Carbohydrates and Prediabetes
Carbohydrates Control Helps To Lower Glucose
A general understanding of carbohydrates and prediabetes is essential in managing and reversing your glucose numbers and getting your glucose under control. This topic can get very complex so I am going to simplify it a little because I like my site to be simple and easy to understand. The definition of carbohydrate in the American Heritage Dictionary is: Any of a group of organic compounds that includes sugars, starches, celluloses, and gums and serves as a major energy source in the diet of animals. These compounds are produced by photosynthetic plants and contain only carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, usually in the ratio 1:2:1.
Types of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates provide the fuel for physical activity and organ function. There are simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs break down quickly and are processed by the body and cause your glucose to spike high. These are things like white bread, white rice, refined sugar, pasta, processed food and junk food (the bad stuff). Simple carbs are high on the glycemic index. Complex carbs take longer to digest and provide a more even supply of blood glucose. Complex carbs are things like whole grains, fruit, oats, and brown rice (the good stuff). Complex carbs are essential to good health so you don’t want to cut them out. Just be more aware of how carbs work and how they effect your blood sugar.
How Carbohydrates are Processed
The liver breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, this stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin. The purpose of the insulin is to move the glucose into cells for energy. With simple carbs this happens quickly and spikes blood sugar and can lead to sugar highs and crashes. With complex carbs it is takes longer to digest, giving you longer lasting energy and causes less of an insulin reaction. If you produce too much glucose it will be stored in you liver and body as fat. Not a good thing for prediabetics.
A high fiber diet, with the right fats and protein all help to regulate and slow the rate that glucose enters the blood stream. All three slow down the digestion, delay and minimize the increase in blood glucose. All this can work together to help lower your glucose.
The American Diabetes Association recommends 45-60 grams of carbs per meal. This becomes more critical if you are diabetic, if you are prediabetic you still need to be aware how carbs effect your glucose levels. There are different methods that are used to control carbs like carb counting. A great way to find out how many carbs there are in different foods is to go to the University of Sydney website glycemicindex.com , you can query any item and see where it falls in the glycemic index and how many carbs it has. Remember the glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating and is a great tool for lowering your glucose.
Controlling carbohydrates is a great way to lower your glucose and has the additional benefit of weight loss associated with a low carb diet. You can achieve a lot of progress just by eliminating all the white bread, flour, pasta, rice, chips, and most baked goods. Use the glycemic index link above to get a good idea how many carbs are contained in the foods you are eating, it is the most thorough data base I know of. The food we eat is a huge determining factor for good health and lower glucose. For more you can visit my food page here.
There are some great books out there that can help you out greatly with controlling carbohydrates, and change your diet to help lower your glucose. One of them is The Glycemic-Load Diet: A powerful new program for losing weight and reversing insulin resistance This is one of the top rated books on Amazon for controlling intake, utilizing the Glycemic Index and has over 72 reviews that you can check out before you consider buying.
Another one is the The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable This is more of a low carb lifestyle. Two New York Times best-selling authors provide you with the definitive resource for low carbohydrate living. It is also a top rated book on Amazon and has over 31 reviews that you can see before you consider buying.
You can also check out the review post I did on the “No Whites” Baking Book here that has great baking recipes that have no white flour or white sugar in them.
Tagged with: Carbohydrates
Filed under: Prediabetes
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