Counting Carbs When You Have Diabetes.



What do you know about carbohydrates?

Plenty of food contains carbohydrates. Regardless of whether the carbohydrates come in the form of fiber, sugars or starches, they provide the body with energy which can either be used immediately or kept for later use. The president of Beller Nutritional Institute, Rachel Beller, who is a registered dietitian, says that the various types of carbohydrates have different effects on blood glucose. So, diabetics ought to know the types of carbohydrates in their everyday meals so that they can choose correctly.

Simple Carbohydrates

Due to the fact that simple carbohydrates, such as the sugars found in fruits and milk, additional sugars used in foods which have been processed, and table sugar, have a maximum of only two sugars, it can be quickly processed by the body. So, it causes your blood glucose to be raised and lowered quickly.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates have a minimum of three sugars. So, your body finds it harder to digest complex carbohydrates and needs a longer time to have it converted into glucose. Complex carbohydrates can be found in the fiber of certain kinds of fruits, beans, brown or wild rice, barley, buckwheat, watercress and spinach. Soluble as well as insoluble in complex carbohydrates are beneficial to health, according to Beller.

The Glycemic Index

The ranking of a food by its glycemic index tells us the amount of increase in the blood glucose which can be brought about by the consumption of the particular food. Therefore, eating low-GI carbohydrates which cause less changes in the levels of blood glucose, can assist in better control of diabetes and good management of weight. Low-GI carbohydrates are found in brown rice, yogurt, plums, spinach, broccoli, green beans and lentils. For more choices of low-GI foods, go to However, there is no guarantee of good control of blood glucose with a diet using low-GI foods, for it also depends upon the amount and the type of carbohydrates consumed.

Choosing Better Carbohydrates

Bella tells diabetics to be choosy when consuming carbohydrates. As far as possible, sugars should not be added to the foods. You are encouraged to eat all kinds of vegetables, particularly those which are leafy, and fruits. Whole grains, rather than refined grains, ought to be your choice as they still contain minerals, vitamins and fiber which are lost during the process of refining the grains. So, for bread and cereal, you should choose those made from whole grains, Bella advises.

Carb Counting – Video Guide

How Carbohydrates Cause Blood Sugar To Rise

The body digests carbohydrates and converts them into glucose so that the cells can use them as energy. When the level of blood glucose increases, the pancreas sends out insulin to help the body move the glucose into the cells so that it can be used as energy or stored in the liver. Diabetics either do not make sufficient insulin, or the body is resistant to it. So, they require medications to help the cells absorb the blood glucose. To have their blood glucose levels within a safe range, diabetics have to manage their insulin usage and diet.

Counting Carbohydrates

It is essential for diabetics to make sure that their blood glucose levels are within the safe range. For this to happen, you need to know the amount of carbohydrates in the food you eat by reading food labels and having the right serving sizes. Of course, there are times when you are uncertain and have to make a guess. There are diabetics who go for between 45 and 60 grams of carbohydrates. If you are to consume a turkey sandwich and half a cup of your favorite fruit, it will be 45 grams of carbohydrates as there are 30 grams in the two slices of bread and 15 grams in the fruit.

How About Fruit?

As a diabetic, you need not avoid fruits because it is a component of a diabetic’€™s healthy diet. Frozen or fresh fruits can be eaten. One cup of cut cantaloupe or a small peach gives hardly 15 gm. of carbohydrates. Dried fruits can be eaten too. The only difference is that when dried, the carbohydrates in them are concentrated and 15 grams of carbohydrates is available in just 2 tablespoons of dried fruit.

Find The Amount Of Carbohydrates In A Food By Reading The Nutrition Labels

Always read the nutritional labels to know the amount of total carbohydrates in a food. Total carbohydrates are sometimes broken down into sugars and dietary fiber. However, you have to understand that sugars consist of added sugar and the sugar found naturally in milk products as well as fruits. If a label were to have sugar at the top of the list of ingredients,, the total sugars in the food is most probably high.

Added Sugars

Added sugars contain no nutrient although they are carbohydrates. They are used to sweeten and frequently are used in the preservation of processed foods. Cakes, cookies and soft drinks contain added sugar. Even healthier food, such as cereal and yogurt, contain added sugar. So, read all food labels carefully and avoid foods which have sugar at the top of the list of ingredients. Know that there are added sugars which end in “€œose€”, such as fructose, maltose, sucrose and dextrose.

A Balanced Diet

Between 3 and 5 vegetable servings each day in a balanced diet can assist you to keep your blood glucose levels under control and lose weight. This is possible as half a cup of cooked vegetables which are not starchy, such as eggplant, okra, or beets contains only 5 grams of carbohydrates. However, even with your attention on counting carbohydrates, do not forget that you also need sufficient healthy fats and protein to stay healthy. So, eat your meals as scheduled, with nutritious snacks to maintain normal levels of blood glucose.

Do You Need To Stop Enjoying Your Wine?

Is it alright to have a glass of wine? That is question you need to direct to your doctor, Bella advised. This is necessary as alcohol consumption can lead to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. If you do take a drink, take it only when your level of blood glucose is well under control, drink only a limited amount together with food and check on your blood glucose levels before as well as after the drinking. Also check to make sure that your level of blood glucose is within the safe range before you sleep.

*** Posted By Natasha A.Nada ***