All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products, one of the basic food groups.

Sugar is the generalized name for sweet, short-chain, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. They are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose (or dextrose), fructose, and galactose. The table sugar most customarily used as food is sucrose - hydrolyses into fructose and glucose in the body. Other disaccharides include maltose and lactose. Longer chains of sugars are called oligosaccharides. 

Starch is a polymeric carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by most green plants as an energy store. It is the most common carbohydrate in human diets and is contained in large amounts in staple foods such as potatoes, wheat, maize (corn), rice. Pure starch is a white, tasteless and odorless powder that is insoluble in cold water or alcohol. 

Fiber is consists of non-starch polysaccharides such as arabinoxylans, cellulose, and many other plant components such as resistant starch, resistant dextrins, inulin, lignin, chitins, pectins, beta-glucans, and oligosaccharides, and are derived from plants. Dietary fibers are not digested by gastrointestinal enzymes. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, changes as it goes through the digestive tract, where it is fermented by bacteria, partially into physiologically active byproducts - healthful compounds. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and stays intact as it moves through your digestive system, can be prebiotic and metabolically ferment in the large intestine. Dietary fibers can change absorption of other nutrients and chemicals. Some soluble plant fibers can modulate intestinal inflammation and are contrabiotic. Many types of so-called dietary fiber are not actually fibrous.

Carl Sagan

A sharp distinction between humans and “animals” is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them–without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeeling toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us.

Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose - Sugars in Plant Foods

  • Fructose and glucose are simple sugars, monosaccharides, with the general formula C6H12O6
    • Fructose, or fruit sugar, occurs naturally in fruits, some root vegetables, cane sugar and honey and is the sweetest of the sugars. 
    • Glucose, dextrose or grape sugar, occurs naturally in fruits and plant juices and is the primary product of photosynthesis. Most ingested carbohydrates are converted into glucose during digestion and it is the form of sugar that is transported around the bodies of animals in the bloodstream. 
  • Sucrose is a compound sugar, disaccharide, with the general formula C12H22O11
    Sucrose is found in the stems of sugarcane and roots of sugar beet. It also occurs naturally alongside fructose and glucose in other plants, in particular fruits and some roots (carrots). A molecule of sucrose is formed by the combination of a molecule of glucose with a molecule of fructose, and it is split into these parts during digestion.

The different proportions of sugars found in plant foods determines their sweetness

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