Starches - Your Trouble And Why
( Originally Published 1930's )
It has been said that life begins at forty, but that sentence is not complete as far as the heavy starch food eater is concerned: Life begins at forty to be one bellyache after the other.
You have already learned that starch is a greater factor in causing digestive trouble, but we risk no little repetition in bringing to you more explanation as to why starch is a bellyacher's enemy. Later, under Dietetic Disease, a chapter to follow, you will find out how much trouble starch may cause you.
An official definition of starch and sugars is: carbohydrate food, which furnishes quick energy, and a stored energy within the liver and muscles. However, gorging upon the luscious combinations of gooey, sticky, carbohydrates not only stores up energy, but seems to add a little weight.
The heavy eater of carbohydrate foods usually grows fat, or picks up a nice crop of pimples. But you heavy eaters of starch combinations with grease arrive in the bellyache class.
Perhaps, it would be interesting for you bellyachers to know how starches are handled by your chemical factory of digestion. Then you may want to know why your factory breaks down and your neighbor's does not.
Starch is changed into maltose and invert sugar by the action of the alkaline ferment, called ptyalin, found in the mouth. This action, if perfect, continues into the cardiac tip of the stomach, but it ceases when it comes into contact with the hydrochloric acid of the stomach. No starch is digested in the presence of acids unless boiled together. Since your stomach is not supposed to boil, there is no starch digestion within it.
THE INTESTINES are supposed to be alkaline. Here, starch changes are brought about by the bile of the liver, the enzyme of the intestine, and the pancreatic juice of the pancreas. Each stage of the digestion must be perfected under an alkaline balance, until a good glucose is made.
Glucose is absorbed through the intestinal walls into the blood stream, whence it is carried to the liver. Here some of the glucose is turned into glycogen, another type of sugar, and stored.
The sugar storage provision of nature is quite wonderful. It is somewhat like a gasoline gauge showing empty when, in reality, there is a reserve and you may have enough to take you to a filling station. Your stored glycogen sugar comes to your rescue when you have used up your daily made supply and are tired. Glycogen is released from the liver to furnish you the energy to make that supreme effort to do something more than usual. It furnishes the last ounce of energy which puts the racer across the tape first. The liver reconverts glycogen into a glucose which your body burns up quickly to make more steam.
Now, bellyacher, don't you wish you could do it that way? But, you do not. If you did, you would not have the trouble you have. Let's see what is wrong. No ! Let's see how MANY things you DO wrong.
In the first place, the fellow who lives long, eats long. He takes time to chew starches. The more you chew starches, the more of them are converted into invert sugar in the mouth, and the easier it will be for the rest of your digestive machinery. You, who swallow soft starches at a gulp, like old Sport, your hunting dog, are bidding for trouble with digestion. Some people will take a big bite of bread; make two "chomps" and swallow it. If it does not go down well, they wash it down with a drink. This is a wrong start for digestion. Do not think it is a fanatical idea to NOT drink with meals. It is always better to chew any food until it can be swallowed with the saliva alone ; then drink.
Another eater headed for trouble is the habit eater. The habit eater is one who eats bread, meat, and potatoes ; meat, potatoes, and bread. Perhaps this eater may throw in some corn and beans once in a while. This type rarely eats fruit. In this manner, the alkali of the system is run down so fast that one would think it was a column of mercury scared at a freeze. If this is you, you will finally get to a point where one little sandwich may keep you up all night.
Too few people stop to consider their stomachs at all. People who eat every and all kind of food rarely need to consider it. However, if you have had any digestive trouble, it would not be advisable to take on a good old fashion Sunday dinner. You know: fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, stewed corn, pickles, olives, jam, bread and butter, celery, pie, cake and ice cream. Now, if you add two cups of coffee and a chocolate mint or two, you will have something. You will not need to be told what you have, your stomach will speak for you, painfully.
Sure, you can eat a huge meal. You can eat so much that you will have to loosen your belt just to make room, and you can do it without burp, groan or pain. All you need do is select your dinner items from one side, or the other, of the CHEMICAL EATING CHART.
Another form of eating which will add to your bellyache is the sour-starch eater. This includes sauerkraut and dumplings, potato salad, vinegared bread pudding, hamburger with pickles, and tart pies. No one ever digested one mouthful of potato salad. The alkali of the saliva in the mouth must start starch digestion. When you surround the starch of the potato with vinegar you have lost the ability to even start digestion of this combination. Consequently that particular potato starch never does digest completely.
Right here, the writer will let you in on a secret. Potato salad tastes so good that he eats it once in a while. Mind you, I know better. However, I never have indigestion. Those who do have indigestion can never get away with it.
There is an old saying, "a preacher does not have to practice what he preaches." However, if you consider this treatise a preachment, then the writer is one preacher who practices what he preach-es. I follow the chemical eating chart ninety-five percent of the time.
To know what you bellyachers suffer, one must suffer. That I did. During a hilarious feast, the writer swallowed a large piece of pickle, whole. It stuck in the intestines. Holy Cow! I know what so-called stomach sufferers suffer. It took a doctor to straight-en the matter out. Just one day's digestive trouble determined me to eat correctly forever. How can you people put up with so-called stomach trouble daily?
By the way, let's repeat. Chewing thoroughly should be a must with all bellyachers. It will save you no end of misery. Chewing thoroughly will insure enough saliva being mixed with the starch foods to enable their good digestion all along the line.
Starches swallowed too hurriedly are not protected by alkali against the absorption of stomach acid. This is a double injury. You prevent the alkali of the intestines finishing starch digestion and you reduce the amount of hydrochloric acid by absorption until porteins are not completely digested in the stomach. The result is a mild burper's gas in the small intestines; possibly hydrogen and methane gas. But, what you do to the colon is far worse. Here, undigested starches lie in heat and moisture to form putrifactive acid gas and alcohol.
The putrifactive acid gas formed in the colon may be mostly CO2, or carbon dioxide. But, from the way it smells it may have a little S02, or sulphur dioxide. At any rate, there is no guess work about the alcohol you make from starch fermentation. It is a colon irritant, and puts your colon in the bootleg liquor manufacturing class. If you travel the alcohol, putrifactive colon, road long enough, you come out with a nice case of mucous colitis. Do you see what you can get into by wrong eating?
Believe you have heard enough about starches causing trouble, and you now know enough about how these troubles are caused. However, you have only learned about the first mile of a long road. Do -you know how digestive troubles cause disease? Read on.