Managing Carbohydrate Intake in Diabetics


People need to pay a lot of attention to what they eat when suffering from diabetes; carbohydrate being the most important to watch out for.

People with diabetes need to pay a lot of attention to what they eat – carbohydrate being the most important to watch out for. The carbohydrates that you eat contribute to the glucose levels in the body. Therefore, you need to avoid simple carbohydrates such as sugar, starchy foods like pasta and potatoes and grain based foods like bread or cereals, which could increase blood sugar levels. Complex carbohydrates can be found in dairy products, fruits and vegetables and these are more suited to a healthy diabetic diet.

If you have diabetes, it does not mean that you have to cut out all carbohydrates from your diet. These foods contain a lot of other nutrients that are important for the body’s health. However, diabetic food should include a carefully controlled quantity of carbohydrates and a diabetic person should exercise to balance the blood glucose levels that such carbohydrates produce. Monitoring the blood sugar level is important, and in case you do indulge, reduce your other calorie intake and use the monitoring of your blood sugar levels as a tool to ensure that you are not adversely affected by the indulgence.

How Much Do We Need ?

It is recommended by the American Diabetes Association that carbohydrates should be about half or a little more of your daily calorie intake. This is, however, finally decided by the individual’s capacity to consume carbohydrates and each person must decide the limit of his intake with careful monitoring of his blood sugar level.

Other foods such as fiber, protein and fat can also affect the way the sugar levels appear in a diabetic’s body. Certain foods could delay the rise of blood glucose and also delay the absorption of the carbohydrates if the fat content is high. Fiber-rich food is good for diabetics because of its resistance to being absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, which in turn can delay the rise in blood glucose levels.

Watch the GI

The glycemic index of a food determines the effect of the food on the blood sugar level. Foods with a high glycemic index could cause rapid increases in blood sugar levels, whereas those with a low GI may take time to affect blood sugar levels. Again with the same food, the effects on different people may be different and ultimately, it is for each person to decide which diabetic food is good for him and adjust his diet accordingly.

Carbohydrates with low glycemic index are fresh fruit, whole grain bread, green or brightly colored vegetables and nuts. See that these foods are the main ingredients of your diabetic diet and avoid or reduce the intake of refined sugar, white bread, pasta and the like. Ensure that your diet contains the right amounts of carbohydrates, fats, protein and fiber. This will give your body all the energy that it needs for its daily routine. However, make sure that you also exercise regularly to remain in good health and to keep your diabetes in control.




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