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diabetic diet question...please help!!


Hello everyone!!!

I've just been introduced to this forum through a guy in my nursing classes!! I had no idea that such an informative site even existed!! I spent the whole day reading posts, but my eyes are so red now I think I'll just ask my question.

In regards to a diabetic's diet, what is the difference between how the body utilizes complex carbs as opposed to simple sugars?

Thanks in advance...I love this site!!


Sorry, I don't know the answer to your question. But I am glad you found us. That is the great thing about this site-someone will know and give you the information pretty quick. Welcome to ALLNURSES. :) :)

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

If you want a technical answer from an A&P standpoint, I can't help you. You have to reasearch that yourself. LOL

But from a "simple" point, the simple sugars (aka "refined carbohydrates, or simple carbohydrates like refined flours like white bread, pure sugar, some juices etc.) are converted to glucose much more rapidly and cause a greater rise in the body's blood glucose level. High levels of blood glucose are correlated with ill health. Although there is a subsequent rapid drop after the high, which causes hyoglycemic like symptoms such as hunger, prompting us to eat again.

In contrast complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, etc., things with fiber, are digested slower, cause a slower rise in blood glucose, and keep the blood glucose levels at a more acceptable range.

To to answer your question, it's not how the body utilizes them that is different, since all carbs are broken down into glucose. It's the rate of breakdown and the effect on blood glucose levels that are different. Make sense?

Good luck in school! :)

Good answer- nicely simplified.

i am diabetic (not on meds) and many people think I can't eat any carbs BUT I can. And actually, the Atkins is not recommended for diabetics because of the strain it can put on the kidneys as well as other issues.

I eat whole grain and high fiber foods and I try to balance with protein. (turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with baby spinach and avacado-yum!) I cannot eat empty calories like juice, cake, cookies, white bread, milk all of theses really shoot my Blood Sugar high! I have type II and my body doesn't respond and utilize insulin properly so if my BS rises too high it stays there for a long time. On the diabetic diet my BS never rises too high or too fast.

The "diabetic diet" is really just a well balanced, high fiber, low sugar, low refined simple carbs--pretty healthy for anyone. My family eats what I eat--

Good Luck!

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