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Old 12-13-2011, 09:14 AM   #1
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Question About Fermented Foods

From Mark's Daily Apple:

“....The fermentation process breaks down the lactose, thus mitigating a potentially problematic sugar and decreasing the carb content (you can consider the official carb count of real yogurt cut in half; producers list the number of carbs present in the dairy before fermentation], and the fermentation process breaks down the lactose/sugar).....”

Here's another reference:

“...Lacto fermentation - is an ancient method of preserving raw food (fruits, vegetables, seeds, or nuts) through encouraging the growth of friendly bacteria such as lactobacilli and other friendly bacterium (probiotics), and sometimes yeasts. The lacto-fermentation process actually converts carbs in the food into lactic acid, and lowers the carb content of fruits and vegetables. The fermentation adds enzymes, nutrients, and probiotics to propagate healthful intestinal flora....”

And another one:

“Lacto-fermentation is different than just eating acidic foods. The lacto-fermentation process actually uses carbs in the food, converts it to lactic acid, and lowers the carb content. Fermented foods are a condiment, not a side dish, and so large amounts are not eaten at a time. Despite the seemingly small serving size, the fermentation adds enzymes and nutrients. Canned, cooked, or frozen vegetables and fruits lose nutrients. Most lacto-fermented foods are still considered raw food, so enzymes and nutrients are retained, and have the added benefit of nutrients being added back in by lacto-fermentation......"


My question is: Does anyone know where/how to determine carb content of lacto-fermented foods?

About a year ago I stumbled upon these wonderful foods while in search of a half-sour pickle recipe, and ended up purchasing Sally Fallon's book, 'Nourishing Traditions'. I now prepare and keep in my fridge lacto-fermented foods like sauerkraut, deli pickles, pickled green tomatoes, tomato pepper relish, salsa, and beet kvass. It's rare that I eat a meal without some fermented food or beverage included. My hemoglobin A1c has dropped from 6.3 to 6.0 over the last year and I credit that to the fermented foods. Weight loss has been about twelve pounds (haven't really been persevering in the weight loss dept, getting ready to get serious though).

Last edited by sidhartha; 12-13-2011 at 09:55 AM..
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:33 AM   #2
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Also, I forgot to mention above, another unexpected side benefit from fermented foods with me is that the beet kvass has basically taken my gout away; it has an alkalizing effect on the blood (uric acid being the culprit with gout). Gout runs in my family, as does type 2 diabetes.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:12 PM   #3
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I don't think this is necessarily true. I have read in equally reliable sources that the bacteria merely converts the sugars to some other form of carb which doesn't show up on the analysis as sugar but has just as many calories and carbs. I would be careful with this! Personally, I count all the carbs in these things.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenrose View Post
I don't think this is necessarily true. I have read in equally reliable sources that the bacteria merely converts the sugars to some other form of carb which doesn't show up on the analysis as sugar but has just as many calories and carbs.
Please, by all means, direct me to these sources. I just want to understand.

Yeast converts sugars and starches to alcohol; lactobacilli convert them to lactic acid (along with some other probiotic stuff).

Quote:
I would be careful with this!
I am! That's why I'm asking!

Quote:
Personally, I count all the carbs in these things.
I know for a fact that none of the fermented foods that I make will even show up in blood glucose levels 1-2 hrs after eating. I've checked. What can be derived from that?

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Old 12-13-2011, 06:28 PM   #5
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I'd estimate a drop of 2 to 3 grams of carbs per cup through the fermentation process. I base this on the entry "The Truth about Carbs in Yogurt" in another forum, which seemed well researched. You can google that title to find the essay and all the links.
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by tiva View Post
I'd estimate a drop of 2 to 3 grams of carbs per cup through the fermentation process. I base this on the entry "The Truth about Carbs in Yogurt" in another forum, which seemed well researched. You can google that title to find the essay and all the links.
Thanks for that lead, I did follow up on it, still don't understand everything I know about it, and still don't think I've gotten a clear definitive answer to it.

The fermentation process does indeed break down, or 'pre-digest' the carbs, which results in a [with me] zero glycemic response after eating.

I'm still open to input on what happens to the carbs after the lactobacilli 'do their thing' with them.
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