How Carbs Affect Blood Sugar
Now that you know what foods contain carbohydrate, let's talk about how carbohydrates work in our body. Between 90-100% of the starches (bread, cereal, pasta) and sugars (table sugar, honey, cakes, cookies) that we eat contribute to the rise in blood sugar after a meal. This is because these foods generally enter into the blood stream within 15 minutes to 2 hours after a meal. Proteins generally enter the blood stream between 2-4 hours after eating and fats between 4-6 hours after eating.
Current research shows that it is the total carbohydrate in a food portion that has an affect on blood sugar and not the amount of sugar that the food contains. The good news is that you no longer have to eliminate sugars and sweets from your diet. Foods containing sugar can be included in your daily menus as long as the total amount of carbohydrate for that meal or snack is consistent.
Although protein (meat, eggs, cheese) and fat (margarine/butter, salad dressing, nuts and oils) do not contain any carbohydrate, they can have an indirect impact on blood glucose levels. When protein, carbohydrate and fat are consumed at the same time, this delays the entry rate of carbohydrate into the system preventing blood sugar from rising as quickly.
||When a large amount of protein is consumed (i.e. greater than 9 oz.) you will need to count it as an additional 15 gms of carbohydrate to your meal.
||A meal high in fat can delay the absorption of glucose from that meal, since fat slows down digestion. Therefore, the increase in blood glucose associated with that meal may be delayed sometimes for as long as 3 hours or more. Eating too much fat on a regular basis can increase the risk of heart disease and can also cause weight gain.
The thing to remember here is that protein and fat contribute calories and fat to your diet, which can have an overall effect on your health and well being if eaten in excess.
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