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July 1, 1999

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, USA:

I just want to know about how much does one carbohydrate unit affect blood sugar, and how long does it take to get it to its highest.

Answer:

Although this seems like a simple question it is very complicated. This depends on the type of carbohydrate unit you are talking about, if it is pure carbohydrate, or if it contains fat or protein as well, and whether it is in liquid form or has a lot of fiber. In general terms, 15 grams of carbohydrate will probably raise the blood sugar about 20-25�mg/dl. This is also dependent somewhat on your weight. Carbohydrate generally enters into the blood stream within 15-30 minutes and peaks between 1-2 hours. All of this information is very dependent on the individuals. There is a book called Stop the Rollercoaster by John Walsh, Ruth Roberts and Lois Jovonovic-Peterson, M.D. that might help you with this subject.

JM