Journal Article

Carbohydrate and the Regulation of Blood Glucose and Metabolism

Thomas M.S. Wolever

in Nutrition Reviews

Volume 61, issue suppl_5, pages S40-S48
Published in print May 2003 | ISSN: 0029-6643
Published online September 2014 | e-ISSN: 1753-4887 | DOI:
Carbohydrate and the Regulation of Blood Glucose and Metabolism

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Classifying the glycemic responses of carbohydrate foods using the glycemic index (GI) requires standardized methodology for valid results. Dietary carbohydrates influence metabolism by at least four mechanisms: nature of the monosaccharides absorbed, amount of carbohydrate consumed, rate of absorption, and colonic fermentation. Reducing glycemic responses by reducing carbohydrate intake increases postprandial serum free-fatty acids (FFA) and does not improve overall glycemic control in diabetic subjects. By contrast, low-GI diets reduce serum FFA and improve glycemic control. Thus, current evidence supports FAO/WHO recommendations to maintain a high-carbohydrate diet and choose low-GI starchy foods.

Keywords: carbohydrate; glucose; glycemic index; metabolism; methodology

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