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DrSugar Answers: Carbs and Blood Sugar Levels

DrSugar is in the house and he has the answers. Since carb confusion is a common problem, his first response deals with the complex issue surrounding blood sugars and carbs.

Dear DrSugar,
I love eating fruits, but I worry about my sugar intake. Since I'm a vegetarian, I eat a lot of carbohydrates too, but the good kind. But will all these carbs make my glucose levels too high?
Thanks!
Concerned About Carbs

To see what DrSugar has to say about carbs, just

.

I completely understand your confusion regarding carbohydrates. With all the fad diets out there, it is easy to be misled when it comes to nutrition. As your question suggests, there are good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates. Good carbohydrates include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. They are considered good because they can be efficiently processed into energy and are often accompanied by other nutrients such as vitamins and fiber. Bad carbohydrates include processed sugars in soda, snack foods, candy, and refined flours. These bad carbohydrates are broken down quickly, cause insulin spikes, are converted easily to fat, and rarely contain other beneficial nutrients.

Your concern about high glucose levels is warranted given the epidemic of type 2 diabetes, a disease characterized by high glucose levels. However, high carbohydrate intake alone is not likely to cause diabetes, unless accompanied by other risk factors. Other risk factors include obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and genetic factors such as ethnicity and family history. As long as you live a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise, there is little need to worry about eating too many good carbohydrates. That being said, the ideal diet includes moderate amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Symptoms of new onset diabetes include fatigue, weight loss, frequent urination, and increased thirst. If you have these symptoms or think you’re at risk, then talk to your doctor about simple blood tests for high blood sugar.

If you have a question for DrSugar, private message me here and I will pass it on to the doctor.

DrSugar's posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

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krissy krissy 8 years
An FA member saw your article titled and thought this program might be of interest to you. The program is an organization called Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA). FA is a Twelve Step recovery program offering a solution for anyone suffering from any form of food addiction including overeating, bulimia, under-eating, or food obsession. Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous has over 350 meetings throughout the United States in large and small cities such as Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Charlotte, Grand Rapids, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Austin, and Washington, D.C. Internationally, FA currently has groups in England, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. If you would like more information about FA, please visit our website at http://www.foodaddicts.org. Also, you may contact our World Service Office at fa@foodaddicts.org, or call us at (781) 321-9118. Sincerely, Public Information CommitteeFood Addicts in Recovery Anonymous6 Pleasant Street, Suite 402Malden, MA 02148
krissy krissy 8 years
An FA member saw your article titled and thought this program might be of interest to you. The program is an organization called Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA). FA is a Twelve Step recovery program offering a solution for anyone suffering from any form of food addiction including overeating, bulimia, under-eating, or food obsession. Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous has over 350 meetings throughout the United States in large and small cities such as Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Charlotte, Grand Rapids, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Austin, and Washington, D.C. Internationally, FA currently has groups in England, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. If you would like more information about FA, please visit our website at http://www.foodaddicts.org. Also, you may contact our World Service Office at fa@foodaddicts.org, or call us at (781) 321-9118. Sincerely, Public Information Committee Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous 6 Pleasant Street, Suite 402 Malden, MA 02148
Luckyslushy Luckyslushy 8 years
Good to know. The Dr. told me the test I took was also for testing diabetes... but she didn't get into details. Now I know the difference!
DrSugar DrSugar 8 years
Luckyslushy- The test you took is called a 6-hour glucose tolerance test. This is a test for impaired glucose tolerance or pre-diabetes. A single fasting fingerstick glucose (takes 1 minute!) can be used to test for overt diabetes in someone who has symtpoms or is at high risk. A 6 hour glucose tolerance test is not absolutely indicated for DM screening, so don't hestitate to see a doctor if avoiding this test is your primary concern.
DrSugar DrSugar 8 years
Luckyslushy- The test you took is called a 6-hour glucose tolerance test. This is a test for impaired glucose tolerance or pre-diabetes. A single fasting fingerstick glucose (takes 1 minute!) can be used to test for overt diabetes in someone who has symtpoms or is at high risk. A 6 hour glucose tolerance test is not absolutely indicated for DM screening, so don't hestitate to see a doctor if avoiding this test is your primary concern.
Luckyslushy Luckyslushy 8 years
Yeah... the blood test is not "simple." I'm hypoglycemic & took the test. They draw blood on the hour, for six hours, without allowing you to eat anything (except 1 really sugary drink @ the beginning, which makes it worse). I couldn't even finish the test.
rpenner rpenner 8 years
I've also wondered about this. Thanks for the info Fit.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I don't usually worry about sugar from fresh fruits because there is so much water and fiber in them that it never really causes my blood sugar to spike. Also, if you work out, it improves your insulin sensitivity.
lightheaded lightheaded 8 years
I have always wondered....
lightheaded lightheaded 8 years
I have always wondered....
ravenavery ravenavery 8 years
This is an excellent, clear answer! Glad my fruit is safe. :)
Beaner Beaner 8 years
Oh good, that's what I thought...
michlny michlny 8 years
I really think that if you are eating whole, natural, nature made foods, there is no need to worry. It's when you start throwing the man-made stuff into the mix that bad things happen! There are days I eat so much fruit and I feel GREAT! Especially in the summer - I call fruit, nature's dessert!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Good to know!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Good to know!
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