If you are consuming too much sugar, a condition called metabolic syndrome may occur. It includes few symptoms, like high blood sugar, increased waist circumference, and high blood pressure.
Allow us to explain this to you in some detail; it will take less than 3 minutes. Carbohydrate is a category of molecules that your body breaks down to make sugars. Carbohydrates can be simple or complex depending on their structure.
Glucose, fructose, and galactose are all simple sugars. Link two of them together, and you’ve got a disaccharide, lactose, maltose, or sucrose. This is secondary school biology, and we will try not to complicate it!
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, have three or more simple sugars strung together. Complex carbohydrates with three to ten linked sugars are oligosaccharides. Those with more than ten are polysaccharides.
During digestion, your body breaks down those complex carbohydrates into their monosaccharide building blocks, which your cells can use for energy. So when you eat any carbohydrate-rich food, the sugar level in your blood, normally about a teaspoon, goes up. But your digestive tract doesn’t respond to all carbohydrates the same.
Consider starch and fiber, both polysaccharides, both derived from plants, both composed of hundreds to thousands of monosaccharides joined together, but they’re joined together differently, and that changes the effect they have on your body.
In starches, which plants mostly store for energy in roots and seeds, glucose molecules are joined together by alpha linkages, most of which can be easily stuck together by enzymes in your digestive tract.
But in fiber, the bonds between monosaccharide molecules are beta bonds, which your body can’t break down. Fiber can also trap some starches, preventing them from being cleaved, resulting in something called resistant starch. This resistance is good for your body because it means the body is taking time to break it from carbohydrates into glucose.
So foods high in starch, like crackers and white bread, are digested easily, quickly releasing a whole bunch of glucose into your blood, exactly what would happen if you drank something high in glucose, like soda. These foods have a high glycemic index, this index is the amount or level by which a particular food raises the sugar level in your blood.
Soda and white bread (especially the over processed one) have a similar glycemic index because they have a similar effect on your blood sugar. But when you eat foods high in fiber, like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, those indigestible beta bonds slow the release of glucose into the blood. People with diabetes should be very wary of these types of foods with high glycemic index because they shoot up the level of glucose in the blood.
Those foods have a lower glycemic index, and foods like eggs, cheese, and meats have the lowest glycemic index as well as most fruits and non-starchy vegetables such as cabbage, Sukuma wiki, spinach, eggplant, cucumber etc.
When sugar moves from the digestive tract to the bloodstream, your body kicks into action to transfer it into your tissues where it can be processed and used for energy. Insulin, a hormone synthesized in the pancreas, is one of the body’s main tools for sugar management. When you eat and your blood sugar rises, insulin is secreted into the blood. It prompts your muscle and fat cells to let glucose in and jump-start the conversion of sugar to energy.
The degree to which a unit of insulin lowers the blood sugar helps us understand something called insulin sensitivity. The more a given unit of insulin lowers blood sugar, the more sensitive you are to insulin. If insulin sensitivity goes down, that’s known as insulin resistance. The pancreas still sends out insulin, but cells, especially muscle cells, are less and less responsive to it, so blood sugar fails to decrease, and blood insulin continues to rise.