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Question: What is a carbohydrate and how does it affect my blood sugar?
Dr. Phil Yphantides, a Sharp Rees-Stealy-affiliated physician, responds:
Carbohydrates are the family of sugar molecules. There are simple sugars like table sugar, honey and natural sugars found in fruits. There are also complex-linked sugar molecules, called complex carbohydrates, which are the main component of food sources from vegetables, fruits and grains. Foods like bread, pasta, rice, tortillas, common baked goods and all vegetables are considered carbohydrates. All carbohydrates will be broken down into simple sugars.
It is better to eat whole-grain carbohydrates with plenty of dietary fiber versus processed carbohydrates such as white flour and starch foods because the latter will cause a higher increase in blood sugar and contribute more to obesity and increased risk for diabetes.
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For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's diabetes services or to find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego endocrinologist or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about diabetes, visit Diabetes Care in Adult Health or read the Diabetes News archive.