Because the world of sugars is very complex, it is important to be informed about it in order to make the right choices for our snacks!
On the program for this blog, an overview on slow, fast, simple, complex sugars, the glycemic index, the glycemic peak or even the insulin peak... and yes all that!
But first of all, what are sugars?
Without going into crazy chemist details, sugars are part of the carbohydrate chemical family. Carbohydrates are molecules composed of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O), with the formula: CnH2On, which is why they are also called: carbohydrates.
And, among these carbohydrates, we find sugars but also oligosaccharides, polysaccharides and polyols. This classification is done according to the size of the molecule, we therefore speak of complex or simple sugars.
Among the (simple) sugars we find:
- monosaccharides such as glucose, fructose and galactose
- disaccharides such as sucrose and lactose.
So, in a table of nutritional values when you read "carbohydrates" these are all types of carbohydrates combined and "including sugars" these are only the mono- and disaccharides.
And to finish without getting too lost. When we talk about sugar and not sugarS, this refers to sucrose which represents 75% of added sugars in food products. This added sucrose is obviously absent from Nüttree vegan snack .
To learn more about sugars
If at this point you are still following me, then let's continue :)
Sugars, regardless of their structure, will be broken down during ingestion and converted into glucose, a source of energy.
For an athlete or an active person, this glucose must be quickly available to be used immediately in order to compensate for the energy expenditure.
For a less active person, this glucose will need to be delivered slowly to ensure long-term functioning of the body. And ! The quantity of this glucose delivered into the blood should not be too large in relation to expenditure since otherwise it will be stored in the form of fat.
Thus, an athlete will need foods with a rather high glycemic index. Conversely, a sedentary person will need foods with a low glycemic index.
A food composed of fast sugars will be associated with a high glycemic index, it will cause an instant release of glucose into the blood and will induce a peak in blood sugar. This glycemic peak creates hyperglycemia to which the body will respond by creating an insulin peak to quickly lower blood sugar, this creates hypoglycemia which is not good, this type of food is also strongly associated to type 2 diabetes.
To better understand in pictures:
To have a lasting satiety effect, it is better to favor foods composed of slow sugars which will not create peaks because the release of glucose will be gradual!
To have an instant effect of carbohydrates during a sports session for example, it is better to opt for foods with a high glycemic index!
Recognize the types of sugars
We are talking about foods with a glycemic index:
- Low if the GI is less than 55
- Moderate if the GI is between 55 and 70
- High if the GI is above 70
It is therefore important to distinguish between fast sugars and slow sugars. However, we must also take into account the matrix that contains these sugars. Indeed, if we compare two foods with a high glycemic index (for example dates and brown sugar) it is preferable to consume the food which is as natural as possible because the sugars will be in an envelope which will slow down their assimilation and therefore the glycemic peak.
What about the sugars in Nüttree Energy-Balls ?
For us, it is essential to offer snacks that are as natural as possible! Because we know that our body is made to metabolize REAL nutrients, we do not add any refined sugar, we rely only on the sugars naturally present in the dried fruits in our recipes to provide this particular taste.
Concerning the glycemic index of the ingredients we use, only a few have an average or even high glycemic index, namely: oatmeal, fig and date. But the sugars being trapped in their natural matrix will be delivered more slowly into the blood. ALL our other ingredients have a low glycemic index this and this concerns 16 ingredients!
To note :)
Everything is not always all rosy, in the case of complex foods such as Energy-Balls, there is a notion of interaction between lipids and proteins with carbohydrates which modifies the overall glycemic index. It is therefore more difficult to know precisely the impact of the sugars contained in these foods on our blood sugar and our body.
This is why at Nüttree we work to understand our products to best inform you about their benefits for your health.