Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates

Starches, sugars and fiber are the carbohydrates in food. Carbohydrates are a molecule that plants make during photosynthesis, combining carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are very important in your body's metabolism because they are generally the part of food that is digested most quickly. Carbohydrates can give you quick energy, and cause a rise in blood sugar levels. Diabetics, in particular, need to pay attention to the carbohydrates they eat to help manage their blood sugar. Some carbohydrates, those found in whole grains and leafy vegetables, for example have a much slower impact on blood sugar than carbohydrates in fruits or candy. It's easy to consume a lot of carbohydrates, as foods like breads, pasta, cake, cookies and potatoes are loaded with them. Nutrition experts suggest that you should only get 45 to 65 percent of your daily nutrition from carbohydrates.

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    A , Fitness, answered
    The average American consumes more than 47 teaspoons of sugar each day (this shocking number was revealed by researchers at Colorado State University); that’s about 189 grams a day. About 200 years ago, daily consumption of sugar was under 15 grams -- research has shown that before the Industrial Revolution, that’s about how much the average person ate. You didn't see much belly fat back then. You also didn’t see a population severely overwhelmed by obesity; compare that to now, where two-thirds of our population is overweight and sick and facing crippling medical bills due to the consequences of poor health habits.
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    The good sugars are naturally occurring and the not-so-good sugars are added sugars.

    Your taste buds can’t distinguish between naturally occurring sugars, which are found in foods such as fruit and dairy products, and added sugars, which manufacturers add to foods such as soda and candy. From a nutritional standpoint, however, there is a big difference between these sugar sources. Foods that contain naturally occurring sugar tend to be nutrient-rich, and thus, provide more nutrition per bite.

    In contrast, many foods that contain lots of added sugars provide little else. The calories in sugar-laden foods are often called empty calories because they provide so little nutrition.

    For example, a glass of 100% orange juice is rich in vitamin C, potassium, and other wonderful nutrients. In contrast, orange soda doesn't provide any nutrition other than a lot of calories from added sugars.
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    A , Gastroenterology, answered
    What is a possible side effect of consuming sugar alcohols?
    Sugar alcohols like sorbitol, often found in sugar-free candies and cookies, can cause bloating and gas for a variety of reasons. In this video, gastroenterologist Roshini Raj, MD, explains why consuming sugar alcohols can lead to gas and bloating. 
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    Sugar alcohols, sometimes called polyols, are reduced-calorie sweeteners used in certain sugar-free and reduced-calorie foods as well as chewing gum, cough drops, mouthwash and toothpaste. They also add texture and bulk to baked goods, ice cream, fruit spreads and candies.

    Sugar alcohols are carbohydrates that the body does not fully digest so they provide fewer calories. They are not alcoholic. If you see sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol in the ingredient list on a food label -- these are sugar alcohols.
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    A , Integrative Medicine, answered
    Sugar wreaks havoc on the central nervous system and can leave you feeling on edge. Sugar addiction causes anxiety for a number of reasons. Excessive sugar intake, especially when associated with chronic stress, can exhaust your stress-handler adrenal glands. This causes wild swings in your blood sugar levels. As blood sugar levels plummet, the brain reacts by sending out a panicked adrenaline alarm, leading to severe anxiety. Over a period of years, this can become chronic.
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    A , Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered
    It is too much sugar in your blood that is bad. For perspective, “normal” blood sugar levels are those considered to be below 100 mg/dL. Kidney damage starts at an average blood sugar of 212 mg/dL. So we can pretty much agree that below 100 is OK and above 212 is bad. But what about in between?

    Well, that’s where the devil is in the details.

    Blood sugar comes in several flavors, as it were. We can talk about fasting blood sugar, which is the level of sugar in your blood when it has been some time since you last ate. We can talk about postprandial blood sugar, which is several hours after eating. We can talk about peak excursions, which is the maximum blood sugar level following a meal. And we can talk about average blood sugars, which is a mathematical look at where you are overall most of the time.

    Each one of these kinds of blood sugars have different targets. A target is simply a good place to keep your blood sugar in most of the time to keep your body safe over the long run.

    For people with diabetes, the trick is to combine medication, activity, and diet to hit those target numbers as often as humanly possible, while realizing that you can’t do it all of the time.

    Different doctors may choose different targets depending on your age, overall health, and host of other factors, but typical targets for fasting blood sugar are 90-115 mg/dL and for postprandial 150-180. As to excursions, no one likes to see numbers over 275 mg/dL. For averages we want you under 151 mg/dL.

    So readings above any of those targets might be considered “bad;” but I want to point out that there is really no such thing as a “bad” number. A high number is actually very good information. It is nature’s way of telling you that your blood sugar is getting to a point where it could hurt you. In short, “bad” numbers are simply good information that need to be acted on.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Insulin and Blood Sugar
    Your body produces sugar from foods you eat to provide fuel for cells or be stored for future energy needs. Watch the animation to learn more about your body and sugar.


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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    American's sweet tooth may not be so sweet for their waist. Americans, on average, are consuming 22 teaspoons of added sugar daily, the equivalent of 350 calories. That's over 8,000 teaspoons annually! This amount is double the amount recommended daily by the American Heart Association.

    With over 65 percent of Americans tipping the bathroom scale in the direction of being classified as overweight or even obese, few of us have an extra 350 calories kicking around in our daily diets to be devoted to less nutrition-rich foods with tons of added sugar.

    Where is all of this sugar coming from?

    The three top sources of added sugar in the diet of Americans are:
    • Soft drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks;
    • Grain-based desserts, such as cakes and cookies; and
    • Fruit drinks.
    Follow Joan on Twitter at:  joansalgeblake
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    Sugar is a carbohydrate that provides calories (4 calories per gram) and is converted to glucose. There are a variety of sugars, such as white, brown, confectioner’s, and raw. Glucose is one type of sugar. Fructose, lactose, sucrose, maltose, and dextrose are also sugars.

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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Glucose tolerance is the body’s ability to reverse a dramatic rise in blood glucose and restore glucose to normal levels. For instance, soon after a person ingests a large amount of sugar, the blood-glucose level may rise above 200 mg/dL. With good glucose tolerance, that level will drop below 140 mg/dL within two hours and stabilize at 80 to 115 mg/dL soon afterward.