As November is Diabetes awareness month, I wanted to put the spotlight on carbohydrates. Many individual shudder at the thought of them, especially those suffering from uncontrolled blood sugars; however, I cannot stress enough how important it is to ensure you include carbohydrates into your diet. Carbohydrates provide energy for your muscles and your brain.
The carbohydrate you eat is changed into glucose (sugar) by your metabolism to provide you with the energy you need for your body and mind to function!! If you are affected by diabetes, you need to watch how much and how little carbohydrate you eat and how often in order to control the amount of glucose in your blood.
There are three different types of carbohydrates which are also often listed on nutrition labels:
- Starches (bread, pasta, potatoes)
- Sugars (naturally occurring in fruit and milk, as well as refined sugars like white sugar, brown sugar, honey or molasses)
- Fibre (whole grain foods, vegetables and fruit)
Fibre is the only carbohydrate that does not increase blood sugar; therefore, eating high fibre foods may lower your blood glucose and help you feel full.
Also important in controlling blood glucose is the total amount of carbohydrate eaten at one sitting. Talk with your endocrinologist and/or a registered dietitian about the amount of carbohydrate that is right for you.
It is important to spread the carbohydrates that you eat evenly throughout the day; therefore, divide your carbohydrate-rich foods evenly into meals and snacks to help your body have better control over your blood glucose levels. This will also help to slow the rising of your blood glucose when you eat carbohydrate as part of a complete meal.
- Canadian Diabetes Association. All about carbohydrate. Retrieved May 14, 2012 from http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/nutrition/understanding-the-nutrition-label/