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Digestion Part 1 – Starches

Potato Carbohydrate starch

How does food digest? How do we take food and turn it into energy, tissue, and life itself? Mary-Ann Shearer goes into each piece of this amazing process, starting with starches.



Transcription Notes

Digestion of Starches / Carbohydrates

From our Mondays with Mary-Ann sessions . . .


Digestion Overview

Why do we have a digestive tract and what does it do?

  • What is digestion
  • Breaking down food into usable resources
  • This is primarily accomplished through 2 methods, Mechanical and Chemical
  • Mechanical is accomplished normally through chewing, but could also be accomplished via Juicing or other pre-ingestion mechanical steps.
  • Most people do NOT chew their food enough, and this has a significantly negative effect on the subsequent digestive process
  • Your teeth are designed specifically for the first step, and are actually part of the digestion process.

  • Starches are carbohydrate rich foods, for example potato, grains, fruits, sweet vegetables.
  • You cannot use a potato without breaking it down.
  • As you chew starches, you break them down mechanically, and then your mouth secrets Ptyalin, a form of amylase found in humans and some animals.
  • This enzyme breaks down the starches (long strings of bonded carbohydrates) into the shorter, smaller, simpler sugars to be used by the body.
  • The poly-saccharides (multiple sugars) become di-saccharides (2 sugars) and eventually move into your stomach.


  • In your stomach, the Ptyalin breaks down and new enzymes are used.
  • As the starches move to the small intestine, your body releases even more digestive enzymes (intestinal amylases).
  • The digestive process finishes by breaking the di-saccharides into Glucose.
  • Glucose is then absorbed and used by the body.

The body uses Glucose in the brain and central nervous system. Without enough stable Glucose (i.e. Low Blood Sugar), the body simply doesn’t function effectively:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Irrational Thoughts
  • Anxiety

The optimum form of Starches are WHOLE FOOD sources, which digest correctly. Refined starches (refined carbohydrates) do NOT digest correctly, and cause ill health.



One thought on “Digestion Part 1 – Starches

  1. […] session comes on the heels of Part 1, where we reviewed the basics of what digestion is, and understanding the digestion of starches […]

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