Blood sugar response can also be affected by food form, or the physical make-up of a food, such as particle size and whether it is raw or cooked. Here are some examples:
- Slightly undercooked pasta affects blood sugars less than fully cooked pasta
- Whole beans turn to sugar more slowly than mashed or refried beans
- Mashed potatoes may spike blood sugars more than a baked potato
- Raw carrots may affect blood sugar less than cooked carrots
During digestion, the body breaks down foods of small particle size more quickly. Some foods that are highly processed like white bread, soda crackers, and instant mashed potatoes, are broken down more quickly due to the fact that they are usually very low in fiber. This leads to more rapid absorption of the food components, including glucose. Cooked foods are digested faster than raw foods.
To learn how food form affects you, check your blood sugars before and two hours after meals. Food form differences are noticed more when the food is eaten alone, and less when it is part of a mixed meal.