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Carbohydrates and glucose

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:47 pm
'Carbohydrates' (car-buh-HIGH-druts) is the name for the starches and sugars in your diet. Glucose (GLUE-kohs) is the basic building block of starch and is the sugar in the blood that the body uses for energy. 'Complex' carbohydrates are starches in their natural, unrefined form. They are found in foods such as potatoes, pasta, rice, beans, whole wheat bread, apples, and so forth. The sugar in complex carbohydrates is absorbed slowly into your bloodstream, so your blood sugar and energy levels remain constant. 'Simple' carbohydrates are such things as refined sugar, honey, molasses, and alcohol. They have no fiber or bulk. They're absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and are quickly converted to sugar. This causes your blood sugar to rise and fall quickly and a surge on your pancreas (PAN-cree-us) to pump outmore insulin. People with either high blood sugar--such as diabetics (dye-uh-BEH-tics)--or with low blood sugar--called hypoglycemics (high-poe-gligh-SEE-mics)--are especially urged to eat a diet high in complex carbohydrates.
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