Glycemic Index and Carbohydrates: The ‘Forbidden’ Combination


The carbohydrates or carbohydrates are one of the essential macronutrients for the human being. Specifically, this macronutrient provides between 50% and 60% of energy to the body. However, people with diabetes should limit the consumption of carbohydrates, especially due to the alteration that it causes in the blood glucose levels.

According to experts, people should obtain a maximum of 10% of energy in the form of simple carbohydrates or sugars and around 50% of energy from complex carbohydrates.

The so-called complex carbohydrates can be found in foods such as pasta, cereals, tubers, nuts and legumes. For its part, simple carbohydrates are present in fruits and vegetables.

In this sense, complex carbohydrates from foods such as bread and pasta should be limited in their consumption by people with diabetes; mainly due to the considerable increase in blood glucose levels.

The importance of the glycemic index

The glycemic index is a term used in food and that indicates the ability of food to increase blood glucose. That is, to what extent a food can raise blood glucose, something that is highly harmful for people with diabetes.

Carbohydrate foods
Carbohydrate foods

This glycemic index term has been used a few years ago and is very useful for athletes and people with diabetes. However, it is convenient for the rest of the population to also monitor glucose levels in their body.

In addition, the glycemic index, another important factor for people with diabetes is the amount of carbohydrates that a food provides. For this reason, the term glycemic load was created, which is obtained by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by the carbohydrates of the portion of a food in question and dividing it by 100.

The glycemic load is very important in the diet of people with diabetes, because a food may have a high glycemic index, but the glycemic peak is not really that high.

This fact occurs mainly with some fruits, which despite containing a high glycemic index, their carbohydrate composition is very low. It happens with watermelon.

In short, the most important factor in determining whether a food is more or less healthy is the glycemic load. Therefore, experts recommend monitoring the glycemic load of food to the entire population and not only to people with diabetes.

Blood glucose in people with diabetes and athletes

Blood glucose levels are very important to anyone. However, for people with diabetes its importance in health multiplies. And it is that people with diabetes should avoid that the glycemic values ​​increase too much.

In this sense, the most convenient for people with diabetes is to consume foods with a low glycemic index, but also with a low proportion of complex carbohydrates.

On the other hand, athletes must also take maximum care of their diet and therefore are interested in foods with a low glycemic index and rich in carbohydrates. It is a way that blood glucose does not rise quickly and the availability of glucose perpetuates for a longer time.

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