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What Diabetics Should Know About Carbohydrates

carbohydrates

There are 3 main types of diabetes. One is gestational diabetes and happens to women during pregnancy. Meanwhile, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes happens across all genders and ages. Type 1 is when your body does not produce sufficient insulin, or none at all. Type 2 is the most common and it is when your body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces.

Any type of diabetes means you have high blood glucose and can lead to health complications. You cannot cure them, but they can be managed through medication and observing a low GI (Glycemic Index) diet. 1, 2

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. They are the sugars, starches, and fibre found in fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, milk, and many prepared foods. Both the type and amount of carbohydrates you eat affect your blood sugar levels. This is why you need to spread out your carbohydrate intake throughout the day.

It’s normal for blood sugar levels to spike after a meal. That being said, not all carbohydrates have the same effect on blood sugar levels. Some starchy foods, such as white bread and white pasta, are rapidly digested and may cause a higher spike in blood sugar levels. Other foods, such as fibre-rich whole-grain breads and beans, are digested slowly, causing a smaller spike in blood sugar levels. Healthy food choices based on the type and amount of carbohydrates can help you keep blood sugar levels on target. 1,

The Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) is a scale that ranks foods by how much they raise your blood sugar levels versus other foods. They are ranked on a scale from 0 to 100, with foods that quickly raise your blood sugar having a higher number than foods that raise it more slowly. The glycemic index list can help you make smarter food choices.1,

Counting Carbohydrates

To count carbohydrates, you’ll need to know which foods contain carbohydrates and learn to estimate the number of grams of carbs in the foods you eat. This usually involves simple math, keeping detailed food records, and being able to read food labels.

Initially, this can all be a little confusing. That’s why it’s important to create your meal plans with your health care professional. He or she can help you make healthy food choices, based on your weight, medications, exercise routines, blood sugar targets, and food preferences. Ideally, you should see your dietitian every 6 months to see if you need to make changes and adjustments to your eating schedule and diet.1,

How can Glucerna’s products help diabetics

Food items that are low in GI are ideal for diabetics. Glucerna is specifically designed to support the dietary needs of diabetics and help to manage their blood glucose level naturally. Formulated with low-digested carbohydrates, it prevents blood glucose from spiking, keeping one full. 1, 3

References:

  1. https://glucerna.ca/en/diabetes-101/carbohydrates
  2. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics/differences-between-type-1-and-type-2-diabetes
  3. https://nutrition.abbott/au/product/glucerna/features