By Christopher R. Mohr, PhD, RD
Glucose is the body’s primary source of energy, fueling the brain and working muscles. The glycemic response of a food—or the measure of impact of a food on blood sugar (glucose)—determines the amount and length of energy offered from the food or meal.
Key Youth Nutritional Principles
- Glucose gives the body energy. Glucose can come directly from glucose itself or the breakdown of other foods to ultimately provide this energy “currency.”
- Foods that are high in fiber, protein, and/or fat slow the glycemic response of food providing a slower and more consistent delivery of energy.
- Different carbohydrates are digested at different rates of speed, which affects how the body responds both during activity and throughout the day.
Sometimes our bodies run low on energy—at the office, at school, on the soccer field, or out running errands with the kids. This is when a purposeful pick me up—or a sensible snack—in an appropriate portion can give you that energy boost. It’s where a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts, or maybe a Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, come in; between the fiber, protein and fats, they provide the low glycemic index that’s necessary to bridge the gap with sustained energy before you get to the next meal. Data suggest that eating a food that has a lower glycemic index may improve cognitive performance.
In a very practical sense, the fruit and nuts are also perfect because they’re portable, non-perishable, and, most of all, taste amazing with the variety of options. And they’re good for parents and kids alike, so everyone can enjoy them.
Controlling glucose is an important tool in terms of sustained energy. This can be for the athlete on his bike, to the stay at home mom or corporate athlete in her office. Everyone, regardless of their specific situation, can benefit from sustained energy.
Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD
Mohr Results, Inc