Carbohydrates are the fuel of the body: they are our main source of energy. On the other hand, unlike proteins and lipids, they are not essential nutrients, since our body knows how to make them from other nutrients.
They are also known as sugars, which you have probably already heard of as "quick sugars" and "slow sugars".
What it means?
When sugar enters the bloodstream, it causes a rise in blood sugar, or peak blood sugar. The amplitude of this peak can be greater or lesser, it is measured by an index, which is called glycemic index.
- The greater the amplitude of the generated peak, the higher the glycemic index. The rise of sugar in the blood has been rapid and brutal, the carbohydrate in question is digested rapidly to restore the blood sugar of origin: this is called fast sugar.
- The lower the amplitude of the generated peak, the lower the glycemic index. Since the rise in sugar in the blood has been slow and progressive, the carbohydrate is slowly digested: this is called slow sugar.
Prefer low or moderate GI carbohydrates
We have just seen that when we swallow a carbohydrate, this carbohydrate enters the blood, causing a greater or lesser glucose peak, and measured by the glycemic index (GI). Now, our body will react to such a rise in blood sugar, by secreting a hormone: insulin. Insulin has the role of making sugar penetrate our cells, in order to reduce the level of sugar in our blood
- Fruits and vegetables
- Quinoa, buckwheat, chestnuts, sweet potatoes...
- Legumes (lentils, peas, beans, etc.)
What are low or moderate GI carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are not essential macronutrients.
Avoid or limit carbohydrates that have a high GI.
Prefer low or moderate GI carbohydrates.