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Sugar or starch for energy?

by (28)
Updated about 22 hours ago
Created July 25, 2013 at 4:03 PM

I'm following a higher carb version of Paleo that includes starches like white rice and potatoes and high sugar fruits (I moderate the fructose intake). I find that starch fuels my workouts amazingly but doesn't boost my mental acuity as much. Fruit gives me a sugar rush but I crash afterwards, however I find that throughout the day I feel more energetic with a large bowl of fruit in the morning, but I limit my fruit in favor of starch.

Should I replace the starch with more fruit? I'm concerned high fructose/sugar intake = weight gain. Do you think eating fruit more frequently will avoid the sugar crash afterwards or just make it worse?

Please don't suggest LC, been there, done that.

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4458 · July 26, 2013 at 3:46 AM

interesting how times/views have changed, a few years ago i doubt this answer would have been down voted, for making suggestions like 'making the switch from a carb-burning metabolism to a fat-burning' & to go easy on the fruit...

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4458 · July 26, 2013 at 3:46 AM

did tests show jaundice &/or the whites of your eyes went yellow as well. just thinking another cause of yellow skin could have been Carotenaemia from too much carotenoids

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4458 · July 26, 2013 at 3:45 AM

interesting how times/views have changed, a few years ago i doubt this answer would have been down voted, for making suggestions like 'making the switch from a carb-burning metabolism to a fat-burning' & to go easy on the fruit...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4458 · July 26, 2013 at 3:39 AM

did tests show jaundice &/or the whites of your eyes went yellow as well. just thinking the another cause of yellow skin could have been Carotenaemia from too much carotenoids

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7292 · July 26, 2013 at 3:09 AM

I love how your blog page has bananas as the background.

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502 · July 26, 2013 at 2:31 AM

Except the starch is raw so it kind of sucks.

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421 · July 25, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Bananas are not a good example since they are a starchy fruit, it's like the best of both worlds...

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5 Answers

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7292 · July 25, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Everyone is different. In this respect, I recommend trying a couple N=1 experiments where for a couple weeks, you limit fruit and increase your starchy vegetable consumption, and then try the opposite for a couple weeks.

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502 · July 26, 2013 at 2:45 AM

Personally, sugars work much better for me. I actually have higher blood sugar throughout the day if I eat starch in place of fruit, sometimes to an uncomfortable degree if I eat too much. When cooked sufficiently and chewed thoroughly, starches digest rapidly. I have to cook mine thoroughly anyway or I get increased bowel fermentation. I don't even get significant sugar crashes anymore from hundreds of grams of sucrose or many tablespoons of pure honey though.

I think the culprit may be the pure glucose of starch as opposed to the fructose/glucose combination in fruit/sucrose/honey.

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2668 · July 25, 2013 at 6:43 PM

i've gone back and forth with this one, and ultimately, i don't think it matters very much. you can find the jaminets of the world that are very pro-starch, and the peats of the world that are very pro sucrose. for my money, i prefer to listen to my appetite. there are days when i want starch, and days that i'd rather eat a banana and and pear. i just don't think it matters.

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421 · July 25, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Bananas are not a good example since they are a starchy fruit, it's like the best of both worlds...

33266cca338ab54cee9a2aa160f5bdb6
502 · July 26, 2013 at 2:31 AM

Except the starch is raw so it kind of sucks.

235e74b9adb57eff80592f064e1d298b
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421 · July 25, 2013 at 5:33 PM

I love fruits and eat 1 to 2 servings a day, and I love sweet potatoes and eat 1 to 2 a day as well. I think if you were going to lean towards 1 or the other I would go with starches, they help provide more of sustained energy than do fruits. I think you will find however that if you include both in moderation you will only see and feel benefits rather than negatives. I do not eat rices but many people feel they are fine and I dont eat white or yellow potatoes and really miss my Yukon Golds but again that is personal choice.

As far as fruit is concerned, try eating more berries, you cant go wrong with berries especially the black/blue ones. I also eat a lot of melon, especially post workout. Watermelon, in moderation, provides me with a ton of nutrients and is very refreshing to boot.

Like everything else Paleo too much of anything is counter productive but to answer your question I would increase starches over fruits but make sure to include both.

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64 · July 25, 2013 at 5:40 PM

More fruit will just make everything worse, you'll be stuck in the vicious carb cycle. I think making the switch from a carb-burning metabolism to a fat-burning is the best way to stop the sugar crash. That way your body will use your own fat for fuel, not the sugar you eat.

But if you really want to keep the high carb intake, I highly recommend starch over fructose.

Starch is a complex carb, which means it takes more time for your body to metabolize it and the energy is released evenly through the day.

Fructose is metabolized mainly in the liver, and if you eat all your carbs from fruit, your liver will get tired and may even start to fail. (Happened to me- too much fruit was making me yellow. Fixed it by lowering fruit intake to 2-3 times per week)

Hope this helped, much love!

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4458 · July 26, 2013 at 3:46 AM

did tests show jaundice &/or the whites of your eyes went yellow as well. just thinking another cause of yellow skin could have been Carotenaemia from too much carotenoids

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4458 · July 26, 2013 at 3:45 AM

interesting how times/views have changed, a few years ago i doubt this answer would have been down voted, for making suggestions like 'making the switch from a carb-burning metabolism to a fat-burning' & to go easy on the fruit...

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86
7292 · July 26, 2013 at 3:09 AM

I love how your blog page has bananas as the background.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4458 · July 26, 2013 at 3:46 AM

interesting how times/views have changed, a few years ago i doubt this answer would have been down voted, for making suggestions like 'making the switch from a carb-burning metabolism to a fat-burning' & to go easy on the fruit...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4458 · July 26, 2013 at 3:39 AM

did tests show jaundice &/or the whites of your eyes went yellow as well. just thinking the another cause of yellow skin could have been Carotenaemia from too much carotenoids

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