Apple: 11g sugar, 2g fibre, No fat, Other vitamins and nutrients
3 ginger nut biscuits: 11g sugar, Very little fibre, 4g fat, Little or no vitamins and nutrients
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate that is found in many foods. If you find yourself reaching for a snack, it’s best to think about its overall nutritional value. Which is better for you? An apple with 11g of sugar or 3 ginger nut biscuits with 11g of sugar? Just remember: a healthier you for healthier bones – and your decision is easy.
Because of their effect on your blood sugar, it's good to remember the following about carbohydrates:
Low Gi (Glycaemic Index)
Low Gi foods take longer to digest, so your blood sugar levels remain more even between meals. There’s more information on Gi foods in the “In more detail” section below.
High Gi (Glycaemic Index)
High Gi foods are quickly digested, leading to a rapid rise and then fall in blood sugar levels. This provides a quick release of energy immediately after eating. Try to cut back on high Gi foods.
Glucose has a number of important functions in the body: it provides fuel for muscles when exercising, it supports proper brain and nervous system function and it increases serotonin, the mood enhancing hormone.
As we saw above, sugar is a carbohydrate that can be found in a wide range of foods such as sweets, biscuits, cakes and fruit. Try to eat foods that contain essential nutrients and only little natural sugar.
In more detail
The Glycaemic Index (Gi) measures the effects of different carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. As low Gi foods help to regulate your blood sugar levels, it is recommended to increase the amount of low Gi foods in your diet and reduce the amount of high Gi foods. Low Gi foods include: porridge, unsweetened oat based muesli, wholegrain bread, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, pulses and legumes, fresh fruit, nuts and seeds.
High Gi foods include: refined breakfast cereals, foods with added sugar, sports drinks, fizzy drinks fast food, processed foods, cooked fruit and some root vegetables, like parsnips.