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Trickle is a community of lifelong learners where you can discover curated insights and share your own knowledge

Trickle is a community of lifelong learners to discover and share knowledge

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Trickle is a community of lifelong learners where you can discover curated insights and share your own knowledge.

HOW IT WORKS

Starch and fiber are polysaccharides with a very different effect on blood glucose

Chapter 6 Digestion of carbohydrates leads to increased blood sugar and an insulin response

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Polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates formed from long chains of simple sugars. Starch and fiber are different types of polysaccharide, with an important difference. Humans have enzymes that allow it to digest starch, but fiber is indigestible and passes through the digestive system to the gut microbiota , which can digest it.

Starch is produced by plants and stored for energy in their roots and seeds (e.g. in potatoes, wheat, rice, maize, cassava). Starches are made up of amylose and amylopectin, which are chains of simple sugars linked together with so-called alpha bonds that the enzymes in the human body can easily break down. Once broken down into glucose, it can be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and thus results in higher insulin response.

Fiber is the part of plant-derived food that the human digestive system cannot digest, due to a lack of the necessary enzymes. Fiber is found in all plant foods. There are several components of fiber including cellulose, resistant starch, resistant dextrins, inulin, lignins, chitins, and pectins. Cellulose is a structural component of plants, a very abundant source of carbohydrates. Fiber is linked by beta bonds which the body can’t break down and much of it passes through the small intestine undigested. Fiber affects how other nutrients are absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. Fiber can reduce cholesterol by binding bile (especially oats). Importantly, fiber slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream preventing insulin spikes. Fiber is processed by gut bacteria through a process called fermentation and turned into short chain fatty acids , not glucose.

Soluble and insoluble fiber

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