Dr Abe V Rotor
Coffee break is a corporate invention, and snacks are the first version of fast food, thanks to capitalism. So why take heed of the old advice?
Well, let’s look at it this way. Our old folks take heavy meals, mainly rice or corn, depending on the region they live, and they do not eat anything in between meals. Yet they work for long hours, and are healthy. How is that?
Plant foods are by far the commonest source of polysaccharides:
- Starch is in cereal grains (wheat, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat, rice, etc.), potatoes and legumes (beans, peas, lentils).
- Fiber is mainly in whole grains (whole-grain bread, brown rice, etc.), legumes, vegetables and fruits.
Starch in cereals is polysaccharide, which means that it has to be broken down into simple sugar before it is “burned” by the body to release energy. Starch has to be hydrolyzed with the aid of enzyme (amylase) found in our digestive system. Glucose, the ultimate product is broken down through oxidation (respiration), providing the needed energy for various body functions. This transformation takes hours, releasing energy throughout the process, and by the time the fuel is exhausted, it is time for the next meal. This is a simple test. Have you experienced having a grain of rice unknowingly tucked between the gums and teeth? After an hour of so, the grain taste sweet. It means that the grain is undergoing hydrolysis – from starch to sugar.
White sugar (sucrose), on the other hand is directly burned, after it has been split into two monosaccharides. That is why too much white sugar leads to high blood sugar – if we do not burn it – and may in the long run become the cause of diabetes.
Broil, don't fry. It's healthier and more economical.
This eating regimen of old folks may apply to manual workers, principally in the field. Today we find this virtually impossible to follow. First, we need a lot of energy, mainly for the brain, and secondly, we are already accustomed to having snacks. In fact many of us never stop eating. A foreigner once commented, “Filipinos are always eating.” What with all the advertisements - from TV commercials to giant billboards - and the proliferation of food carts and stores. ~