Effectiveness of carbohydrates as a functional ingredient in glycemic control

High postprandial glycemia in the non-diabetic population is one of the known universal mechanisms for the progression of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which have impacted the finances of both individuals and of health systems. In order to highlight the role of carbohydrates in glycemic control and its implications on health, the International Life Sciences Institute Brazil held an international workshop on “Carbohydrates, Glycemia and Health”. Carbohydrate digestion rate is related to glycemic response, which mainly depends on the quality and amount of carbohydrate ingested, and thus it may be modulated by intrinsic and extrinsic factors. These effects can be verified by using different methods which evidence how physiology adapts in the uptake of glucose. Consumers can be aided with the knowledge/awareness of the benefits of high postprandial glycemia control in non-diabetic subjects. Multisectorial actions can contribute to decrease the onset and worsening of NCDs. A strategy indicated to the public in general to expand the availability of products that do not result in a sudden increase of postprandial plasma glucose and/or insulin would be to use alternative ingredients and/or technology in addition to making the legally allowed communication of benefits, which are supported by scientific studies.

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