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Obesity and Weight Management

Slow and fast burning carbs

01/05/2008

Question:

What are some examples of fast burning carbs and some examples of slow burning carbs

Answer:

Different carbohydrates affect blood sugar more quickly or more slowly than others, but all of them are affected by the other foods that are eaten with them and the amount of the food in question. The quickness of affecting blood sugar levels is measured by the glycemic index(GI).  Glycemic Load (GL) is a value assigned a food based on the amount eaten. Foods with a higher glycemic index get into the blood stream more quickly, so are available as a carbohydrate/energy source faster than foods with a lower glycemic index. By the time it is in your blood as a carbohydrate to be used as a calorie source it is all glucose, so it is all burned at the same speed from that point.
 
I'm guessing that by "fast burning carbs" you are wanting carb sources that get into the blood stream quickly and are available quickly to use as an energy source (high GI and high GL), and that the "slow burning carbs" are carbs that come from foods that get into the blood stream slowly and at a more measured pace (low GI and low GL).  These types of carbs don't cause a spike in blood sugar level, which causes the quick release of insulin to combat the high blood sugar.  Eating only carbs with a high glycemic index  tends to cause your blood sugar to spike, then dip dramatically with insulin release, making you very hungry. Eating carbs with a lower glycemic index keeps blood sugar levels more even (not real high or real low) so that  you don't release huge amounts of insulin at once, and you don't get hungry as fast.
 
The  "Revised International Table of Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL)"  was published in the July 2002 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The author of that list has listed the following foods in the high GL, high GI category:
Baked russet potatoes, cornflakes

Foods listed in the low GL, low GI category are:
All-bran cereal, apples, carrots, chickpeas, grapes, green peas, kidney beans, oranges, peaches, pears, pinto beans, red lentils, strawberries, sweet corn

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Response by:

Sharron   Coplin, MS, RD, LD Sharron Coplin, MS, RD, LD
Former Lecturer
Food & Nutrition
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University