Diabetics need to watch their carbohydrate intake

Diabetes is a challenging disease. Watching your food intake is an important way of managing diabetes. One method is to count the number of carbohydrates you take in each day.

Diabetes can be a challenging disease to manage. Making proper food choices is important to staying on track with diabetes and maintaining proper blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates are the main type of food that raises your blood sugar levels. One tool you can use to manage diabetes is counting carbohydrates. Do you know what a carbohydrate is?

Michigan State University Extension says carbohydrates are the main food that raises blood sugar levels. That is why it is important to keep track of how many carbohydrates you are taking in at one time. Many foods contain carbohydrates. Meats, meat substitutes, eggs, cheese, fats and oils are the only foods that don’t generally have carbohydrates in them. Carbohydrates are important in our diet because they provide our bodies with energy, vitamins and minerals.

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are three main carbohydrate groups which include starch, fiber and sugar. These make up the total carbohydrates on a nutrition label. Some carbohydrates are better for you and offer more nutrients.

The first group is the foods that are high in starch which include grains, starchy vegetables – like peas, corn, rice, potatoes, dried beans and lentils. When you eat starchy carbohydrates, you should try to eat ones that are higher in fiber. Fiber is important to your diet. It helps to lower your cholesterol, helps to stabilize your blood sugar and makes you feel full for longer.

Sugar is the second group of carbohydrates. There are two main kinds of sugar. The naturally occurring sugars like those that are in fruits, then there are sugars added to our foods. Added sugars are of little value to our body and should be limited.

Fiber is the third group of carbohydrates. Fiber is part of plant foods and cannot be digested. The American Diabetes Association says that adults should try to get 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. Most people receive half that amount. By focusing on healthy carbohydrate choices, one can begin to manage their diabetes with confidence.

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