that are conducive to health. By cutting out an entire food group you may risk nutrient deficiencies at a later stage. This is especially true of the trend to cut out carbohydrates completely. Examining your lifestyle choices is also important.
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