1. Introduction

Patients who are affected by diseases like diarrhea naturally need more energy and calories than people who are healthy since their body is fighting against the disease (Kalman,1987). The body needs to maintain higher energy levels than usual. This is tough as the body needs to fight against the diseases on top of providing energy for a person’s daily activities (Klein, 2014). When the body is fighting against the disease, people usually lose their appetite. This is due to the body focusing more on fighting against the disease than using energy to digest food consumed. This results in people who are sick refusing to eat food. However, if the patient affected by the disease does not consume enough food, there will not be a decrease of energy for the body to use.This will worsen the disease and result in the disease taking a longer time to be cured (ibid). Thus it is essential for people who are suffering from diseases to have a proper diet in order to get the required amount of nutrients and energy. To recover fully, they would need to eat small portions of food more frequently to provide their body with the extra nutrients and energy it needs to stay strong and heal well (Shih,2016).

For example, patients who are suffering from diarrhea require more calories for their body to function normally as their energy output is greater than their intake (Kay, 2012). They might also face problems such as dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities. These are the results of the shortage of minerals such as calcium and vitamins (Marks,2015). They would also require instant energy for their body to function normally. It is essential for them to eat a sufficient amount of the right kind of food in order to have enough energy for the body to fight against the disease and they would have to return to their regular diet as soon as possible to cure diarrhea (Kay,2012).

However, on the contrary,  people who are affected by health conditions such as diabetes require food that are digested slowly and releases their glucose at a slower rate in order to prevent sugar highs. The glycaemic index (GI) was created for this purpose (Lewin,2015). The index indicates the speed at which digestion occurs, and the amount it raises glucose levels in the blood is measured by a score on the GI scale. Glucose, is the reference point for all other foods. A sharp increase in glucose in the blood triggers the pancreas to release a rush of the hormone insulin, which removes any excess glucose. Insulin removes the surplus glucose from the blood and lowers the speed at which the body burns fat. A large surge in insulin, caused by eating high-GI foods, will start reactions in the body that leave you feeling lethargic, hungry and craving more sugar (ibid).
Eating low-GI carbohydrate foods causes a steady rise in the level of glucose in the blood, which in turn leads to a small and gentle rise in insulin (Lewin,2015). Small increases in insulin keep you feeling full and energised for hours after eating and also encourages the body to burn fat (ibid).Thus, it is important for diabetic patients to eat food that gets digested slowly and releases the glucose in a steady level. Hence it is important for patients with diabetes to consume food that does not get digested easily and releases the glucose at a steady level.
Dumping syndrome is another type of health condition that require food to be digested slower rate releasing the glucose to the body at a stable rate. Dumping syndrome occurs when food, especially sugar, moves too fast from the stomach to the duodenum the first part of the small intestine in the upper gastrointestinal tract (NIH, 2013). This condition is also called the rapid gastric emptying. Thus, to prevent experiencing the effects of this syndrome which is vomiting, weakness, sweating and many more patients require to consume food that gets digested at a slower rate and release the glucose to the body at a slower rate (ibid).

Thus, the person’s choice of food diet is extremely important and it is based on their different health conditions. It is essential for people with diseases such as diarrhea to consume food that their body will be able to digest easily but still be able to provide them with instant as well as sufficient amounts of energy for the day. They should not consume food which are rich in fats and sugar as they are difficult to be digested and thus require more energy to be digested which results in stressing the body and digestive system (Klein, 2014).However, on the other hand, people affected by health conditions such as diabetes and dumping syndrome require food that gets digested slowly to allow the glucose to be released at a steady rate, preventing sugar highs. Both their diet should consist mainly of food rich in carbohydrates as they are the easiest type of food to be digested.Since carbohydrates are the first line of energy the body will use, eating food rich in carbohydrates can provide the body with its main and instant source of energy to function (ibid). Carbohydrate foods contain mainly starch which provides us with the energy we need for our daily activities (NHS Choices,2017). Starches provide our body with essential nutrients that satisfy our body’s needs (John, 2016). Increased amount of intake of starchy food is also recommended for the treatment and prevention of many diseases (Klein, 2014). Starch can be found in staple foods such as potatoes, rice, wheat and flour as well as in most green plants (NHS Choices, 2017). However, not all carbohydrates get digested at the same rate. Some food take longer than others to be digested.

Our experiment is to test various starchy foods to find out which item gets digested within the shortest period of time. Since not all starchy food digest at the same rate, some are more suitable for patients to consume than others. Some takes a shorter time to digest than the others and are thus able to provide the sufficient amount of nutrients in time for the body to function normally which makes them more suitable for patients with diseases such as diarrhea to to consume. Some also gets digested at a longer time which makes it suitable for patients with health conditions and diseases such as diabetes and dumping syndrome to consume. Our experiment will help conclude and find out which type of starchy food is most suitable for patients to consume when they are affected with different types of diseases.


(a) Books

John, M. (September, 2016). The healthiest diet on the planet. Retrieved January 11, 2017 from National Library Board

   Mann, J. I. (1984). What carbohydrate foods should diabetics eat? Bmj, 288(6423), 1025-1026. doi:10.1136/bmj.288.6423.1025. Retrieved January 13, 2017 National Library Board

Svihus, B., & Hervik, A. K. (2016). Digestion and metabolic fates of starch, and its relation to major nutrition-related health problems: A review. Starch - Stärke,68(3-4), 302-313. doi:10.1002/star.201500295. Retrieved January 13, 2017 National Library Board

(b) Journals

(c) Websites
Kay, M. H., Porto, A. F., & V. (2012, December). Diarrhea in Children. Retrieved January 11, 2017, from http://patients.gi.org/topics/diarrhea-in-children/

Klein, S. (2014, February 15). What To Eat When You're Sick. Retrieved January 11, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/15/what-to-eat-when-sick_n_4774900.html

Lewin, J. (2015, March 26). Spotlight on... low-GI. Retrieved February 19, 2017, from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/spotlight-low-gi

Marks, M. J. (2015, October 29). Diarrhea Symptoms, Causes & Natural and Home
Remedies. Retrieved January 11, 2017, from http://www.medicinenet.com/diarrhea/article.htm#diarrhea_facts

NIH. (September 13). Dumping Syndrome | NIDDK. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/dumping-syndrome

Shih, C. (2016, December 05). The Best and Worst Foods to Eat When You're Sick. Retrieved January 11, 2017, from http://greatist.com/health/best-foods-eat-when-sick

Staff, M. C. (2016, September 9). Retrieved February 25, 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-diet/art-20044295

(Starch foods (carbs)- Live Well. (2017, April 01). Retrieved January 11,2017,from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/starchy-foods.aspx

U. (2017, February 1). GI Database. Retrieved February 20, 2017, from

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