Carbohydrates are any food that contains starch, sugar, grains or fiber. That means anything made with flour or wheat, corn, rice or beans. Our bodies metabolize or break down these foods to make sugar for quick energy.

  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Quinoa
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Cereal
  • Beans 
  • Rice
  • Corn 
  • Potatoes 
  • Tortillas
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Fruit

Many people are surprised to learn that potatoes and corn are actually carbohydrates and not vegetables.

What are complex carbs?

Complex carbs are foods that have more fiber in them and are not converted to sugar as quickly. Beans, quinoa and higher fiber grains, and some vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, and butternut squash also contain some carbohydrate, which means that our bodies use energy to break down the food into blood sugar.

What are simple carbs?

  • Cookies
  • Cake
  • Candy
  • Sodas
  • Fruit juice
  • Desserts
  • Jam
  • Sugar 
  • Dried Fruit

How do our bodies use the blood sugar from carbs?

As our bodies digest and metabolize carbohydrates, sugars are released into the bloodstream and this blood sugar races to the cells in the brain, muscles, and every other tissue to provide energy so that we can think, walk, run and function.  However, in order to do that, the cell requires insulin as the key that unlocks the cell membrane to allow the blood sugar in. 

Our bodies produce insulin in response to eating foods with carbohydrates.


How Insulin Works

People with diabetes have lower levels of insulin, so they end up having much higher blood sugar levels. They don’t have enough insulin to move the sugars into the cells. Lots of people who don’t have diabetes but are overweight or have a family history or other predisposing factors may have insulin resistance.

What is an insulin resistance

That means that their insulin doesn’t work quite so well. Maybe it’s a bit burned out from too much sugar over a lifetime or there are an extra 30 or more pounds to supply with glucose.  And sometimes, as in menopause, with time and age, slight insulin resistance occurs.

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