What’s a Low Carb?

February 22, 2021

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Anchor lead: How can the impact of carbohydrates be tested best? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Carbohydrate consumption may be an important tool in helping control diabetes, a new meta-analysis suggests, and most helpful is knowing which carbs to avoid. Rita Kalyani, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, says there is data on that.

Kalyani: The best study model of that is the glycemic index. Where you really look at how carbohydrates lead to elevation of blood sugar, both how fast and how high. It is definitely true that not all carbohydrates are the same. There’s the very simple carbohydrates that are concentrated sugars that spike the sugar right away and then the complex carbohydrates whole grains that might take a little bit longer. The issue is a bit more complicated when you talk about the effects on appetite. We still need to better understand how the quality of the carbohydrate impacts metabolic disease.  :33

Kalyani says that while research is ongoing, educating yourself about which carbs raise blood sugar fastest may be helpful. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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