|Experts now agree that both types of carbohydrates, simple and complex, have similar effects on blood sugar levels. |
Traditionally, experts attributed the length of a carbohydrate with its complexity...the longer it is, the more complex it is, and the less effect it has on blood sugar levels.
Emerging Research Reveals a Different Story
Advancements in screening tests for diabetes, fasting insulin and insulin tolerance testing, demonstrate that some long-chained carbohydrates can significantly effect blood sugar levels.
So what else determines the complexity of carbohydrates and, ultimately, their effect on blood sugar?
This is really important to figure out. Improving sugar metabolism (and preventing sugar spikes after meals) defines one of the diabetic diet guidelines that helps to optimize control.Shape Determines Complexity
It turns out that the overall shape, not just length, determines carbohydrate complexity. The more "bulky" the carb, the more complex it is.
What makes it bulky?
A carbohydrate with several small fibrous side-chains attached to its main structure makes it bulky, or complex. The fibrous side-chains make it very difficult to digest the carbohydrate.
It takes your body a long time to degrade a bulky carbohydrate into glucose...the main fuel source for humans.
The longer it takes to digest it, the less effect it has on blood sugar levels. Diabetic-friendly carbohydrates are long, bulky and full of fiber!