When you hear about diabetes first thing that clicks your mind is “CARBS”. We think they are the biggest culprit for high blood sugar. Yes, it is, but not all carbohydrates are bad. Many of us try to eliminate the carbs completely to maintain weight and blood sugars. You just need to have right food at right time in right quantity.
Carbohydrates act as fuel for the body. Carbohydrates are broken down by the body into glucose. This glucose is then stored in the form of energy in our body. To understand more about carbohydrates we also need to know about insulin. Insulin is a hormone that promotes the whole process of storing and supplying of glucose to different parts of the body. It’s like a key which opens door that allows glucose to enter into the cells.
Now lets see about carbs in detail.
1. Simple carbohydrate (Unhealthy carbohydrate):
- This class of carbohydrate contains small and basic molecule which easily break down to glucose. Once the glucose enters the bloodstream it activates the insulin and result in glucose excess in body which is not use by body for energy at that particular time.
- This extra glucose molecule remains in blood for long time and then they get converted to fats in liver.
- The food which are high in simple carbohydrate are: Sugar, jaggery, honey, refined flour, white polished rice, processed foods.
2. Complex Carbohydrate (Healthy carbohydrates):
- This class of carbohydrate contains larger and complex molecule which get slowly digested and thus releasing glucose molecule at slower rate. Since glucose release in blood stream is slower and the process take long time glucose is metabolized and utilized very well.
- This long and complex process result in fewer glucose molecule in blood stream thus chances of high blood glucose and its conversion to fat is less.
- The foods which contains complex carbohydrates are food rich in fiber and starch. Example: Vegetable & fruits, whole grains, Sprouts and pulses, Nuts.
Along with above classification about healthy and healthy carbs, we need to also look into Glycemic index and Glycemic load. Since there are many foods which you may think are high in carbohydrate but when they are consume they does not increase the blood sugar fast.
1. Glycemic index: It’s the measure of how fast the glucose in your blood increases after consuming a certain food or the rate of increase of glucose in blood. Lower GI index, the healthier the carbohydrate. Some examples of foods with low G.I(healthy) are as fruits, vegetables, whole grains.
2. Glycemic Load: Glycemic load is defined as the amount of glucose increase in the blood after eating a particular food. Foods with high G.L (unhealthy) include candy, soda, cookies, chips, etc.
But at the end "Every thing is about moderation, not deprivation." So enjoy every food but think twice and decide portion size.