Blood Glucose Level

Carbohydrate and how it affects blood glucose level.


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How Food Affect Blood Glucose Level

Our body needs adequate amounts of six essential nutrients in order to function normally.  Three of these - water, vitamins, and minerals provide no energy and do not affect blood glucose level.   The other three: carbohydrate, protein, and fat provide your body with the energy it needs to work.

The food you eat is digested and then broken down into your body primary fuel source, i.e. glucose.  While all energy nutrients are broken down into glucose, carbohydrates have a more direct effect on blood glucose levels.  Protein and fat have a slower and more indirect effect on blood glucose levels.  Understanding this can help you predict how certain foods will affect your glucose levels.

Carbohydrate and Its Impact On Blood Glucose Level

Commonly known as sugars and starches, carbohydrates are our bodies' main and preferred source of energy.  Carbohydrates enter your bloodstream rapidly and are completely broken down in about 2 hours.  There are generally 3 types of simple carbohydrates: sugars (such as table sugar and honey); digestible complex carbohydrates or starches (in breads, pastas, and potatoes)  and non-digestible carbohydrates or fiber.  Nearly 100 percent of the sugars and starches you eat break down into glucose at the same speed regardless of their source.  So if you want to control you blood glucose level, you will need to control the intake of sugar and starches.

Fiber is made up of  non-digestible complex carbohydrates that cannot be broken down by the body enzymes.  There are 2 types of fiber, soluble and insoluble.  Soluble fiber remains suspended in water.  It is found in oats, barleys, cereals, apples and other fruits.  It delays glucose absorption, lower cholesterol, and decrease the speed at which food moves through your intestines.  Soluble fibers found in all fruits, vegetables, legumes and seeds also delay glucose absorption and slow the breakdown of sugar and starches into glucose, which can help to control the blood sugar levels.


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