Categories: Health & Fitness

role, what is it, in which foods?

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Glucose is a simple sugar, or monosaccharide, which is the main source of energy for our cells. What is the normal blood glucose level? What to do when it is too low or too high? Answers and advice.

THE glucose constitutes the body’s main source of energy. It belongs to the family of carbohydrates found in food, usually linked to more complex carbohydrates. These will then be digested (cut) by enzymes (already in the mouth), which will allow the assimilation of glucose, once arrived at the small intestine. THE glucose can then be burned, turned into fat or glycogen which is stored in the muscles and in the liver (reserve available for the entire organization).

Glucose is the body’s main fuel and more particularly of brain since it is the only nutrient he is able to consume (apart from ketone bodies which are produced from fat stores in the event of a fast). “Carbohydrates are long chains of glucose, fructose, or other monosaccharides like lactose, that bind togethersays Véronique Liesse, dietitian-nutritionist. We ideally consume carbohydrates through food and not glucose as such. For example, thestarch in starches (pasta, rice, potatoes, etc.) is a long chain of glucose. Milk contains lactose, a disaccharide which is made up of glucose and galactose. Glucose is released during digestion. so that it can then be absorbed.”

Food high in glucose are often those who are rich in carbohydratesand especially in starch or in sugar. ICarbohydrates are transformed into glucose during digestion to provide energy to the cells. Sugar can be naturally present in foods or added. From naturally high carbohydrate foodswe find :

  • THE fruits,
  • THE vegetables,
  • THE starches such as bread, rice, pasta
  • and the legumes.

As to added sugars, they are present in many industrial products such as sweetsTHE cookiesTHE soda and others prepared dishes. According to the dietitian, the most important thing is the concept of glycemic index. “The whole difficulty is to have foods that release glucose slowly to prevent hyperglycemia that cause drowsiness after meals. For example, the lentils contain a lot of carbohydrates but they are rich in fiber, which means that it is a food with a low glycemic index and that glucose is released slowly in the body. At equal amounts of carbohydratesthe glucose from the sweets will be released into the blood so quickly that we will produce a lot of insulin and we will feel very tired“, adds the dietitian-nutritionist. Conclusion: it is not so much the problem of quantity but of quality.

The level of glucose in the blood is called the blood sugar. It will vary depending on whether you are on an empty stomach or if you have just eaten, but also depending on the quantities and food ingested. Normally, in the morning on an empty stomach, the ideal would be between 70 and 90mg/dl (max 100). “Of course, this rate can quickly increase up to 140mg/dl depending on what you have eaten, Which is completely normal. THE problem of diabetics is that blood sugar does not come down enough because the insulin does not work and it does not allow enough glucose to enter the cells. This is why their blood sugar remains high, even in the morning when they are fasting, which is not conducive to health”comments the dietitian-nutritionist.

When the level of glucose in the blood is too low, we speak ofhypoglycemia. There are two kinds of hypoglycemia:

→ Hypoglycemia which comes from the fact that thewe did not eat or in insufficient quantities or when we did too much sport. The only way to fix it is to eat.

→ Lreactive hypoglycemia which occurs when you have eaten a large quantity of carbohydrates (lots of pasta for example) or poor quality foods (crisps, sweets, sodas, etc.). “The blood sugar rises so quickly and strongly that we will produce a very large quantity of insulin which will be disproportionate to the quantity of glucose to be managed”, says the specialist. Consequently, the fall will be brutal and we will feel the famous “bar stroke”.

Hyperglycemia means a abnormally high blood glucose levels. The problem is that high blood sugar doesn’t cause symptoms except when it’s advanced and chronic. This is why diabetes is called a silent disease. “In the long term, chronic hyperglycemia is inflammatory and affects the nerves in particular (which is why it can end up in amputations), warns Véronique Liesse. Chronic hyperglycaemia (diabetes) can also promote kidney failure or even blindness. Diabetics do not feel that they are hyperglycemic, that’s why we ask them to check their blood sugar and to inject themselves regularly.”

thanks to Veronique Liessedietitian-nutritionist, author of the “special immunity” diet, published by Leduc.s.

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