Carbs and Diabetes: The Basics

Oct 5, 2015 by Cathy (Day Styles)

The type of carbohydrate foods you are eating is always important in good health. Especially when you are battling type 2 diabetes or have been diagnosed with it. With diabetes, there is a miscommunication between sugars in your blood and the absorption of them. Either your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or your body just doesn’t respond as it should to insulin, or both. So it’s all about the sugar. When you eat protein, you don’t need to worry about sugars because most natural meat protein sources don’t have sugar. However when you look at your primary energy source, carbohydrates, you need to be ultra-careful because they can be loaded with oodles of sugar and little long-term energy. The two main types of carbs are simple and complex.

Simple Carbohydrates Versus Complex Basics

Simple and complex carbohydrates are also referred to as simple sugars and starches, according to experts at WebMD. And the main difference between the two is how fast the sugars are broken down into useable energy, and how quickly they are absorbed. When broken down to digestible substance, you typically end up with glucose. The only types of carbohydrates that aren’t completely broken down to base glucose are sugar alcohols and insoluble fiber. So when you are drinking alcohol, it is tough for your system to break down alcohol. And of course, the insoluble fiber, like in corn, shoots through your body without breaking down and often carries waste with it.

Simple Carbs Explained

Simple sugars or “bad carbs” are found in an abundance of natural foods. These include fruits and veggies, and milk. All foods that have a “sweet” taste. Where the issues arise is in the fact these foods also spike blood sugar quickly. Of course, there are different categories of simple sugars; including glucose, fructose, and galactose. Then there're double sugars; table sugar (glucose), maltose, and lactose. Where the main troubles copulate is from the fact many foods have tons of sugar added. Lots of which is hidden in things like white bread and pasta. And most processed foods are guilty as charged with added sugar. Soda, cookies, cakes, pastries, pudding, jam, muffins, crackers and other packaged goods are downright dangerous. Government regulations for daily sugar intake is less than 70 grams for gents and less than 50 grams for women. Although lower is better for people tackling diabetes. Make note that sugars give you zippo nutrition and little energy, so they are better recognized as empty calories.

Complex Carbs Explained

Complex carbs are also referred to as “good carbs.” They are polysaccharides and starches created from longer saccharide chains and take longer to break down than fast absorbing simple sugars. Nutritionists refer to complex carbs as natural whole grains and starchy veggies that take longer to break down. Whole Grain Foods – Think “brown” when looking for whole grain products. Brown rice, brown bread, whole wheat pasta, and steel cut oats are whole grain starches that have little to no processing. You get the whole grain kernel with plenty of fiber and vitamins. The idea is whole grain complex carbs offer longer term constant energy and don’t spike your blood sugars like refined sugars do. If you eat too many complex carbohydrates, that’s not healthy either.

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