Let us start with sugar. The word for sugar is saccharide. “Mono” means one. The monosaccharides are glucose, fructose, and galactose. Glucose will bind with other sugars to form a disaccharide. Glucose binds with fructose to form sucrose or table sugar. Fructose is the sugar found in fruit. Glucose binds with galactose to form lactose which is milk sugar. Glucose can bind other glucose to form maltose. Maltose gets together and before you know it we have dextrin. This progresses to polysaccharides and complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide energy for all body processes. All sources of carbohydrates yield four calories per gram. All types of carbohydrates may be used for fuel.

Glycemic index is the measure of how fast a food item raises blood glucose expressed in milligrams per deciliter. This is merely a tool. A baked white potato has a higher glycemic index than a serving of French fries because the fat, grease, and salt makes absorption slower and that is all. The food choice here is obvious. The French fries have fat, sodium, and a high insulin response. Fructose provides energy although very low on the glycemic index scale. Fruit is awesome, but the sugar must be compensated for eventually. Milk sugar also provides energy though it takes a little longer to liberate than dealing with a small chain of glucose units. These carbohydrates must be considered when counting carbohydrates for clients. Adequate carbohydrate consumption is very important. Carbohydrates provide energy for all the functions of the body and are necessary for normal metabolism.

There are many good sources of carbohydrates. Fruits are excellent, low on the glycemic index scale, and containing fiber. Vegetables can make the same claim. Oat and oat bran is a good choice. Grains, cereals, and pasta can be good sources of carbohydrates and fiber. The goals are to find carbohydrates that are lower on the glycemic index scale, have low insulin response, adequate energy, and high fiber to maximize absorption. Should someone eat refined sugar? The answer is obvious, but Froot Loops have a glycemic index of about 65 and we shoot for 55 or less. So, if a one eats a half to three quarters a cup once or twice a week, will it wreck the diet? Not if it is being followed reasonably well otherwise. Carbohydrates get a bad rap and there are many very good sources which serve a vital function. Please visit tpnbodyperfect.com for more information and a two-week free trial.