About glucose

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:46 pm
When you eat, your body breaks down all carbohydrates, and some portion of proteins, into a sugar substance called glucose (GLUE-coas). Then, with help from the hormone, insulin, glucose enters the cells, where it becomes your body's major source of fuel. If you don't have enough insulin, or your cells don't respond properly, excess glucose collects in your blood. Consistently high glucose, or blood sugar, levels are a sign of diabetes (die-uh-BEE-tees). Different carbohydrates have a different effect on your glucose level. For example, pasta or white bread causes blood sugar levels to surge quickly, while coarse breads or brown rice have much less impact. The amount of blood sugar increase caused by a food within two or three hours of consumption is known as its 'glycemic (gly-SEEM-ick) index.' But individual foods aren't the only factor that determines blood sugar levels. Variables like the method of cooking, the amount of processing, how fast you eat, and what else is eaten during the meal can also have an influence. Soluble fiber in particular has been shown to moderate (MOD-er-ate) increases in blood sugar, when consumed with other foods. Finally, eating several smaller meals throughout the day can help stabilize your glucose levels. For more information on glucose, speak to a physician.

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