Back to food basics : #1 - Glucids

in food •  last year

A good diet is balanced around three types of food items : the proteins, the lipids (fat), and the glucids (or carbohydrates). Today we shall go over the latter and shed some light on what is an actual carb.

Following the tremendous response I received from my fellow Steemians on my vision of what a great breakfast should be, I decided to share more on the subject of basic nutrition.

Because, yes? What is a carb anyway?


Carbs = Fuel

Glucids are the fuel to our engine. They provide energy to our muscles and our brain. There are two types of carbs : the simple carbs and the complex carbs. The difference between simple and complex depends on the infamous GI, also known as Glycemic Index. And believe it or not, vegetables are carbs too!


What’s GI and what’s it for ?

The Glycemic Index measures the actual capacity for a particular food item to raise your blood sugar level (aka. Glycaemia). The quicker the blood sugar level rises after eating that food,the higher the GI gets.

When you blood sugar level goes above its average, that’s what we call a sugar rush. Our body will produce Insulin to lower down our glycaemia, and will stock all that sugar as glycogen, to be used later.

The thing is, when there’s no more storage space of glycogen, our body will transform all of that leftover sugar into fat, so it can stock it. That’s why eating lots of high GI food will eventually make you put on weight.


And to not help us in the process, when the insulin does its job trying to salvage the disaster you did put in your system by lowering your blood sugar level, it will then create cravings. Less sugar in your system, so your brain is going “OMG! I need more energy!” Here is the reason why the tub of Pringles usually doesn’t last long.

The simpler the glucids, or carbs, the quicker it gets to the bloodstream, and so can trigger the Insulin production. On the contrary, complex carbs do find it complex to get to the bloodstream fast, so no sugar rush, no insulin, and no cravings. :)

That’s why it’s important to go towards more complex carbs than simple ones, especially if you wanna shed a little weight. You’ll stay fuller for longer. Summer being around the corner, might wanna start taking care of that little belly of yours ;)


To make it simpler for a lot of us, here is a non exhaustive lists of food items classified by GI:

High GI: Potatoes, white bread, over cooked pasta, rice cakes, sweets, dattes

Medium GI: Wholemeal pasta, some fruits (melon, cherries, pineapples, raisins…), white rice, wholemeal bread, milk chocolate

Low GI: Lentils, peas, chickpeas, nuts, peanuts, some fruits such as apples, pears, bananas, oranges, kiwis, grapes, some cereals like bulgur, brown rice, natural muesli, dark chocolate, and all food with low sugar (meat, vegies, fish, eggs, cheeses)


Don’t underestimate the way you eat as well.

If knowing what you put in your mouth is a great thing, check out the way you cook it as well. Highly cooked food has higher GI. So better eat your carrots raw (low GI) than cooked (Medium to High GI).

Also, the more transformed your food is, the higher the GI gets. Let's take brown rice versus rice cake, rather shocking comparison in terms of GI levels. The same goes with your juices and soups. Transformation from solid and raw to cooked and liquid, (think soup) raises the GI quite drastically.


If there is one think to remember from this article, it is to eat whole. The more you eat food which looks like the actual food item (fruits and vegies and meat and fish and grains…) the better you will feel.

First, you need to eat the right things for your body, and it can take a while to figure them out. I have been at it for several years, and some days are better than others, but I do feel better overall.

I’m all about sharing what I know for a better version of you, so if you feel like it COMMENT, FOLLOW, UPVOTES and RESTEEM this article, so the good stuff get used by more and more steemians !!!

Until next time…

The French Londoner

For more of the French Londoner's Back to Food Basics posts :

Back to food basics : Never underestimate what a good breakfast can do for you
The French Londoner’s 3 Pillars of Health

(DISCLAIMER : Please bear in mind that I am no health practitioner and that all changes to your routine should be done under the supervision of a health or medical specialist.)
(Sources for pics :

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Well done, great post
Healthy food is a lifestyle.
thank you for the advices

Wow this is a very educational post. Now I understand why certain carbs are good and bad. Complex are complex because they take longer to break down and require less of an insulin fix. We all know sugar is bad but this reinforces it. Also, carbs can be good because they promote better energy! I know this from experience. Keep up the good work!


Thank you so much @jfitmisc. Your comment means a lot. High GI carbs are not bad per say. Having too much of it is bad! ;) Keep up the good work with your food.

I've realized in life, simplicity is best! Just eat real food. Don't anything your great great great grandmother wouldn't eat!

Great Post, thanks for sharing.

follow me @thunderland

Nice Diet! I always love to eat vegetables specially if it's in a salad. Now I know that I need to eat more of those.


Vegies in salad are the best! Especially if you have them raw! Thanks for your comment @gvincentjosephm.

I approach the world the same way! Every once and a while I get an extreme power craving to make one large pancake. It happened today in fact, and it was intense. I started sweating and pacing around my house as I was trying to resist making this pancake, because I know it's bad for me.

I negotiated with myself, I made a baby kale salad with roasted beets and feta. If I eat two more of these salads I'm allowed to make a pancake.

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Excellent post, grazie!

I liked your post. This is truly a diet of healthy lifestyle. It contains all that we need to keep our body fit. And once the body ia fit, we become fit mentally as well


I'm glad you liked it @genelia. There are more posts like this coming ;)

Great article about carbohydrates; they sure are important but often overindulged in many ways of eating. Your information about the GI is very helpful for putting items into groups to keep your ratios in balance. I found that understanding the relationship that fiber in whole foods has on the GI index when considering carbs to be very helpful. You touched upon it when you discussed the processing impact on the GI but I wanted to share my personal "aha" moment :) thanks!

This is a very useful and interesting post. I never thought about diets, but after reading I came up with this idea, not to lose weight, and to do for my health. Thank you for motivation


Whoa! That's such a great decision you made today my dear @naditinkoff. I am so happy I helped you find some motivation. Get things done for yourself first!

A good diet its very effective bcz its safe for many other deases


That's right @manhamalasay. It's all about balance in the end.

Great post...I gotta leave that sugar alone... trade my sweets for almonds! Thanks for the knowledge refresher!

Hello. Like the article but I would add trying to get foods that are non-gmo or organic will help keep out toxins that prevent the body from absorbing the nutrients your body needs.


Thank you for your comment @beth4895. I agree with you. I shall bring the subject of organic and gmo in an article. Stay tuned. :)

Thanks for this post @frenchlondoner very educational indeed. Resteemed.

Insulin response is a varied factor. Yes simple carbs when eaten alone can cause a greater insulin spike than complex carbs.Remember complex carbs also raise insulin .See studies. But what about when taken in a combination,in the form of fats,protein and carbs together.That has a significant impact on the GI and insulin. GI is a marketing term used to sell crap supplements.GI initially was taken for individual foods.
This has no place in real life as people wont eat sugar on a day to day or meal to meal basis on its own.


Thank you for your comment @sh6690 and your input. I completely agree with what you say. Food combination is what makes a diet balanced. Nowadays a lot of people do put a lot of high GI food together, just looking at the fries/burger combo, so just getting a basic awareness of what carbs are and the difference between simple and complex carbs is already a way towards healthier eating habits for a lot of people. :)