How Does Carbohydrate Affect Blood Sugar (Glucose)?
When individuals eat a food including carbohydrates, the gastrointestinal system breaks down the absorbable ones into sugar, which goes into the blood.
Effects of Carbohydrate on Blood Sugar (Glucose)
- As blood sugar levels increase, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that triggers cells to take in blood glucose for energy or storage.
- As cells absorb blood sugar, levels in the blood stream begin to fall.
- When this occurs, the pancreas start making glucagon, a hormone that indicates the liver to start releasing stored sugar.
- This interaction of insulin and glucagon guarantee that cells throughout the body, and particularly in the brain, have a stable supply of blood sugar.
Carbohydrate metabolic process is essential in the advancement of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body can’t make adequate insulin or can’t appropriately use the insulin it makes.
- Type 2 diabetes normally establishes slowly over a number of years, beginning when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin. This condition, called insulin resistance, causes blood glucose and insulin levels to stay high long after consuming. In time, the heavy demands made on the insulin-making cells wears them out, and insulin production ultimately stops.
Also read: Carb Counting for People with Diabetes
In the past, carbs were typically classified as being either “basic” or “complex,” and described as follows:
These carbs are made up of sugars (such as fructose and glucose) which have simple chemical structures composed of only one sugar (monosaccharides) or two sugars (disaccharides). Simple carbohydrates are quickly and rapidly utilized for energy by the body due to the fact that of their easy chemical structure, frequently causing a quicker rise in blood glucose and insulin secretion from the pancreas — which can have unfavorable health effects.
These carbs have more complicated chemical structures, with 3 or more sugars linked together (known as oligosaccharides and polysaccharides). Many complex carbohydrate foods contain fiber, minerals and vitamins, and they take longer to digest — which suggests they have less of an instant impact on blood glucose, triggering it to rise more gradually. However other so called complex carbohydrate foods such as white bread and spuds include primarily starch but little fiber or other advantageous nutrients.
Dividing carbohydrates into basic and intricate, nevertheless, does not account for the result of carbohydrates on blood glucose and chronic illness. To describe how various sort of carbohydrate-rich foods directly affect blood sugar level, the glycemic index was established and is considered a much better way of categorizing carbohydrates, especially starchy foods.
The glycemic index ranks carbs on a scale from 0 to 100 based on how rapidly and how much they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high glycemic index, like white bread, are rapidly absorbed and cause considerable changes in blood sugar level. Foods with a low glycemic index, like whole oats, are digested more gradually, prompting a more gradual rise in blood sugar level.
- Low-glycemic foods have a ranking of 55 or less, and foods ranked 70-100 are thought about high-glycemic foods. Medium-level foods have a glycemic index of 56-69.
- Consuming lots of high-glycemic-index foods — which cause effective spikes in blood sugar level — can result in an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obese. There is likewise initial work linking high-glycemic diets to age-related macular degeneration, ovulatory infertility, and colorectal cancer.
- Foods with a low glycemic index have actually been revealed to help manage type 2 diabetes and enhance weight loss.
- A 2014 evaluation of research studies researching carbohydrate quality and chronic disease risk showed that low-glycemic-index diets may offer anti-inflammatory advantages.
- The University of Sydney in Australia keeps a searchable database of foods and their matching glycemic indices.
Many factors can impact a food’s glycemic index, including the following:
- Processing: Grains that have actually been grated and improved — getting rid of the bran and the bacterium — have a higher glycemic index than minimally processed entire grains.
- Physical kind: Finely ground grain is more rapidly digested than coarsely ground grain. This is why consuming entire grains in their “entire type” like wild rice or oats can be healthier than consuming highly processed entire grain bread.
- Fiber material: High-fiber foods don’t consist of as much digestible carb, so it slows the rate of digestion and causes a more steady and lower increase in blood sugar level.
- Ripeness: Ripe fruits and vegetables have the tendency to have a greater glycemic index than un-ripened fruit.
- Fat content and acid material: Meals with fat or acid are converted more gradually into sugar.
Numerous epidemiologic research studies have revealed a favorable association between greater dietary glycemic index and increased risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. However, the relationship between glycemic index and body weight is less well studied and stays questionable.
Something that a food’s glycemic index does not tell us is how much digestible carb — the total amount of carbs excluding fiber — it delivers. That’s why scientists developed an associated way to classify foods that takes into account both the quantity of carbohydrate in the food in relation to its influence on blood sugar levels. This measure is called the glycemic load. A food’s glycemic load is determined by increasing its glycemic index by the amount of carb the food includes. In basic, a glycemic load of 20 or more is high, 11 to 19 is medium, and 10 or under is low.
The glycemic load has actually been used to study whether high-glycemic load diets are related to increased dangers for type 2 diabetes risk and heart events. In a big meta-analysis of 24 potential associate studies, researchers concluded that people who consumed lower-glycemic load diets were at a lower risk of establishing type 2 diabetes than those who consumed a diet of higher-glycemic load foods. A similar type of meta-analysis concluded that higher-glycemic load diets were also connected with an increased risk for coronary heart disease events.
Also read: Low-Carb Foods: Diabetic Snacks
Here is a list of the glycemic index and glycemic load for the most common foods. For good health, pick foods that have a low (≤ 10) or medium (11-19) glycemic load, and limit foods that have a high (≥ 20) glycemic load.
|FOOD||Glycemic index (glucose = 100)||Serving size (grams)||Glycemic load per serving|
|BAKERY PRODUCTS AND BREADS|
|Banana cake, made with sugar||47||60||14|
|Banana cake, made without sugar||55||60||12|
|Sponge cake, plain||46||63||17|
|Vanilla cake made from packet mix with vanilla frosting (Betty Crocker)||42||111||24|
|Apple muffin, made with rolled oats and sugar||44||60||13|
|Apple muffin, made with rolled oats and without sugar||48||60||9|
|Waffles, Aunt Jemima®||76||35||10|
|Bagel, white, frozen||72||70||25|
|Baguette, white, plain||95||30||14|
|Coarse barley bread, 80% kernels||34||30||7|
|50% cracked wheat kernel bread||58||30||12|
|White wheat flour bread, average||75||30||11|
|Wonder® bread, average||73||30||10|
|Whole wheat bread, average||69||30||9|
|100% Whole Grain® bread (Natural Ovens)||51||30||7|
|Pita bread, white||68||30||10|
|Coca Cola® (US formula)||63||250 mL||16|
|Fanta®, orange soft drink||68||250 mL||23|
|Lucozade®, original (sparkling glucose drink)||95||250 mL||40|
|Apple juice, unsweetened||41||250 mL||12|
|Cranberry juice cocktail (Ocean Spray®)||68||250 mL||24|
|Gatorade, orange flavor (US formula)||89||250 mL||13|
|Orange juice, unsweetened, average||50||250 mL||12|
|Tomato juice, canned, no sugar added||38||250 mL||4|
|BREAKFAST CEREALS AND RELATED PRODUCTS|
|Coco Pops®, average||77||30||20|
|Cream of Wheat®||66||250||17|
|Cream of Wheat®, Instant||74||250||22|
|Instant oatmeal, average||79||250||21|
|Puffed wheat cereal||80||30||17|
|Special K® (US formula)||69||30||14|
|Pearled barley, average||25||150||11|
|Sweet corn on the cob||48||60||14|
|White rice, boiled, type non-specified||72||150||29|
|Quick cooking white basmati||63||150||26|
|Brown rice, steamed||50||150||16|
|Parboiled Converted white rice (Uncle Ben’s®)||38||150||14|
|Whole wheat kernels, average||45||50||15|
|COOKIES AND CRACKERS|
|Rice cakes, average||82||25||17|
|Rye crisps, average||64||25||11|
|DAIRY PRODUCTS AND ALTERNATIVES|
|Ice cream, regular, average||62||50||8|
|Ice cream, premium (Sara Lee®)||38||50||3|
|Milk, full-fat, average||31||250 mL||4|
|Milk, skim, average||31||250 mL||4|
|Reduced-fat yogurt with fruit, average||33||200||11|
|Banana, raw, average||48||120||11|
|Dates, dried, average||42||60||18|
|Oranges, raw, average||45||120||5|
|Peach, canned in light syrup||52||120||9|
|Pear, raw, average||38||120||4|
|Pear, canned in pear juice||44||120||5|
|BEANS AND NUTS|
|Chickpeas, canned in brine||42||150||9|
|Navy beans, average||39||150||12|
|Kidney beans, average||34||150||9|
|Soy beans, average||15||150||1|
|PASTA and NOODLES|
|Macaroni and Cheese (Kraft®)||64||180||33|
|Spaghetti, white, boiled, average||46||180||22|
|Spaghetti, white, boiled 20 min||58||180||26|
|Spaghetti, whole-grain, boiled||42||180||17|
|Corn chips, plain, salted||42||50||11|
|M & M’s®, peanut||33||30||6|
|Microwave popcorn, plain, average||65||20||7|
|Potato chips, average||56||50||12|
|Snickers Bar®, average||51||60||18|
|Baked russet potato||111||150||33|
|Boiled white potato, average||82||150||21|
|Instant mashed potato, average||87||150||17|
|Sweet potato, average||70||150||22|
|Hummus (chickpea salad dip)||6||30||0|
|Chicken nuggets, frozen, reheated in microwave oven 5 min||46||100||7|
|Pizza, plain baked dough, served with parmesan cheese and tomato sauce||80||100||22|
|Pizza, Super Supreme (Pizza Hut®)||36||100||9|
The complete list of the glycemic index and glycemic load for more than 1,000 foods can be discovered in the article “International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008” by Fiona S. Atkinson, Kaye Foster-Powell, and Jennie C. Brand-Miller in the December 2008 issue of Diabetes Care, Vol. 31, number 12, pages 2281-2283.