Navigating the Carb World Made Simple!
The days of the “one-size-fits-all” model for diabetes management are over! This means you can enjoy some of your favorite foods and keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range. It’s important to find that perfect balance between your physical activity level, your medication, and the foods you eat.1 We’re here to simplify food options, to help make blood sugar management a breeze!
Carbohydrates and type 2 diabetes management
When it comes to the foods on your plate, carbohydrate intake can be your primary focus. This is because carbohydrates have a direct impact on blood glucose and A1C levels.
Today’s blood glucose management involves developing individualized eating plans centered around your schedule, food preferences, and lifestyle. What’s the benefit of this? You have more flexibility to choose the foods that you enjoy while adhering to your nutrition prescription and daily tasks!2 With this flexible plan, your two main tasks are counting and tracking your carbohydrates.2
Foods containing carbohydrates
Knowing the amount of carbohydrates that you consume in each meal and snack is a key strategy for blood glucose control.1 It’s important to pay attention to both what you eat or drink, and how much you consume.1 Choosing nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products are recommended. Eat less of carbohydrate sources that contain added sugars and sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup and sucrose.1 These choices will ensure that you stay on the path of good health while keeping your blood glucose levels in check!1
Let’s review the carbohydrate-containing foods:
- Breads (all types)
- Whole grains, such as rice, oats, millet, quinoa, beans and other legumes, wheat, rye
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn and corn products, peas, and squash
- Non-starchy vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, salad greens, green beans, zucchini, and tomatoes
- All fruit and fruit juices
- Dairy and dairy substitutes like milk, yogurt (sweetened and unsweetened, Greek and regular), rice milk, and soy milk
- Crackers and snacks including granola, pretzels, chips, and popcorn
- Foods and drinks with added sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and sucrose, such as sweets and desserts
Each of these foods and drinks has different amounts of carbohydrates and different portion sizes for one serving or one carb equivalent.
To help you navigate your daily carbohydrate choices, we’ve put together a quick reference tool for you to use. Check out the “Diabetes Quick Reference Table” to get started! Select the options with the most appealing carbohydrate choices, while still aiming to make your plate colorful! Mix and match with the different categories to meet your carbohydrate targets that align with your taste preferences. We’ve got you covered!
Physical activity and medication management
Before you take action, remind yourself of the other two components of effective diabetes management- physical activity and medication management! Adopting a physically active lifestyle is crucial for blood glucose management and overall good health.4 Work with your health care provider and Registered Dietitian to develop an individualized lifestyle approach that works best for you!
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