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.
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?
Concerned About Carbs
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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.
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