Q&A WITH DR SCHOONBEE
‘When you donate blood and you are a ketone burner, do you need to eat the cookie to replace “glucose”?’
Q: When you donate blood and you are a ketone burner, do you need to eat the cookie to replace ‘glucose’?
A: When you are a ketone burner it means you already have low glucose levels in your blood, so your body breaks down fat to form ketones. Our bodies can use ketones as an energy source in the absence of glucose. When you donate blood you don’t need to take in any carbs, such as the cookie, to replace glucose. You can just drink water to replace the lost volume and leave it to your body to regulate itself.
Q: My son, who is 13 and very sporty, suffers from asthma. He really suffers when there is a lot of pollen in the air. I know I should change his diet but I don’t know where to start.
A: There are many causes for asthma. Triggers such as pollen, house dust, infection or exercise can lead to the release of chemicals in the lungs. This will cause contraction of muscles in the airways, as well as inflammation, which then leads to an asthma attack.
With a low-carb, healthy-fat lifestyle there is much less inflammation in the body and many people on this diet testify to an improvement in their asthma and other allergies. My advice would be to change your son’s diet to a low-carb or Paleo diet and experiment with excluding specific food types to see how it impacts his health.
Q: I know it is important to avoid sugar, but can I use a ‘natural’ sugar such as honey or fruit juice to add sweetness to dishes?
A: When analysing the nutritional value of 100g honey we find it contains 82.4g carbohydrates, of which 82.12g is sugar (about 41% fructose, 36% glucose, 1% maltose and 1% sucrose). 100g of grape juice contains 14.2g of sugar (about 7% glucose, 7% fructose, and a minimal amount of sucrose), while 100g of apple juice contains 9.62g of sugar (about 6% fructose, 3% glucose and 1% sucrose). To compare, there is 10.6g of sugar (sucrose) in 100g of Coca-Cola.
Unfortunately, the human body reacts in the same way to the ‘natural’ sugars in honey and fruit as it does to the so-called ‘unnatural’ sugar in soft drinks and processed food. Research suggests that fructose may be a cause of insulin resistance; high blood glucose, of course, leads to insulin resistance; and sucrose, which is a 50% mix of glucose and fructose, can lead to an unhealthy increase in blood sugar levels – and it causes tooth decay. Q: Am I allowed to eat low-GI bread?
A: Low GI is not the same as low carb. Low GI means that the sugar chains in the food take longer to be dismantled into smaller particles (monosaccharides) to be absorbed, and the delayed absorption process means you won’t have the same high-bloodsugar spikes as when you eat high-GI food. As an example, a banana contains a large number of carbs but has a low GI rating.