Relevance of carbohydrates in diabetes management

Diabetes is a disease that affects the ability of the body cells to derive the required energy from the glucose present in the bloodstream. If you happen to be a diabetic patient, the first thing that your doctor or persons known to you will do is advise you to keep close control on what you eat. The second thing they would say is to reduce the sugar content and try replacing the carbohydrates you normally take.

In this modern age where innumerable innovations in the medical technology have made it possible to live with diabetes happily and not worry about it, one need not panic or feel depressed when affected by that disease. A better understanding of the type of food we eat, the quality of the food and the quantity of food we take, the proportion of components of the food and such other things, is all that is required to either fight this disease with strength or avoid contracting the disease in the first instance.

The food that we normally consume on a daily basis include carbohydrates, proteins, fat and minerals. A correct mix and combination of these vital ingredients is essential for a healthy life that helps a person generate adequate amount of required insulin for supply of glucose and energy to the cells. It is the inability of the production of insulin or insufficiency of insulin for transfer of glucose or sugar to the cells that results in diabetes.

Carbohydrates is the primary source of energy and more than 50% of our intake of foods is primarily carbohydrates. It is this carbohydrate in the food that breaks down as sugars in the body and finally as the glucose that is required for the cells for energy. The level of sugar content in our blood and the amount of glucose it produces is dependent upon the content of carbohydrates in your daily intake of food. High level of sugar content in the blood and its inability to transfer the glucose or sugar to the cells is what diabetes is all about. As such, reducing the intake of carbohydrates will result in lower accretion of glucose or sugars to the body and as such the level of sugar content in the blood can either be kept at a steady level or reduced and through this means, the diabetes can be effectively managed.

It is for this reason that doctors advise to reduce the intake of carbohydrates as effective means to manage diabetes. Carbohydrates, the primary source of energy, is divided into two groups based on the their classifications. One is called as simple carbohydrate and the other is complex carbohydrate. Simple carbohydrate is nothing but sugars such as table sugar, fruit sugar and milk sugar. In medical parlance, sugars include sucrose, fructose and lactose. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are made up of more complex sugars, fiber and an assortment of nutrients.

Following significant research in each type of carbohydrate, ranking has been made for each carbohydrate and is assigned an index called as glycaemic index or GI, which indicates the level of impact of blood sugar levels in the body. Not only is the content of sugar in each carbohydrate but the time taken to break down the food and converted into sugar in the blood also is considered while calculating the index. Some fibers included in complex carbohydrates might take longer time to break-down in to sugar in the body while some simple carbohydrates will increase the level of sugar in the blood at a relatively quicker time.

Thus, as part of diabetic management, one need not avoid taking sugar or carbohydrates all together. Instead, one needs to have a close watch on the GI for each type of food in general and carbohydrate in particular and the consequences of the same in his blood sugar levels.

As such, carbohydrates is not bad in any way and the only thing that, as a diabetic patient, needs to do is not panic or feel depressed, but have a close watch on the GI, control the blood sugar levels and do more physical exercises that result in adequate processing of insulin hormone in the pancreas.