Carbohydrates a very big impact on blood glucose levels as they are converted to sugar by the body in the process of turning the food into energy. Too many carbohydrate servings can increase blood sugar levels. It is important for a diabetic to control the number of carbohydrates that are eaten at each meal and balance the carbohydrates with protein while limiting fat intake.
In this type of meal plan foods are grouped into three different categories: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The majority of foods that you eat contain carbohydrates and this will be the largest food group. Foods in this group include:
- Grains – breads, crackers, rice, cereal, pasta * Dairy – milk, yogurt * Vegetables that are considered starchy – corn, peas, and potatoes * The rest of the vegetable family * Fruit, including fruit juices * Desserts and other treats – chosen in limited amounts
This diet will require you to measure your foods for serving sizes and read food labels to determine how many servings are carbohydrates it should be counted as. It is standard to consider 15 grams of carbohydrates as one serving. For instance, if you are having crackers as a snack and are allowed one serving of carbohydrates you would look at the food label to figure out how many crackers you can have. If the serving size is 20 crackers and that equals 30 grams of carbohydrates, for a diabetic that would be considered two servings. In this example, you would half the serving size and eat 10 crackers to equal 15 grams of carbohydrates.
After some time and experience you will become adept at counting carbohydrates and knowing what foods work well with your blood glucose levels and what ones don’t. No two diabetics respond the same way to every food, you will need to learn what your own ideal diabetic diet is.