What Are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients (molecules the body uses to obtain energy) that your body obtains from foods you eat. The other two macronutrients are protein and fats. Carbs are the sugars, starches, and fibers found in fruits, grains, and vegetables. Though they are often stigmatized by many diets, they are an essential part of a healthy diet and are the bodies main source of energy.

Different Carbohydrates

Simple vs. Complex Carbohydrates

Your body breaks down -metabolizes- carbohydrates into different forms of sugar molecules, that are then used to fuel different body functions. Carbs are classified by how quickly the sugars that come from the carb is absorbed and digested.

In general, simple carbs are carbohydrates that are metabolized very quickly and easily by the body. These carbs are typically represented by things like fruits, milk products, and even candy.

Complex carbs, on the other hand, are carbs whose sugars are absorbed more slowly. Foods that generally fit in this category of carbs include starchy foods and cereal grains such as beans, lentils, and whole-grain bread.

Carbs and Your Blood Sugar

Managing your diabetes requires understanding what happens when your body digests these carbs. Carbs are broken down into sugars. Simple carbs, in general, will rapidly increase your blood sugar after being digested. Complex carbs, which are digested and absorbed more slowly, will still raise your blood sugar, but do so more slowly and to a lesser degree.

Balancing Your Carb Intake

Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is crucial to living healthy with diabetes. At Diabetes Texas, we are more concerned with what your body does with the food you eat and less concerned about what you eat. Our bodies metabolize food differently and understanding how that works on an individual level is the first step towards healthy living. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes, or are prediabetic, contact our office today to discuss how we can help you manage your diabetes more effectively.