Bad carbs good carbs and the truth about sugar free

iStock_000011220463XSmallBad carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates, which are digested and absorbed rapidly, are termed as bad carbohydrates. Rapidly absorbing sugar, fruit juices, white bread, polished rice, cakes, ice creams and cola drinks are some of the examples.

They are considered bad because they lead to rapid rise in blood sugar levels leading to release of large amount of insulin, which reduces blood sugar level rapidly. As a result, the person feels hungry and eats again.
This creates a cycle of carbohydrate craving. The cycle of high and low blood sugar in the blood causes insulin resistance (improper response by the cells to the insulin) and hyperinsulinemia  (high levels of insulin the blood). This results in an increase in blood sugar, abnormal lipid profile and deposition of fat in areas like abdomen, liver and heart.

Any food item, whose name ends with `ose’,¬† is a rapidly absorbing sugar or a bad carbohydrate. The examples are glucose, sucrose, maltose, fructose, galactose, etc.

Good carbohydrates: Unpolished rice, whole wheat bread (brown bread), whole-wheat flour, fruits, etc. They contain roughage and high fibre, which slows their digestion and

Sugar substitutes: The sugar substitutes commonly found in foods are sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, isomalt and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates. These are derived from plant products such as fruits and berries. These sugar substitutes provide fewer calories than table sugar (sucrose), because they are not well absorbed.

Food labeled ‘sugar free’ is not really sugar free:

Many foods that are labelled ‘sugar free’ or ‘no sugar added’, contain sugar substitutes mentioned above. As sugar substitutes contain calories, foods containing sugar substitutes also raise blood sugar levels.

Many people, considering them safe for diabetics over eat ‘sugar free’ foods. Therefore, diabetics should check the label of ‘sugar free’ foods to see if sugar substitutes have been used for preparation of the food item.

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