Why think high blood sugar slowly
Carbohydrates and Glycemic Index
Carbohydrates are an important supplier of energy for the body - and are largely responsible for our blood sugar levels. They can be found in bread and grains, in rice and pasta, in potatoes, in vegetables such as peas, corn or kidney beans, in fruit, milk - and of course in granulated sugar and cane sugar, the sugar substitutes and generally in products containing sugar.
Carbohydrates are not all carbohydrates
But not all carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels to the same extent. The type of sugar they contain is crucial: Carbohydrates are largely made up of the simple sugars glucose, fructose and galactose and the multiple sugar starch. Depending on the number of linked glucose or fructose components, a distinction is made between single, double or multiple sugars.
The two best-known double sugars are sucrose and lactose. They get into the blood quickly, so they let the blood sugar level rise quickly and thus also strongly stimulate insulin production in healthy people. They are found in table sugar, jam, honey, sweets or fruit juices, for example.
Multiple sugars, on the other hand, have long chains and are broken down more slowly into the individual components and only gradually released into the blood. Therefore, they usually put less stress on the blood sugar level. Legumes and, depending on the method of preparation, potatoes, vegetables and bread - ideally in the whole grain variant, as the fiber they contain also help to delay the rise in blood sugar.
For orientation: the glycemic index
It is good for people with diabetes to know how quickly or how slowly each food affects their blood sugar. The glycemic index can provide an orientation. A low glycemic index is a clue for slow-acting carbohydrates - after consuming them, blood sugar also rises more slowly. A high “glycemic index” therefore stands for fast-acting carbohydrates.
Depending on how a food is prepared, its glycemic index can vary: pureed foods such as mashed potatoes or juices, for example, work more quickly, while the unprocessed versions work more slowly than jacket potatoes or apples. But the mix is also important: Carbohydrates in combination with protein and / or fatty foods cause blood sugar to rise more slowly.
Slow, medium, fast at a glance
Carbohydrates with long-chain sugar molecules work the slowest, because the digestive system needs a lot of time to process:
- whole grain products
- Wild rice
- Salads (iceberg lettuce, lamb's lettuce)
Medium fast carbohydrates:
- Mixed bread
- peeled rice varieties
- Tropical fruits (pineapple, bananas)
Sugar gets into the blood particularly quickly, and some of the carbohydrate chains are broken down when chewed. The sugar molecules broken down in this way have a direct influence on the blood sugar level. Fast carbohydrates include:
- White bread (toast)
- Fruit juices and lemonade
It is worthwhile for people with diabetes to be familiar with the different carbohydrates and how they work. Because if you know about the various influences on blood sugar levels, you can better assess their effects on your own values and explain changes more easily.
Do you already know our guide with tips for a varied diet? HERE you can order it free of charge.
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