Carbohydrates: What are they?
Carbohydrates are the sugars and starches found in sugar, and also in cereals, breads, fruits, beans and vegetables.
How do carbohydrates behave in our body?
When you haven’t eaten for a while, your blood sugar – the body’s main fuel – dips and you become hungry. Then you eat a carbohydrate and your blood sugar levels rise. That’s good – unless you’re eating a refined carbohydrate such as sugar / white bread / mealie meal. These cause your blood sugar levels to shoot up (spike!). Unable to use it all, your body dumps the excess as fat. Your blood sugar levels then crash to a low level again – leaving you tired, hungry, lethargic, irritable, unable to concentrate, and craving more refined foods!! Not good at all!
Good quality or bad quality fuel?
Slow-releasing carbohydrates are good for us:
the food is digested slowly to glucose – keeping blood sugar levels even for a long period of time (3-4 hours).
Examples include: heavy, wholegrain bread; cooled down pap (fist-size portion), oats porridge; rice; baked beans; vegetables and fruit.
Fast-releasing carbohydrates are bad for us:
they spike and then dump our blood sugars after half an hour of eating them. They actually MAKE us tired and grumpy!
Examples include: white bread; large quantities of pap; coke and other soft drinks; sugar; sweets; biscuits; cakes and pies.
GI = GLYCAEMIC INDEX = a score of how fast the carbohydrate in a food raises your blood sugar.
Carbohydrates in food differ a lot
Example: APPLES contain the carbohydrate FRUCTOSE which is SLOW RELEASING = LOW GI: this GOOD! (you have stable energy for a long time)
TABLE SUGAR is made from SUCROSE which is FAST-RELEASING = HIGH GI: this BAD! (you run out of energy too fast)
BACK TO BASICS-NUTRITION products brought to you by NUCO NUTRITION in ZAMBIA are LOW GI:
Our products will give you balanced, stable blood sugar levels all day when taken every 3 hours.
This gives you good quality fuel ALL DAY
And your blood sugar levels will look like this: