Digestion Case Study

This week in class, we read a case study about three girls who wanted to learn more about carbohydrates and what foods specifically contain carbohydrates. Their interest in carbohydrates was first sparked after reading about how in Australia there is a special vaccine that is administered to cattle to possibly reduce the hurtful methane gas that is emitted from the animals because they consume so many carbohydrates. The vaccine could be helpful by reducing global warming in our world today.

The girls then decided that they would carefully monitor their meals and figure out which foods contained carbohydrates. Some food they consumed for breakfast was cheerios with oat bran, a tall Latte with skim milk, and a Powerbar. Later on in the day for lunch they had a coke, a salad with cabbage tomato, shredded carrots, green peas, kidney beans and tuna fish.

While looking over what the girls ate, I noticed that almost all the items contained carbohydrates. To help them out, I made a list of ways to identify carbohydrates easily.

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After monitoring their meals, the girls decided to do some more research about carbohydrates. They found that carbohydrates usually come from plant and stuff that is grown because in the process photosynthesis is used to create sugars.  The girls also found out that carbohydrates are not digested very well and are only broken down through the release of gas.  Gas is normally caused by ingredients such as simple sugars like beans, fructose, and lactose.

After doing all the research the girls did, they decided their next step would be to analyze some of the nutrition labels. We noticed that the Powerbar’s carbohydrates were about 31% simple sugars. We learned that even healthy foods consist of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are used to produce energy for the body and keep us healthy and alive.

Example: the Powerbar’s ingredients can be categorized into different types of carbohydrates:

Simple sugars: glycerin, salt

Complex carbohydrates: high fructose corn syrup , rice crisps, peanuts, brown rice,

Complex carbohydrates that contain fiber: oat bran, maltodextrin

Carbohydrates that would produce gas: milk protein isolate

This case study was very helpful to me because it taught me how to identify carbohydrates and why they are important to consume despite what is said.