Carbohydrates and Type 2 Diabetes
There is a much research that shows a low-carb diet leads to rapid and healthy weight loss. Human beings are overweight and obese more than ever before. Type 2 diabetes also happens to be much more of a problem now than it has in the past. The highly-processed meal plan that many living in modern, westernized countries consume regularly is also common.
It is no small coincidence that the simple carb profile of the Standard American Diet (SAD) is linked to overweight and obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, conditions that are largely avoidable by trading “bad” carbs for “good” carbohydrates.
Are All Carbs the Same?
In the 1970s and 80s Hollywood churned out “evil twin” TV series episodes by the dozens. From Knight Rider to Star Trek, Bonanza to The Bionic Man and a long list of soap operas, a mustache, beard or simple hairstyle change was all that was needed to turn a hero into his or her otherwise identical-looking villain.
What does that have to do with carbohydrates and diabetes?
Hollywood’s evil twin episodic device still popular today shows us that two similar or even identical appearing entities can be vastly different. This is true with carbohydrates. There were the good and bad twins played by David Hasselhoff in Knight Rider, and there are good and bad carbohydrates.
Simple Carbs Are Mostly Bad Carbs
Simple carbohydrates are absorbed quickly into your bloodstream. They have a very simple molecular composition, so your body can take them apart very easily. In other words, the good and not so good chemicals, nutrients and compounds in simple carbohydrates (bad carbs) are rapidly absorbed by your body.
This is a good thing for those healthy nutrients and vitamins that are found in simple carbohydrates. The problem is, due to their molecular construction, there aren’t very many essential nutrients your body requires in most foods that are full of bad carbs. Processed, simple carbohydrates found in soft drinks, white rice, white bread, cookies and a long list of processed foods are full of sugar but contain few of the nutrients needed for health.
Sugar is a simple carb, and is rapidly processed by your body. It enters your bloodstream and is broken down to glucose. Glucose is needed by your body to produce energy so that you can walk, and think, and move and exist. However, when you get too much glucose in your bloodstream, you cause a blood sugar spike, something that diabetics and non-diabetic individuals should look to avoid.
With many of the processed and sugar-laden “foods” on offer today, it takes only a very small amount to cause elevated and unhealthy blood glucose levels. Reduce or eliminate the bad carbohydrates in your diet and replace them with good carbs, and you have taken a big and healthy step to diabetes management.
Complex Carbs Are the Good Carbs
Complex carbohydrates are more difficult to break down. This is a more natural process, and how our bodies are designed or have evolved to digest the foods we need for optimum health. They usually contain plenty of healthy nutrients, minerals, enzymes, vitamins and other natural goodies your body craves and needs.
Complex carbohydrates are often plant-based foods that are also high in fiber. Fiber is recommended for diabetes management, as it helps regulate a healthy body weight, lowers cholesterol levels, controls blood sugar levels and reduces your risk of developing heart disease.
Because of their complex construction, these good carbs take longer for your body to digest. This makes you feel full longer after you are through eating complex carbohydrate foods. This can lead to a reduced daily consumption of calories and assist with body weight management which is important to both diabetic and non-diabetic individuals.
Complex carbohydrates are in abundance in fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole grains.
Eat these foods fresh and raw whenever you can. Even steamed, boiled or broiled, fruits and vegetables will deliver healthy complex carbohydrates and essential minerals and nutrients your body needs to prevent diabetes development, as well as effectively manage diabetes if you are diagnosed. Plant-based diets have even proven successful in reversing diabetes, so start getting more of these healthy carbohydrates in your system today, and learn to shun the sugar treats.