When foods containing starches, also known as complex carbohydrates, are consumed, the body breaks the starches down into glucose. Glucose is the substance the body uses to create immediate bursts of energy.Continue Reading
Starches are most commonly found in grains and breads and are an abundant source of energy for the body. The process of breaking down starches in the body begins in the mouth. Saliva, along with chewing, literally breaks the food down into small pieces that are able to be processed easily by the stomach. Saliva also contains enzymes that begin breaking down starches on a cellular level, converting them into maltose.
Maltose is a carbohydrate that is more easily processed by the body. Once the food is swallowed and passed into the stomach, various acids and enzymes go to work on deconstructing the maltose and converting it into glucose.
If the body is in need of any glucose for energy, it immediately passes it into the bloodstream after conversion. The unused portions are converted into a compound called glycogen for long-term storage. The body always uses any freshly produced glucose for energy before restoring the glycogen reserves. Converting glycogen to energy is more taxing than glucose, which is why many athletes consume starches and other carbohydrates a few hours before exercising.Learn more about Human Anatomy
Fast-carb foods are foods containing carbohydrates that the body breaks down quickly, converting the food into glucose. Researchers have connected fast-carb foods with a higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. Eating fast-carb foods leads to a spike in blood sugar, an unhealthy trend over time.Full Answer >
All carbohydrates, such as sugar, pasta, fruits, rice, potatoes, legumes, bread, milk, yogurt and vegetables, are converted into glucose in the body. Other foods, such as fat and proteins, also provide energy to the body, but the main source of energy is from carbohydrates, as stated by GroupHealth.Full Answer >
Bagels, which are in the grains and starches food group, usually take around two to three hours to digest. Foods that are more dense are generally harder to digest and take a longer time to fully pass through the body's digestive system.Full Answer >
The process of chemical digestion starts in the mouth, where saliva begins to break down starches using enzymes. However, the majority of chemical digestion occurs in the stomach and large intestines.Full Answer >