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Carbohydrates and Diabetes: What You Need to Know | ADS

Carbohydrate Truths

One piece of advice that people with diabetes sometimes hear is to avoid carbohydrates whenever possible. This well-meaning tidbit does come with a kernel of truth – if you have diabetes, eating too many carbohydrates (or the wrong kinds of carbs) can potentially wreak havoc on your blood sugar. However, the truth behind carbohydrates and diabetes is much more complicated than you might expect.

In reality, carbs are an essential part of any diet – even if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. Still, the amount of carbohydrates you eat matters, and so does the type of carbohydrates you consume. If you want the facts on diabetes and carbohydrates, read on for expert information on this subject from the team at ADS.

What Carbohydrates Do For Your Health

A healthy diet contains balanced amounts of many different nutrients, and that includes carbohydrates. When you eat controlled amounts of healthy carbs, they can have a positive impact on your health.

Carbs Give You Energy

Perhaps the most important reason you need carbohydrates is that they serve as your body’s primary source of fuel. When you eat foods containing carbs, they enter your bloodstream; then, these carbs go into your cells in the form of glucose. You use the energy provided by glucose for everything from intense exercise to less demanding activities, so getting enough carbs is crucial.

Carbs Keep You Healthy

Scientific research suggests that whole grains and fiber can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Meanwhile, fiber may improve people’s digestive health while reducing their risk of obesity – and even type 2 diabetes.

Carbs Help You Lose Weight

Exercise A Key Treatment For Type 2 Diabetes

While binge-eating simple carbs is hardly a good idea, you’ll want to get a healthy amount of more nutritious foods containing carbohydrates. Fruits, veggies, and whole grains can all help you control your waistline, thanks to the filling effect provided by their fiber content.

The Three Main Types of Carbohydrates

Everyone must know what types of carbohydrates they’re eating, and that’s especially true if you have diabetes. While two of the three main types of carbs (complex carbohydrates or starches, and fiber) can have a positive impact on your health, however the third (sugars) isn’t nearly as beneficial – and if your diet contains too much of it, it can actively harm your health.

1. Complex Carbohydrates

These carbohydrates, also known as “starches,” consist of multiple linked chains of sugars. Foods containing complex carbohydrates can be a healthy part of anyone’s diet, whether you have diabetes or not. Still, they can cause your blood sugar to spike if you don’t control your intake – moderation is key.

2. Fiber

Technically, fiber is a type of complex carbohydrate. That said, it’s important to remember that your body doesn’t digest fiber like it digests other carbs. That means that fiber plays a unique role in regulating your blood sugar levels, along with lowering your cholesterol and helping with digestion.

3. Simple Carbohydrates

This group contains sugars and other carbohydrates less complicated than those included in the other two categories. Unfortunately, this lack of complexity means they don’t offer many of the health benefits that complex carbs and fiber do. However, simple carbs can still help you manage your blood sugar if you have diabetes – when your blood glucose readings are dangerously low, consuming a controlled amount of these carbs can help you get back on track.

Learn How to Count Carbs

When you eat the right amount of carbohydrates and the right types of carbs, they can positively impact your life. But how do you determine the number of carbs you should eat in a day? For many people with diabetes, one technique that helps them get enough carbohydrates while successfully managing their blood sugar is called “carb counting.”

Carb counting is just what it sounds like – the process of keeping track of the carbs you consume as part of your efforts to keep your blood sugar under control. Your carb-counting goal will vary based on all kinds of factors, so it’s essential to work with a professional dietitian to create a strategy that works for you. However, in most cases, people with diabetes should try to get about 50 percent of their daily calories from complex carbohydrates.

Foods to Eat for Healthy Carbohydrates

Are you looking for foods containing carbs that you can safely add to your diabetes diet? These are all great options for people with diabetes:

  • Along with the other health benefits they bring to the table, vegetables are naturally high in fiber. Try non-starchy vegetables like asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, salad greens, spinach, mushrooms, onions and peppers. Eat smart by adding fresh, cooked, and steamed frozen veggies to your diet – but steer clear of salty cooked and canned vegetables.
  • Fruits usually have more carbs than vegetables, but they can also be a healthy part of your diet. Your best choices are berries and other fruits packed with fiber.
  • Eating lean protein is part of a healthy meal plan. That said, plant-based proteins like beans and lentils are a great way to get nutritious carbs and fiber at the same time.
  • When you’re picking “traditional” carbs, make sure to emphasize whole grains! You can find these whole grains or 100% whole grains in items like brown rice, oatmeal, breads and countless other dishes.

Avoid These Sources of Unhealthy Carbs

high fiber carbs

The carbs listed above can enhance your diet, but the same isn’t true for every source of carbohydrates. Make sure not to consume more than a little bit of these foods:

  • Processed grains
  • White bread
  • Sugar-heavy cereals
  • “Junk food” or fast food
  • Cookies and candy
  • Sweetened canned fruits/applesauce
  • Soft drinks and juices

Control Your Blood Sugar With Supplies From ADS

Whether you’ve been counting carbs for years or you’ve just started keeping track of the carbohydrates you eat, taking carbs seriously is an essential part of diabetes management. Of course, there’s much more to this process than knowing your carbohydrate intake.

To successfully manage diabetes, you’ll need a reliable glucose meter, supplies to go with it, and insulin – just to name a few of the essentials. If you’re looking for a trustworthy diabetes supply company, why not choose ADS? We’ll be able to help you buy the products you’re searching for and get you the support you need. Get started by visiting our online store ASAP!