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5. FEB 1

Assigned Work

  • Nix, Stacy. Chapter 2: "Carbohydrates" Williams' Basic Nutrition and Diet Therapy (pp. 13-30).
  • Complete Carbohydrate Worksheet by Wednesday night, midnight.
  • SW1: What's important about your microbiota? See below for due date.


  • Discussion of SW1 assignment and prompt. Some reminders about good writing.
  • Review of Assignment Rubric

Some writing concepts

  • A general challenge of good writing -- Getting outside of your head -- looking at the writing as if you didn't write it.
  • Here are a few good writing concepts to look for in the samples on the handout.
  • Flow -- How well does one sentence follow another? Do you notice places where flow is interrupted?
  • Good starts -- Without good introductions and signals of organization and thesis readers are disoriented and confused. Set context by framing the topic. Tell your readers where you are going to take them.
  • Efficient writing -- Literally, how much you say with so many words. Awkward phrasing and limited word choice reduce efficiency.

SW1: What's important about your microbiota?

  • Stage 1: Please write an 600 hundred word maximum answer to the following question by Saturday, February 4th, 2023, 11:59pm.
  • Topic: We've been following science research on the microbiota and connecting that research to practical questions about our diets. What are some of the general lessons for us coming out of this research and what might it tell us about the nature of food and healthy eating? In your answer try to give both the "big picture" and highlight some of the more remarkable and interesting results of microbiome research.
  • Advice about collaboration: Collaboration is part of the academic process and the intellectual world that college courses are based on, so it is important to me that you have the possibility to collaborate. I encourage you to collaborate with other students, but only up to the point of sharing ideas, references to class notes, and your own notes, verbally. Collaboration is also a great way to make sure that a high average level of learning and development occurs in the class. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to NOT share text of draft answers or outlines of your answer. Keep it verbal. Generate your own examples.
  • Prepare your answer and submit it in the following way. You will lose points if you do not follow these instructions:
  1. To assure anonymity, you must remove your name from the the "author name" that you may have provided when you set up your word processing application. For instructions on removing your name from an Word or Google document, [click here].
  2. Format your answer in double spaced text, in a typical 12 point font, and using normal margins. Do not add spaces between paragraphs and indent the first line of each paragraph.
  3. Do not put your name in the file or filename. You may put your student ID number in the file, but not in the filename. Save your file for this assignment with the name: Microbiota.
  4. To turn in your assignment, log into courses.alfino.org, click on the “1 - Points” dropbox.
  5. If you cannot meet a deadline, you must email me about your circumstances (unless you are having an emergency) before the deadline or you will lose points.
  • Stage 2: Please evaluate four student answers and provide brief comments and a score. Review the Assignment Rubric for this exercise. We will be using the Flow and Content areas of the rubric for this assignment. Complete your evaluations and scoring by Wednesday, February 8, 2023 11:59pm.
  • To determine the papers you need to peer review, open the file called "#Key.xls" in the shared folder. You will see a worksheet with saint names in alphabetically order, along with animal names. Find your saint name and review the next four (4) animals' work below your animal name. If you get to the bottom of the list before reaching 4 animals, go to the top of the list and continue.
  • Use this Google Form to evaluate four peer papers. Submit the form once for each review.
  • Some papers may arrive late. If you are in line to review a missing paper, allow a day or two for it to show up. If it does not show up, go back to the key and review the next animal's paper, continuing until you get four reviews. Do not review more than four papers.
  • Stage 3: I will grade and briefly comment on your writing using the peer scores as an initial ranking. Assuming the process works normally, most of my scores probably be within 1-2 points of the peer scores, plus or minus.
  • Stage 4: Back-evaluation: After you receive your peer comments and my evaluation, take a few minutes to fill out this quick "back evaluation" rating form: [1]. Fill out the form for each reviewer, but not Alfino. You must do the back evaluation to receive credit for the whole assignment. Failing to give back-evaluations unfairly affects other classmates.
  • Back evaluations are due TBD.

Nix, Chapter 2, "Carbohydrates"

  • Nature of Carbs
  • Carbs are a source of short term energy. All Carbs break down into sugars during metabolism.
  • Scale of simple to complex. Simple sugars (monosacharides) don't even require digestion. Starchs are complex and "slow burning".
  • Limits to the "energy" metaphor:
  • carb levels and types help regulate other processes like insulin response,
  • fiber helps with useful bacteria production, appears to reduce colon cancer, helps with bowel function and avoidance of diverticulosis.
  • carb types and level signal body to break down protein for energy or not.
  • soluble fiber binds bile acids, lowering cholesterol
  • Classes of Carbs:
  • Mono and di-saccharides are “simple carbs”. Glucose is the form that sugar takes in your blood.
  • Polysaccarides are found in starches: grains, rice, corn. Also in plant proteins: legumes.
  • Per capita HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) up from .12 tsp daily in 1970 to 11.18 tsp in 2008. p. 15
  • Fibers
  • Soluble and insoluble - soluble fiber binds bile acids and lowers blood cholesterol.
  • Insoluable are roughly what the Sonnenbergs were calling “MACs”.
  • Note warning on high fiber low iron-rich diet. Phytic acid in this diet can cause iron deficiency. You can get too much fiber, but most Americans don't.
  • Functions of Carbs
  • reserve fuel supply is stored as glycogen in muscles [[2]] and blood sugar. Roughly 1-2 hours of aerobic exercise. glycogen also stored in the liver to regulate blood sugar.
  • Carbs keep us from going into ketosis, but as we've noted, you can have a diet based on having your body in a state of ketosis (Paleo).
  • Digestion
  • Primarily in small intestine, through enzymes such as amalyse from the pancreas, and from the "microvilli" of the intestine which contain specific di-saccaridases: sucrase, lactase, and maltase. (digression from p. 26 text box on dairying as textbook case of gene-culture co-evolution.)
  • Saliva contains enzymes that break down carbs.
  • Glycemic index vs. Glycemic load link for GI vs. GL
  • Note how our bodies are designed to chemically and mechanically break down carbs. There is no need to outsource this to an industrial food!
  • As we learned from study of the microbiome, you can think of carbs as feeding both you and them (the other 15 trillion organisms you walk around with in your gut). Neither fat nor protein get into the large intestine in significant amounts. We feed our gut bacteria with carbs.
  • Recommendations
  • Decrease added sugar to less than 10% of calorie intake. Current ly 28 teaspoons of added sugar a day.)
  • Increase proportion of complex carbs. (But also, following Kessler and the Sonnenbergs, distinguish complex carbs that are in forms that reach your MB.)
  • There’s a good chance you are within the normal range for total carb intake (it's a broad range), but many of you could benefit from shifting the balance toward complex carbs. Think about your "carb profile". Is it tilted toward simple carbs and a high glycemic (index and load) diet? Or are you more invested in complex carbs that travel in rougher textures (with grain structure attached).
  • Check to be sure you are approaching <10% of carbs from refined sugar. 3 2 oz packages of Skittles = 750cal / 168 grams of carbs, but not a good approach! Note this is already more than 10% of calories from refined sugar.