What is the deal with Slow-Release Carbs?

A hand holding out quinoa seeds in a field of quinoa plants

How do fast-release carbs act on your body?

When you are doing arduous physical exertion you need those fast release carbs, such as glucose, found in things like white rice and bread, to keep your energy levels up as you will burn those sugars as soon as they hit your blood stream. But if you are sitting around and only needing energy to keep your body warm, which is a chunk of energy by the way, then the last thing you need is loads of sugar pumped into your blood stream in one big wave.


Well because when your body has lots of super precious energy in the blood it doesn’t know what to do with it so converts it into fat for later use. Great idea when calories were hard to come by. Not so great in the modern age where people are generally getting too many calories.

The solution? Easy. Swap out fast-release with slow-release carbs.

And yes, you’ve guessed it. Quinoa is a slow release carb.

So what does that actually mean?

Well for a start quinoa is full of fibre. Fibre is a healthy carb- and not many people know that Fibre is a carbohydrate. Why is it healthy? Well because fibre is indigestible it provides roughage in your gut and keeps things moving along your colon, aiding digestion.

The second thing you have to look at is the sugars in those carbs. There are over 50 different food labelling names for what is essentially the same thing. So corn syrup, maltose, fructose and glucose to name just four are all sugar. Sugar is essential to function, but not in an immediately digestible way (unless you are doing that arduous physical exertion), because your body naturally breaks down those carbs into sugars anyway. It takes time for your body to break them down into sugars, and the complex carbs take time to do so. And this is what we mean by slow release carbs. Their breakdown is slow, so the release of sugar into the blood stream is much slower giving you a sensation of satiety, or fuller for longer. Ever wondered why you feel hungry pretty soon after a Big Mac meal? Well because most of that is fast release carbs and sugar, so a couple of hours later all the sugar that has been unleashed into your blood stream has gone. A plate of pasta or quinoa, on the other hand, will keep you feeling fuller for longer, as the sugars get released into the blood stream over several hours that your body can usefully use over that time scale.

Who especially would benefit from slow-release carbs?

If you are diabetic, as are 7% of the UK population, slow release carbs are essential in controlling or even reversing the diabetes. If you do test your blood sugar levels you will know what happens after a plate of sushi- not pretty. But try that same sushi on a bed of wholegrain quinoa and you will get a completely different result. Not only will you blood sugar levels be more stable but you will feel full without being bloated.

Slow-release carbs are therefore also great for athletes, gym goers and those watching their waistlines.

And if for whatever reason you do feel peckish between meals than we can seriously recommend some of our Wonky Crackers. Corn based but full of pulses & quinoa, so not only low in calories at only 12 calories a cracker, but also full of those slow release carbs. Enjoy!

Buy our crackers now using this link