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Understanding carbohydrates

More and more people are getting a better understanding of carbohydrates.

Understanding carbs is an important first step if you want to improve your blood glucose, lose weight and reduce medication.

Carbohydrates are one of the body’s main sources of energy and consist of two main types. These are:

  • Sugars, which are found in sweets, cakes, pastries, fruit juices and energy drinks; and
  • Starches, which are long chains of sugar joined together. These are found in foods such as cereals, rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, yam, plantain, dumplings, noodles and African foods such as fufu.

When starch is digested it’s broken down into sugar and enters your bloodstream, increasing your blood glucose level. Limiting the amount of sugars entering your body whether as sugar or starch can have a positive impact on your health, as it can help you to limit the amount of sugar that your body stores as fat. This in turn can help keep your weight under control and reduce your risk of diabetes complications.