Count carbs to ensure diabetic health
Being diabetic can be complicated. Learn more about counting carbohydrates and which carbs are best for proper diabetes management.
Have you ever wondered what they mean on television when a company is trying to sell you a diet plan that is low in carbs? Or, a nutrition educator tells you to eat good carbs instead of bad carbs? Aren’t all carbs good for you? The term “carb” is short for “carbohydrate.” Carbohydrates give your body’s cells and brain energy to function properly.
By keeping track of how many carbohydrates you eat and setting limits on the number of them, it can help you keep blood glucose levels in a target range. If you are diabetic, counting your carbs becomes part of managing your diabetes and your blood sugar levels. Carbohydrate counting is a meal planning technique for managing your blood glucose levels. Foods that contain carbohydrate raise blood glucose. You should not eliminate all carbs, but you should try to manage how many you eat and what type of carbs you are eating every day. The issue is how your insulin is handling the carbohydrates you are taking into your diet, not whether you need them or not.
Based upon a 2000 calorie daily plan, an average person should aim for 250-300 carbohydrate grams per day according to the American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide. Your actual calorie and carbohydrate needs are based upon your age, physical activity level and body size. A person should get advice from a registered dietician or certified diabetes educator for the right amount of carbs for them.
When you are choosing carbohydrates, aim for nutrient-rich carbs like whole grain cereals, breads, crackers and pasta; whole fruits and vegetables; soups, chili, stew and salads with cooked dry beans; wild rice, brown rice and barley dishes; and low- fat or fat free milk and yogurt. Nutrient rich foods give you vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients. Try to limit sugary foods and refined grains such as sugary drinks, desserts and candy that are packed with calories but low in nutrients.
As a diabetic, it is important to both count your carbs and to know what type of carbs you are eating. Carbs are important for the proper functioning of your body even when you are diabetic.