How many carb can a diabetic eat: How to Count Carbs for Your Diabetes Diet
Carb Counting | CDC
Counting carbohydrates, or carbs—keeping track of the carbs in all your meals, snacks, and drinks—can help you match your activity level and medicines to the food you eat. Many people with diabetes count carbs to make managing blood sugar easier, which can also help them:
- Stay healthy longer.
- Feel better and improve their quality of life.
- Prevent or delay diabetes complications such as kidney disease, eye disease, heart disease, and stroke.
If you take mealtime insulin, you’ll count carbs to match your insulin dose to the amount of carbs in your foods and drinks. You may also take additional insulin if your blood sugar is higher than your target when eating.
Salad dressing, yogurt, bread, spaghetti sauce. Sugars are added to many foods during processing, and added sugars mean added carbs. To spot them, check the ingredients list for words ending in “ose” (such as fructose or maltose) and any name that includes “syrup” or “juice. ”
What are the different types of carbs?
There are 3 types of carbs:
- Sugars, such as the natural sugar in fruit and milk or the added sugar in soda and many other packaged foods.
- Starches, including wheat, oats, and other grains; starchy vegetables such as corn and potatoes; and dried beans, lentils, and peas.
- Fiber, the part of plant foods that isn’t digested but helps you stay healthy.
Sugars and starches raise your blood sugar, but fiber doesn’t.
How are carbs measured?
Carbs are measured in grams. On packaged foods, you can find total carb grams on the Nutrition Facts label. You can also check this list or use a carb-counting app to find grams of carbs in foods and drinks.
For diabetes meal planning, 1 carb serving is about 15 grams of carbs. This isn’t always the same as what you think of as a serving of food. For example, most people would count a small baked potato as 1 serving. However, at about 30 grams of carbs, it counts as 2 carb servings.
How many carbs should I eat?
There’s no “one size fits all” answer—everyone is different because everyone’s body is different. The amount you can eat and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors.
On average, people with diabetes should aim to get about half of their calories from carbs. That means if you normally eat about 1,800 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight, about 800 to 900 calories can come from carbs. At 4 calories per gram, that’s 200–225 carb grams a day. Try to eat about the same amount of carbs at each meal to keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day (not necessary if you use an insulin pump or give yourself multiple daily injections—you’ll take a fast-acting or short-acting insulin at mealtimes to match the amount of carbs you eat).
This sample menu has about 1,800 calories and 200 grams of carbs:
½ cup rolled oats (28g)
1 cup low-fat milk (13g)
2/3 medium banana (20g)
¼ cup chopped walnuts (4g)
Total carbs: 65 grams
2 slices whole wheat bread (24g)
4 oz. low-sodium turkey meat (1g)
1 slice low-fat Swiss cheese (1g)
½ large tomato (3g)
1 TBS yellow mustard (1g)
¼ cup shredded lettuce (0g)
8 baby carrots (7g)
6 oz. plain fat-free Greek yogurt (7g)
¾ cup blueberries (15g)
Total carbs: 59 grams
6 ounces baked chicken breast (0g)
1 cup brown rice (45g)
1 cup steamed broccoli (12g)
2 TBS margarine (0g)
Total carbs: 57 grams
1 low-fat string cheese stick (1g)
2 tangerines (18g)
Total carbs: 19 grams
How can I find out more about carb counting?
Talk with your dietitian about the right amount of carbs for you, and be sure to update your meal plan if your needs change (for example, if you get more active, you may increase how many carbs you eat). Ask about tasty, healthy recipes that can help you stay on top of your carb intake—which will make it easier to manage your blood sugar levels, too.
How to Count Carbs for Your Diabetes Diet
Carbohydrates are a great source of energy for your body, but they affect your blood sugar too. If you have diabetes, keep track of how many you eat with a few simple tricks.
Know your carbs. It’s a lot more than just pasta and bread. All starchy foods, sugars, fruit, milk, and yogurt are rich in carbs, too. Make sure you count them all, not just the obvious ones.
Put together a meal plan. Figure out the amount of carbs, protein, and fat you can eat at meals and snacks throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Most adults with diabetes aim for 45-60 grams of carbs per meal and 15-20 grams per snack. That number may go up or down, depending on how active you are and the medicines you take, so check with your doctor or a registered dietitian.
Look at labels. They make counting carbs easy. Find the “Total Carbohydrate” number listed on a package’s “Nutrition Facts” panel. Then, check the serving size and confirm the amount you can eat. Repeat this step with other foods you plan to eat. When you add all the grams of carbs, the total should stay within your meal budget.
Starch, fruit, or milk = 15. Fresh foods don’t come with a label. You may have to guess the number of carbs they have. A good rule of thumb: Each serving of fruit, milk, or starch has about 15 grams. Vegetables don’t have a lot, so you can eat more of them. Two or three servings of veggies usually equal 15 grams of carbs.
Pay attention to portion sizes. The size of one serving depends on the type of food. For instance, one small (4-ounce) piece of fresh fruit, 1/3 cup of pasta or rice, and 1/2 cup of beans are each one serving. Buy a pocket guide that lists carb counts and portion sizes. Or download an app on your smartphone. Measuring cups and a food scale when you eat at home will help you be accurate.
Adjust your insulin. Your doses may change, depending on the amount of carbs you ate at a meal and the difference between your target blood sugar level and your actual reading. You’ll need to know your “insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio,” or the number of carbs one unit of insulin will cover. Generally, one unit of fast-acting insulin covers 12-15 grams of carbohydrates.
Your body can also be more sensitive to insulin changes throughout the day. Stress or how much you exercise also has an impact. It’s important to work out a plan with your doctor for how to change your treatment if you need to.
Make healthy choices. Carb counting focuses on the number of them you eat at every meal, not what types. Still, pick healthy options when you can. Foods and drinks with added sugar are often high in calories and low on nutrients. Healthy carbs like whole grains, fruits, and veggies will give you energy and the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that can help control your weight.
Carbohydrate Guidelines for Type 2 Diabetes
Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet. But carbs also raise your blood sugar. When you have type 2 diabetes, it’s important to aim for a balanced carb intake. It can seem confusing and a little overwhelming at first, but don’t be discouraged. Your doctor, diabetes educator, or dietitian can help you find a meal plan that works for you.
By setting limits on your carb intake—and tracking what you eat to make sure you stay within those limits—you can improve your blood sugar control. To get started, here are some basic facts you need to know.
Foods that contain carbohydrates include:
Grains, such as breads, cereals, pasta, and rice
Fruits and fruit juices
Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn (nonstarchy vegetables also contain carbs, but usually very little)
Dried beans and peas
Dairy foods, such as milk and yogurt
Sweets, such as cookies, pastries, cakes and candy
Snack foods, such as potato chips
To find the carb content of a food, check the amount of total carbohydrate on the food label. Be sure to look at the serving amount as well. If you’re eating twice as much as the listed serving, you’ll need to double the total carbs.
If a food doesn’t have a label, there are many apps and books available to help you track carbs. One great free tool is MyFoodAdvisor from the American Diabetes Association. At first, you may need to look up almost everything. But with time, you’ll start to learn how many carbs are in your favorite foods and dishes.
The American Diabetes Association recommends getting about 45% of your total calories from carbs. You should spread out your carb consumption throughout the day. Typically, that works out to about 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal and 10 to 25 grams per snack, eaten twice a day between meals. But ask your healthcare provider for guidance on more specific goals for you.
Achieving those goals doesn’t happen by accident. You’ll need to plan your meals more carefully than someone without diabetes. Fortunately, there are several methods of meal planning to make the process easier. Your healthcare provider can help you choose the best method for you, based on your preferences and needs.
These are three techniques for planning meals so you get the right amount of carbs:
Carb counting. This method is the most straightforward. You work with your healthcare provider to set a limit for how many carbs you’ll consume at each meal. Then you track the grams of carbohydrate in the foods you eat.
Exchange lists. This method categorizes foods into groups, such as carbohydrates, meat/meat alternatives, and fats. The plan spells out how many servings you can have from each group at a meal. Within each group, the plan also specifies how much of each food equals one serving, based on its nutrient content. You can exchange a serving of one food for another within the same group.
Glycemic index(GI). This method lets you refine carb counting. It considers not only the quantity of carbs in the foods you eat, but also the quality. Foods with a high GI value raise blood sugar more than those with a low GI. So the goal is to choose your carbs from foods with a lower GI value, such as many whole grain foods, most fruits, nonstarchy vegetables, and dried beans and peas.
Some people with type 2 diabetes use a less formal method of gauging how many carbs to eat. Called the plate method, it doesn’t require any counting at all. Instead, you simply imagine dividing your plate in half. Then divide one side in half again.
Fill the large section with nonstarchy veggies. Fill one small section with grains, starchy veggies, or cooked beans and peas, and the other with meat or another protein food. Add a cup of low-fat milk and a piece of fruit, and you’ve got a balanced meal.
Although carbohydrates are part of a healthy diet, they raise your blood sugar. If you have type 2 diabetes, you need to aim for a balanced carb intake.
Carbs are found in a variety of foods. You can check food labels to find the carb content, or use a website, app, or book to help you.
The American Diabetes Association recommends getting about 45% of your total calories from carbs.
- There are several methods to help you plan meals, including carb counting, exchange lists, glycemic index, and the plate method.
How Many Carbs Per Day Should Diabetics Eat? No More Than 4 Servings
- Experts recommend that people with diabetes get 45% of their daily calories from carbohydrates.
- People with diabetes should consume more complex carbs from high-fiber foods than simple carbs like from fruit and milk.
- Limiting carbs more than the recommended 45% of daily calories may provide even better results in controlling blood sugar levels.
- This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert with a private practice based in New York City.
- This story is part of Insider’s guide to Diabetes.
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have a complicated relationship with carbohydrates. While carbs are part of a healthy diet, they can also contribute to high blood sugar levels, which makes managing diabetes much more challenging. Many experts recommend that people with diabetes limit or even drastically reduce their carbohydrate intake.
Carbs drive blood sugar levels
Compared with proteins and fat, carbohydrates have the biggest impact on blood sugar levels, which is why keeping tabs on carb intake is so important for managing diabetes.
The digestive system breaks carbs down into glucose, or blood sugar, which is a main source of energy for the body. When sugar enters the blood, the pancreas usually releases the hormone insulin, which allows cells to process and absorb that sugar. As they do, blood sugar levels fall.
However, diabetes affects how people are able to produce or use insulin. In people with
type 1 diabetes
, their pancreas is unable to make insulin. People with
type 2 diabetes
can’t make enough insulin, or their cells have stopped responding to it effectively, so glucose builds up in the blood.
In both types of diabetes, this can lead to dangerously high blood sugar levels if not treated. Consistently high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels, eyes, feet, kidneys, and the heart.
Healthy carb intake for people with diabetes
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control recommends that people with diabetes get about 45% of their daily calories from carbohydrates. Put another way, for a 2,000 calories diet that equates to about three or four servings of carbohydrates.
For those with diabetes, eating well is not just a matter of counting grams and calories, though. Choosing nutritious foods is key, says Jennifer Smith, Director of Lifestyle and Nutrition at Integrated Diabetes Services in Madison, Wisconsin.
There are two main types of carbs:
- Complex carbohydrates, which are found in foods like potatoes, whole grains, and corn, provide nutrients and fiber which take longer to digest.
- Simple carbohydrates, which are found in fruit and milk, and in refined foods such found in snacks, candy, soda, and desserts.
Simple carbs hit the bloodstream quickly and can lead to a higher spike in blood sugar levels compared to complex carbs.
“If you’re doing 45% carbohydrates because that’s what you’ve been told to do, but it’s all white rice and white bread and Fruit Loops, that’s not healthy,” Smith says. “Simple sugars have a big impact on blood sugar, while more complex carbohydrates like grains, beans, and legumes have more fiber in them, which slows blood sugar impact once your body takes it into your system.”
Lower-carb diets help stabilize blood sugar levels
While the 45% rule for total daily calories from carbohydrates is a general clinical guideline, there’s evidence that eating fewer carbs has better results for controlling diabetes – and the fewer, the better.
6 months on a low-carb diet linked to remission from type 2 diabetes, study finds
The American Diabetes Association used to recommend that people eat at least 130 grams of carbs per day, but changed their position in 2019, saying that low-carb diets are a promising way to manage diabetes.
One way to do that is by following a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet, which is generally defined as eating no more than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. When the body lacks carbs, you have less glucose in the blood for energy. To survive, your body enters a state called ketosis, where the body produce ketones that allow it to use fat as an alternate source of energy in place of glucose.
People on the
eat mainly meat, shellfish, eggs, nuts, salad, vegetables, and cheese. The key is to consume more fat than carbs so your body uses ketones for energy, which does not spike blood glucose levels.
The diet has had impressive results in research trials and in patients, says William Yancy, associate professor of medicine and director of the Duke Diet and Fitness Center at Duke University.
“Studies have shown that if you feed people food with a large fat content, it doesn’t raise their blood sugar or insulin levels hardly at all. You can see from several studies that people’s blood sugar improves to the point that they can cut back on their medicines. That’s really rewarding to the individual. It’s empowering for our patients,” he says.
Smith says at least a third of her patients with diabetes aim to take in fewer than 120 grams of carbohydrates per day. “It can take out some of the up-down swings of blood sugar management, so mentally it’s much less stressful for them.”
However, it may be tough for some people to follow such a restrictive diet long-term.”We’ve seen good health with much lower carb intake in many people. If you can stick with it, it will work. But we also have to work with what people are willing to do,” Smith says.
There are some risks associated with following the ketogenic diet, including dehydration or a sudden and potentially dangerous drop in blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should follow a ketogenic only under the guidance of an experienced clinician, Yancy says.
Diabetes: Counting Carbs if You Use Insulin
Carbohydrate, or carb, counting is an important skill to learn when you have diabetes. Carb counting helps you keep tight control of your blood sugar (glucose) level. It also gives you the flexibility to eat what you want. This can help you feel more in control and confident when managing your diabetes.
- Carb counting helps you keep your blood sugar at your target level.
- It allows you to adjust the amount of insulin you take. This amount is based on how many grams of carbs you eat at a meal or snack. The formula used to find how much insulin you need is called the insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio.
- The insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio is not the same for each person. You and your doctor will find your ratio by keeping track of the food you eat and testing your blood sugar level after meals.
How do you count carbohydrate grams in your diet?
To count carb grams at a meal, you need to know how many carbs are in each type of food you eat. This includes all food, whether it is a slice of bread, a bowl of lettuce, or a spoonful of salad dressing. Most packaged foods have labels that tell you how many total carbs are in one serving. Carbohydrate guides can help too. You can get these from diabetes educators and the American Diabetes Association.
To find out how many carbs are in food that is not packaged, you will need to know standard portions of carbohydrate foods. Each serving size or standard portion has about 15 grams of carbs.
By using the number of grams of carbs in a meal, you can figure out how much insulin to take. This is based on your personal insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio.
For example: Your doctor may advise you to take 1 unit of rapid-acting insulin for every 10 to 15 grams of carbs you eat. So if your meal has 50 grams of carbs and your doctor says you need 1 unit of insulin for every 10 grams of carbs, you would need 5 units of insulin to keep your post-meal blood sugar from rising above your target level.
Your insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio may change over time. In some people it will change from one meal to the next. You might take 1 unit of insulin for every 10 grams of carbs for lunch but take 1 unit for every 15 grams at dinner.
Keep these tips in mind when counting carbs:
- Portion control is important. If a package says it contains two servings and you eat the whole package, you need to double the number of grams of carbs listed for one serving.
- Protein, fat, and fiber do not raise blood sugar very much. If you eat a lot of these nutrients in a meal, carbs will change to glucose more slowly than it would with a meal that has a small amount of protein, fat, and fiber.
- Advanced carb counting takes into account the amount of fiber or sugar alcohols in a food. For example, if a food has 5 or more grams of fiber per serving, you can subtract half the amount of fiber from the total number of carb grams. A food that has 30 grams of carbs and 8 grams of fiber would be counted as 26 grams of carbs. If you use a rapid-acting insulin, you may want to consider sugar alcohols if there are more than 5 grams of them in the food. Divide the number of sugar alcohols in half. Then subtract that number from the total carb count.
- Exercise affects blood sugar. It allows you to use less insulin than you would if you did not exercise. Keep in mind that timing makes a difference. If you exercise within 1 hour of a meal, your body may need less insulin for that meal than it would if you exercised 3 hours after the meal.
When you keep track of what you eat and you test your blood sugar after meals and exercise, you can figure out what effect protein, fat, fiber, and exercise have on the amount of insulin you need.
To count carbs and eat a balanced diet:
- Talk with a registered dietitian. He or she can help you plan how many carbs to include in each meal and snack. This includes sweets.
- Measure your food portions. You won’t always have to measure your food. But it may help when you are first learning what makes up a standard portion.
- Count either grams or servings of carbs.
- Eat standard portions of foods that have protein. Foods that have protein (such as beans, eggs, meat, and cheese) are a key part of a balanced diet.
- Limit saturated fats. A balanced diet includes a limited amount of healthy fat. Talk with a registered dietitian about how much fat you need in your diet.
Know your daily amount
Your daily amount depends on several things—your weight, how active you are, what diabetes medicines you take, and what your goals are for your blood sugar levels. A registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator will help you plan how much carbohydrate to include in each meal and snack.
For most adults, a guideline for the daily amount of carbohydrate is:
- 45 to 60 grams at each meal. That’s about the same as 3 to 4 carbohydrate servings.
- 15 to 20 grams at each snack. That’s about the same as 1 carbohydrate serving.
Other helpful ideas
- Read food labels for carb amounts. Be aware of the serving size on the package.
- Check your blood sugar level. If you do this before and 1 hour after a meal, you will be able to see how the food you eat affects your blood sugar.
- Record what you eat and your blood sugar results in a food record. You can review your food record each time you visit your registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator. And you can review it anytime you think your meal plan needs adjusting.
- Get more help. The American Diabetes Association offers booklets to help people learn how to count carbs in their diet. These booklets can also teach you how to measure and weigh food and to read food labels. But you will still need to talk with a registered dietitian to make a plan that fits your needs.
Other Works Consulted
- American Diabetes Association (2013). Nutrition therapy recommendations for the management of adults with diabetes. Diabetes Care, 36(11): 3821–3842. DOI: 10.2337/dc13-2042. Accessed December 5, 2013.
- Campbell AP, Beaser RS (2010). Medical nutrition therapy. In RS Beaser, ed., Joslin’s Diabetes Deskbook: A Guide for Primary Care Providers, 2nd ed., pp. 91–136. Boston: Joslin Diabetes Center.
- Franz MJ (2012). Medical nutrition therapy for diabetes mellitus and hypoglycemia of nondiabetic origin. In LK Mahan et al., eds., Krause’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process, 13th ed., pp. 675–710. St Louis: Saunders.
Current as of:
August 31, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine
Rhonda O’Brien MS, RD, CDE – Certified Diabetes Educator
Colleen O’Connor PhD, RD – Registered Dietitian
Current as of: August 31, 2020
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine & Rhonda O’Brien MS, RD, CDE – Certified Diabetes Educator & Colleen O’Connor PhD, RD – Registered Dietitian
The Diabetic Diet: How Diabetics Count Calories and Plan Their Diets.
The mainstays of diabetes treatment are:
- Working towards obtaining a healthy body weight
- Establishing a diabetes diet plan; no one diabetic diet fits all
- Fitting in daily physical activity, even walking is enough
- Medication, if needed
Note: Type 1 diabetes must be treated with insulin; if you have type 2 diabetes, you may not need to take insulin. This involves injecting insulin under the skin for it to work. Insulin cannot be taken as a pill because the digestive juices in the stomach would destroy the insulin before it could work. Scientists are looking for new ways to give insulin. But today, shots are the only method. There are, however, new methods to give the shots. Insulin pumps are now being widely used and many people are having great results.
In this Article
Working towards obtaining ideal body weight
An estimate of ideal body weight can be calculated using this formula:
Start with 100 pounds for 5 feet tall. Add 5 pounds for every inch over 5 feet. If you are under 5 feet, subtract 5 pounds for each inch under 5 feet. This will give you your ideal weight.
If you have a large frame, add 10%. If you have a small frame, subtract 10%. A good way to decide your frame size is to look at your wrist size compared to other women’s.
Example: A woman who is 5′ 4″ tall and has a large frame
100 pounds + 20 pounds (4 inches times 5 pounds per inch) = 120 pounds.
Add 10% for large frame (in this case 10% of 120 pounds is 12 pounds).
120 pounds + 12 pounds = 132 pounds ideal body weight.
Start with 106 pounds for a height of 5 foot. Add 6 pounds for every inch above 5 foot.
For a large frame, add 10%. For a small frame, subtract 10%. (See above for further details.)
Learn More about Treating Type 2 Diabetes
The Diabetic Diet
Diet is very important in diabetes. There are differing philosophies on what is the best diet but below is a guideline with some general principles.
Patients with type 1 diabetes should have a diet that has approximately 35 calories per kg of body weight per day (or 16 calories per pound of body weight per day). If you have a child who has type 1 diabetes, we encourage you to read our article about meal planning for children with type 1 diabetes.
How much do you know about the diabetic diet?
Patients with type 2 diabetes generally are put on a 1,500 to 1,800 calorie diet per day to promote weight loss and then the maintenance of ideal body weight. However, this may vary depending on the person’s age, sex, activity level, current weight, and body style.
More obese individuals may need more calories initially until their weight is less. This is because it takes more calories to maintain a larger body, and a 1,600 calorie diet for them may promote weight loss that is too fast to be healthy.
Men have more muscle mass in general and therefore may require more calories. Muscle burns more calories per hour than fat. (Thus also one reason to regularly exercise and build up muscle!) Also, people whose activity level is low will have less daily caloric needs.
Generally, carbohydrates should make up about 50% of the daily calories (with the accepted range 40% to 60%). In general, lower carbohydrate intake is associated with lower sugar levels in the blood.
However, the benefits of this can be canceled out by the problems associated with a higher fat diet taken in to compensate for the lower amount of carbohydrates. This problem can be improved by substituting monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for saturated fats.
Most people with diabetes find that it is quite helpful to sit down with a dietitian or nutritionist for a consult about what is the best diet for them and how many daily calories they need. It is quite important for diabetics to understand the principles of carbohydrate counting and how to help control blood sugar levels through proper diet. Below are some general principles about the diabetic diet.
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Understanding Food Groups
There are 3 basic food groups: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. The carbohydrates are the foods that can be broken down into sugar. It is essential to have all 3 food groups in your diet to have good nutrition.
1. Why Count Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates make your blood glucose level go up. If you know how much carbohydrates you’ve eaten, you have a good idea what your blood glucose level is going to do. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher your blood sugar will go up.
2. Which Foods Contain Carbohydrates?
Most of the carbohydrate we eat comes from 3 food groups: starch, fruit, and milk.
Vegetables also contain some carbohydrates, but foods in the meat and fat groups contain very little carbohydrates. Sugars may be added or may be naturally present (such as in fruits).
The nutrient term for sugars can also be identified by looking for -ose at the end of a word ( ie, glucose, fructose, and sucrose are all sugars). Look for these on food labels to help identify foods that contain sugar.
Below are some examples of the grams of carbohydrate contained in a sampling of common food products:
1 % fat milk
To make things easy, many people begin to carbohydrate count by rounding the carbohydrate value of milk up to 15.
In other words, one serving of starch, fruit, or milk contains 15 grams carbohydrate or one carbohydrate serving. Three servings of vegetables also contain 15 grams. Each meal and snack will contain a certain total number of grams of carbohydrate.
For example: Each gram of carbohydrate provides 4 calories. A person with diabetes on a 1,600 calorie diet should get 50% of these calories from carbohydrates. This would be a total of 800 calories of carbohydrates (at 4 calories per gram) spread out over the day. At 15 grams per exchange, this would be about 13 exchanges of carbohydrates per day.
The amount of food you eat is closely related to blood sugar control. If you eat more food than is recommended on your meal plan, your blood sugar goes up. Although foods containing carbohydrates (carbs) have the most impact on blood sugars, the calories from all foods will affect blood sugar.
The only way you can tell if you are eating the right amount is to measure your foods carefully. Also, it is important to space your carbohydrates out throughout the day to avoid sugar “loading.” Measuring your blood sugar regularly also provides important feedback on how high your sugar went based on what you ate and your level of activity.
Where Do You Get Carbohydrate Information?
The “Nutrition Facts” label on most foods is the best way to get carbohydrate information, but not all foods have labels. Your local bookstore and library have books that list the carbohydrate in restaurant foods, fast foods, convenience foods and fresh foods. You will still need to weigh or measure the foods to know the amount of grams of carbohydrates present.
How Do You Count Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates can be counted in number of grams or can be counted as exchanges. One carbohydrate exchange equals 15 grams of carbohydrates.
These are foods that you can eat without counting. A free food or drink is one that contains less than 20 calories and 5 grams or less of carbohydrates per serving. If your serving of a food contains more than 5 grams of carbohydrates, you should count it in your meal plan.
Examples of free foods:
- Bouillon or broth
- Carbonated or mineral water
- Club soda
- Coffee or tea
- Diet soft drinks
- Drink mixes, sugar-free
- Tonic water, sugar free
- Sugar-free hard candy
- Sugar-free Jell-O
- Sugar-free gum
- Jam or jelly, light or low-sugar, 2 tsp
- Sugar free syrup, 2 tsp
You should spread out free foods throughout the day and not eat them in one sitting.
Fitting Sugar in Your Meal Plan
It is commonly thought that people with diabetes should avoid all forms of sugar. Most people with diabetes can eat foods containing sugar as long as the total amount of carbohydrates (carbs) for that meal or snack is consistent.
Many research studies have shown that meals which contain sugar do not make the blood sugar rise higher than meals of equal carbohydrate levels which do not contain sugar. However, if the sugar-containing meal contains more carbs, the blood sugar levels will go up.
Can I Eat Cake and Not Worry About It?
No! A slice of white cake with chocolate icing (1/12 of a cake or 80 grams weight) will give you about 300 calories, 45 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of fat. That is 3 starch servings and over 2 fat servings.
Before you have a slice of cake, ask yourself the following questions: Will that small piece of cake be satisfying or will I still be hungry? How will it fit into my meal plan? Do I have 300 calories to “spend” on this? Are there other choices I could make which would contribute less fat?
A 1/12 slice of angel food cake has less than 1 gram of fat and only 30 carbs. This may be a better choice.
Controlling All Carbohydrates
It is important to realize that sugar is not the only carbohydrate that you have to “control.” The body will convert all carbohydrates to glucose, so eating extra servings of rice, pasta, bread, fruit, or other carbohydrate foods will make the blood sugar rise.
Just because something doesn’t have sugar in it doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want. Your meal plan is designed so that the carbohydrate content of your meals remains as consistent as possible from day to day.
A Word of Caution
Although sugar does not cause the blood sugar to rise any higher than other carbohydrates, it should be eaten along with other healthy foods. If you choose to drink a 12-ounce can of a sugar-sweetened soft drink, that would use up about 45 grams of carba, and you wouldn’t have gotten any nutrition (protein, vitamins, or minerals). What a waste of calories!
High sugar foods are more concentrated in carb. Therefore the volume would be smaller than a low sugar food. High sugar foods might not be a good choice if they will just tempt you to eat more. If you would rather eat larger portions, select low sugar choices.
Look at the differences in portion size you get for equal amounts of carbohydrate in these cereals!
1 1/4 cup
In addition, many sugar-containing foods also contain a lot of fat. Foods such as cookies, pastries, ice cream and cakes should be avoided largely because of the fat content and because they don’t contribute much nutritional value. If you do want a “sweet,” make a low-fat choice, such as low-fat frozen yogurt, gingersnaps, fig bars, or graham crackers and substitute it for other carbohydrates on your meal plan.
Updated on: 04/02/19
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Carbohydrates and Diabetes (for Parents)
Carbohydrates, like proteins and fats, are one of the three main components of food that provide energy and other things the body needs. They should be part of a healthy diet for all kids, including kids with diabetes.
But carbohydrates (carbs), which are found in foods such as bread, fruit, and candy, can affect a person’s blood sugar level. So kids with diabetes might need to track how many carbohydrates they eat.
Following a meal plan can help kids balance carbs with medications and exercise so that they maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Like exercising and testing blood sugar regularly, tracking carbs is just another step many kids with diabetes take to stay healthy.
Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar
The two main forms of carbohydrates are sugars and starches. Types of sugars include fructose (sugar found in fruit and some baked goods), glucose (the main sugar in our bodies that’s also found in foods like cake, cookies, and soft drinks), and lactose (sugar found in milk and yogurt). Types of starches include vegetables like potatoes, corn, and peas; grains, rice, and cereals; and breads.
The body breaks down or converts most carbs into glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. As the glucose level rises in the blood, the pancreas releases the hormone insulin. Insulin is needed to move glucose from the blood into the cells, where it’s used as an energy source.
In people with diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or the body can’t respond normally to the insulin that is made (type 2 diabetes). In both types of diabetes, glucose can’t get into the cells normally, so a person’s blood sugar level gets too high. High blood sugar levels can make people sick if they don’t receive treatment.
Carbs Can Be Part of a Healthy Diet
Eating carbohydrates makes blood sugar levels rise, but that doesn’t mean that people with diabetes should avoid them. In fact, carbs are a healthy and important part of a nutritious diet.
For everyone — including people with diabetes — some carbohydrate-containing foods have more health benefits than others. Whole-grain foods, vegetables, candy, and soda all have carbohydrates. But fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods are generally healthier than sugary foods like candy and soda because they provide fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients.
On the other hand, some foods containing carbs — like sugary snacks — contain “empty calories.” That means their calories lack nutritional value. Eating too many empty calories can contribute to being overweight or obese and can crowd out more nutritious foods from a daily diet. These foods can also cause tooth decay.
Fiber is the one type of carbohydrate that does not raise blood sugar. Everyone needs fiber — it helps you feel full and keeps the digestive system running smoothly. Most people don’t get enough of it. Some experts think that people with diabetes should have more fiber than others to help control blood sugar levels.
Whichever type of carbohydrates your child eats, remember this: Generally, the amount of sugar that gets into the blood after eating depends on the amount of carbs eaten, not the type of carbs. So basically, as far as managing diabetes is concerned, a carb is a carb. Again, the one exception to this is fiber: It is the one type of carbohydrate that does not raise blood sugar because the body doesn’t digest or absorb it.
Your goal is to help your child achieve the right balance between the insulin in the body and the carbs in food.
In addition to serving a balanced diet of carbs, proteins, and fats, you can also help keep your child’s blood sugar at a healthy level by:
- making sure blood sugar is tested regularly
- encouraging plenty of exercise
- making sure your child gets insulin and other medications for diabetes according to schedule and in the right amounts
Following a meal plan helps kids with diabetes track their carbohydrate intake. You’ll work with your child and the diabetes health care team to create a meal plan that will include general guidelines for carbohydrate intake. The team will consider your child’s age, size, weight goal, exercise level, medications, and other medical issues, and will try to incorporate foods your child enjoys.
Usually, it’s easier for most people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels if they eat carbs in fairly consistent amounts and at regular times each day.
Three general types of meal plans can help achieve the proper balance:
An exchange meal plan lists items in six food groups and sets a serving size for each food. You can mix and match the foods while keeping track of what your child is eating, including how many carbohydrates.
With the constant carbohydrate meal plan, people eat about the same amount of carbs and other foods every day. This can be a good approach for those who take insulin only once or twice a day or who don’t take insulin at all to control their diabetes.
The third type of plan, carbohydrate counting, matches a person’s insulin dosage to the amount of carbs eaten. This plan offers more flexibility and can be a good fit for people who take insulin with each major meal and snack.
Keeping Carbs in Check
Kids may be tempted to sneak sugary snacks between meals without accounting for insulin coverage. You might discuss this with your child, even if it hasn’t happened yet. It’s healthier to create open communication about food instead of making kids feel like they need to hide dietary slip-ups.
Emphasize that most people eat unhealthy snack food occasionally, but eating lots of sugary junk foods can make it hard to keep a healthy blood sugar level, especially for kids who don’t take insulin. And it can lead to weight gain and painful cavities!
If you’re not sure how many carbohydrates a food contains, check the food label or ask someone — like a waiter or chef — about unlabeled foods like restaurant entrees.
Also, check the labels of diet foods. These foods may contain extra sugar as a substitute for fat calories. Try to include your child or teen as you evaluate and select healthy carbohydrate-containing foods. With your guidance and the meal plan, your child can begin to choose foods and learn how carbs affect blood sugar.
By taking a smart approach to balancing carbohydrates, medications, and activity, you can help your child enjoy food and stay healthy at the same time.
90,000 Diabetes: counting carbohydrates | Archive
Diabetes is a condition that requires a constant diet. However, diet is not about avoiding food, but about necessary restrictions that do not have to be minimized.
IN DIABETES, the main thing is not to overdo it with carbohydrates, because when they are broken down, they turn into sugar. Simple carbohydrates – sugars and sweets – are sharply limited, and as a rule, are generally excluded. But the body needs carbohydrates. In addition, the diet should be varied.
If you know the composition of the products, then you can replace some products with others, without confining yourself to 3-4 dishes. Some people who monitor their health prefer to use special tables of the chemical composition of foods (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, calories) for this, they can be easily found in dietary guides, special literature. You can calculate your diet in other ways: by calorie intake, by sugar value, by starch units. The most convenient for use in everyday life is the calculation of consumed carbohydrates by bread units (XE).What it is? One bread unit is the amount of food that contains 10-12 g of carbohydrates. Knowing how much XE is contained in certain products, you can, firstly, find it easier to find an equivalent replacement for one product with another and thereby diversify your diet without harming your health, and secondly, more accurately calculate the required amount of insulin. During breakfast for 1 XE, 2.5-2.8 units should be injected. insulin, for lunch – a little less than 2 units, for dinner, as a rule, about 2 units. At first glance, such a system of food replacement seems complicated, but a person very quickly gets used to it, and it becomes easier for him to change foods in his diet, understanding how much carbohydrates he receives.For example, 1 XE is one piece of black bread or bran bread, or 5 medium crackers, or 2 crispbreads, or 1 pancake. Of vegetables, 1 XE each will contain, for example, 6 tablespoons of canned peas, 1 potato in a jacket, 2 tbsp. heaped spoons of boiled lentils, 3 large carrots, etc. (see table).
“In any case, no matter what tables and methods of calculating the amount of carbohydrates consumed you may use, the main thing is to follow a diet,” says endocrinologist Alla Petrovna ANDREYCHENKO. – It is necessary to count carbohydrates not only in type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent), but also in type 2 diabetes, the so-called senile, because it is an even more insidious disease. With external well-being, the absence of such severe conditions as in the first type, when almost something is wrong – immediately decompensation, ketoacidosis and, God forbid, coma, the second type of diabetes is dangerous because there are more gross vascular disorders. To avoid them, to maximize the delay in the onset of complications, you need to monitor what you eat. “
When replacing products, it is necessary to take into account not only the amount of carbohydrates contained in them, but also the calorie content and the level of glucose in the blood after taking a particular food (glycemic coefficient). The glycemic coefficient depends not only on the amount of carbohydrates in a particular product, but also on the composition of these carbohydrates (simple or complex). The less fiber in the product, the better carbohydrates are absorbed and the faster the blood sugar level will rise. There are a lot of dietary fiber in berries (strawberries, raspberries, black currants), dried apricots, raisins, dry rose hips, vegetables (carrots, dill), dried white mushrooms, cereals, legumes.Plant fibers help to lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
We must try to replace products from the same groups: vegetables – for vegetables, fruits – for fruits, dairy products – for dairy products, etc., but so that all these groups are present in the diet and it is not limited only to cereals or fruits. At the same time, in the diet of young people (namely, they make up the majority in type 1 diabetes), it is necessary to ensure that there is enough protein in the diet, and for the elderly – to make a diet taking into account the fact that atherosclerosis develops with age, which means , it is necessary to limit animal fats and increase the amount of plant fibers.
How many carbohydrates, and therefore bread units, can be consumed daily by a specific person, depends on the degree of development of his diabetes, height, age, body weight, energy consumption. The spread is quite large – from 150 (15 XE) to 250 g (25 XE), so a doctor should help you more accurately.
90,000 IS IT POSSIBLE TO EAT BANANAS WITH DIABETES MELLITUS?
When you have diabetes, it is important to keep your blood sugar as stable as possible.Proper blood sugar control can help prevent or slow the progression of some of the major complications of diabetes. For this reason, it is important to eliminate or minimize the consumption of foods that cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Although bananas are healthy fruits, they are quite high in carbohydrates and sugar, which are the main nutrients that increase blood sugar levels.
Bananas contain blood sugar-raising carbohydrates
If you have diabetes, it is important to know the amount and type of carbohydrates in your diet.This is because carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels more than other nutrients, which means that they can have a profound effect on blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels rise in people without diabetes, the body produces insulin. It helps move sugar out of the blood and into cells, where it is used or stored. However, this process does not work properly in people with diabetes. Their bodies do not make enough insulin, or their cells become resistant to the insulin being produced.If not handled properly, it can lead to high carbohydrate foods causing spikes in blood sugar levels or persistently high blood sugar levels, which is unhealthy.
How much sugar is in a banana?
One medium-sized banana (about 126 grams) contains 29 grams of carbohydrates and 112 calories. Carbohydrates come in the form of sugar, starch, and fiber. One medium-sized banana contains about 15 grams of sugar.
Bananas do contain simple carbohydrates that can cause blood sugar to rise more than other nutrients.
Bananas contain fiber, which can lower blood sugar
In addition to starch and sugar, a medium-sized banana contains 3 grams of fiber, or dietary fiber. Everyone, including those with diabetes, should eat enough fiber for its potential health benefits.
However, fiber is especially important for people with diabetes because it can help slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.
It can reduce spikes in blood sugar levels and improve overall blood sugar regulation.
One way to determine how a food containing carbohydrates affects blood sugar is to look at its glycemic index (GI).
The Glycemic Index ranks foods based on how much and how quickly they raise blood sugar.
Grades range from 0 to 100 with the following classifications:
Low GI: 55 or less.
Medium GI: 56 to 69
High GI: 70 to 100
Low GI diets are believed to be particularly good for people with type 2 diabetes
This is because low GI foods are absorbed more slowly and cause a more gradual rise in blood sugar.
Overall, bananas are rated low to medium on a GI scale (42 to 62, depending on ripeness) (10).
In addition to sugar and starch, bananas contain fiber. This means that the sugar in bananas is more slowly digested and absorbed, which can prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.
Green (unripe) bananas contain resistant starch
The type of carbohydrate in a banana depends on its ripeness.
Green or unripe bananas contain less sugar and more resistant starch. Resistant starch (resistant starch) are long chains of glucose (starch) that are “resistant” to digestion in the upper part of the digestive system.This means that they act in a similar way to fiber and do not cause an increase in blood sugar levels. They may also help nourish friendly bacteria in the gut, which has been linked to improved metabolism and better blood sugar control. In fact, a 2015 study on blood sugar regulation in women with type 2 diabetes produced some interesting results. Those who took resistant starch supplements over an 8-week period had better blood sugar control than those who did not.Other studies have shown that resistant starch may have beneficial effects in people with type 2 diabetes. Benefits include improving insulin sensitivity and reducing inflammation. The role of resistant starch in type 1 diabetes is less clear.
The effect of a banana on blood sugar depends on its ripeness
Yellow or ripe bananas contain less stable starch than green bananas and more sugar, which is absorbed faster than starch.This means that fully ripe bananas have a higher GI and cause blood sugar to rise faster than green or unripe bananas.
Green (unripe) bananas contain resistant starch that does not raise blood sugar levels and may improve long-term blood sugar regulation. Ripe yellow bananas contain more sugar than green bananas, so they can cause a greater rise in blood sugar levels.
Serving size is important
When it comes to the amount of sugar in a banana, ripeness is not the only factor, size matters.The larger the banana, the more carbs you get. This means that a larger banana will have a stronger effect on blood sugar levels. This serving size effect is called glycemic load. Glycemic load is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by the amount of carbohydrates per serving and then dividing that number by 100.
A score less than 10 is considered low, from 11 to 19 is average, and over 20 is considered high. Bananas vary in size and contain between 18.5 and 35 grams of carbohydrates.If the banana were fully ripe (GI 62), its glycemic load would be from 11 for a very small banana to 22 for a very large banana. In order not to raise your blood sugar too much, it is important to know the size of the banana you are eating.
The size of a banana eaten determines its effect on blood sugar. The larger the banana, the more carbohydrates you consume and the more your blood sugar rises.
Are bananas safe for people with diabetes?
Most general diabetes nutritional guidelines recommend a healthy, balanced diet that includes fruits.This is because fruits and vegetables are associated with better health and a lower risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease and some cancers
People living with diabetes are at an even greater risk of developing these conditions, so it is important to eat enough fruits and vegetables. Unlike refined sugar foods like candy and cakes, the carbohydrates in fruits like bananas come along with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
In particular, bananas contain fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. They also contain some antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds. For most people with diabetes, fruit (including bananas) is a healthy choice. Although, if you are on a low-carb diet to cope with diabetes, even a small banana contains about 22 grams of carbs, which may be too much for your diet. If your healthcare provider thinks you can eat bananas, it’s important to keep the ripeness and size of the banana in mind to reduce its effect on blood sugar.
Fruits such as bananas are healthy foods that contain fiber, vitamins and minerals. You can include bananas in your diet, even if you have diabetes. Always check with your healthcare provider first about your meal plan.
Summing up the results
If you have diabetes, you can eat fruits such as bananas as part of a healthy diet. If bananas are your favorite, the following tips will help you minimize their effect on your blood sugar:
Watch your portion size.To reduce the amount of sugar you eat in one sitting, eat a smaller banana.
Give preference to firm, almost ripe bananas. Eat bananas that are not too ripe to have a little less sugar. Spread out your fruit intake throughout the day. Spread your fruit intake throughout the day to lower your glycemic load and keep your blood sugar stable. Eat them along with other foods. Enjoy bananas with other foods like nuts or high-fat yogurt to slow the digestion and absorption of sugar.
If you have diabetes, remember that foods containing carbohydrates can affect your blood sugar in different ways. Therefore, you can monitor how eating bananas affects your blood sugar and adjust your eating habits accordingly.
Endocrinologist M.P. Beimanova
90,000 How to count XE in type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus?
Due to numerous requests, we begin to cover more often the issues of calculating bread units (XE).
And first of all, let’s see how XE can be considered. If you are new to diabetes, this information will probably come in handy!
In Russia, it is customary to consider food in bread units (XE). This is easier than counting grams of carbohydrates and allows you to count carbohydrates by eye in situations where weights are not at hand.
For 1 XE you can take 10, 11 or 12 g of carbohydrates. Your choice will greatly affect the calculation of the final dose.
For example, you want a bar that contains 18 g of carbs. If your bread unit contains 10 g, then the bar comes out almost 2 XE; if 12 g – then for you it contains exactly 1.5 XE and a completely different dose of insulin.
What is the correct way to count XE in foods and dishes?
Method 1: Good old calculation of XE by eye
In the hospital, when you are discharged, tables are often given, where it is indicated that 1XE is a piece of bread, 12 cherries, 2 tablespoons of porridge or a glass of milk. Those who have had diabetes for a long time will probably remember that such tables have long been almost the only way to count food that is not sold in a package with an exact indication of carbohydrates.
Counting by eye is convenient when there are no scales at hand (at a party or in a cafe), but in general it is too approximate to rely on it constantly.One and the same cereal can be cooked in such a way that in two spoons there will be much more 1 XE, and a piece of bread or a “small apple” – the concepts are so vague that the dose can be greatly missed.
Method 2: Count carbohydrates by weight of a single product. This method is already more accurate.
You weigh the same bread or boiled buckwheat and calculate XE based on the weight, not the approximate portion size. For ready-made portioned products such as cereal bars, snacks (chips, crackers), cookies and drinks, calculations are even easier – we know exactly how much the product weighs in a pack and count XE without any problems.
For calculation we use the usual formula of proportions.
Example: 100 g of Chokopai contains 73 g of carbohydrates; one Chocopai weighs 30 g. Substitute the formula:
(73/100) * 30 = 21.9 g.
You can quickly count in your head, removing the extra zeros. For example, like this:
7.3 * 3 = 21.9, where 7.3 are carbohydrates in 10 g of chocopai, and 3 is the number of times 10 grams in one chocopai. You can also count like this: 73 * 0.3 = 21.9. In general, consider what is more convenient for you 🙂
Sometimes caring manufacturers indicate the amount of carbohydrates not only per 100g, but also per 1 serving, which makes it completely easier to calculate the insulin dose.We really appreciate such care, so we are pleased to add to our range of snacks such brands as Bombbar and Dary Pamir, which indicate the amount of carbohydrates per serving.
Method 3: Count the dry ingredients of the future dish (suitable only for homemade dishes)
You weigh the initial products, count the amount of carbohydrates in each in Method 2, add and divide the amount by the portions of the finished dish.
For example, you are preparing morning porridge. You have got 35 grams of dry oatmeal, 100 ml of milk and water per eye.The amount of water can affect the weight of the finished porridge and the final dose, if counted in spoons. But you are not afraid, because you already know the amount of carbohydrates in a serving.
The same is true for pies, pancakes and other baked goods – you simply divide the total amount of carbohydrates in the dough by the number of pieces or pieces.
Method 4: Using special scales for calculating XE in products
This method is very convenient for those who have recently got sick and have difficulty in calculating.It is also convenient to use the scales for children with diabetes. In order to find out the amount of XE in a certain product, you just need to put the product on the scale and enter the digital product code. The screen will show the amount of XE in the product that is on the scales.
It must be borne in mind that manufacturers accept 1XE = 12 gr. carbohydrates. If your bread unit contains 10 carbohydrates, then the scales will also be convenient to use, since you can look at the “Carbohydrates” window. You can choose a scale for every taste – flat with a touch screen Beurer DS61 or scales with a bowl and simple buttons Sanitas SDS64
There are many services for calculating carbohydrates in complex dishes.But as our subscribers tell us, they can fail. So keep a close eye on your sugars and make adjustments if necessary next time.
Finally, we note that in reality we use all three methods, depending on the situation and our capabilities.
Although weighing products is the most accurate method, there is nothing wrong with sometimes counting by eye. The more often you weigh, the more accurately you will count by eye over time.
We wish you precise doses and good sugars 🙂
Moscow’s chief endocrinologist on diabetes / City news / Moscow website
World Diabetes Day is celebrated on November 14th.The chief endocrinologist of the Moscow Department of Health, Mikhail Antsiferov, debunked the most common myths about this disease.
“Over the past ten years, the number of patients with diabetes mellitus in the world has more than doubled. In Russia, according to the federal diabetes registry, about four and a half million patients are registered. According to the NATION study, 24 percent of the adult population in Russia has prediabetes, 5.4 percent has type 2 diabetes, and half of them (54 percent) are unaware of their disease.Thus, the real number of patients with diabetes in our country can be about eight to nine million people, ”said Mikhail Antsiferov.
Diabetes mellitus – an endocrine disease in which glucose metabolism is impaired against a background of insulin deficiency. As a result, hyperglycemia develops – a persistent increase in blood glucose. With the disease, all types of metabolism are disrupted.
Myth 1. Diabetes mellitus develops from excessive consumption of sugar
Uncontrolled consumption of sugar is harmful to health and can lead to obesity.This is one of the risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, but far from the main one.
Myth 2. Diabetes is a disease of overweight people
Typically, type 2 diabetes is diagnosed in overweight people. But it can develop with normal body weight.
Myth 3. Patients with diabetes should not eat foods containing carbohydrates
In fact, diabetics need to follow the principles of a healthy diet, when carbohydrates account for 50–55 percent of the daily caloric value of food.But it’s important to limit yourself to foods that contain easily digestible carbohydrates such as sugar, honey, preserves, jams, sugary drinks, and juices.
Myth 4. Having diabetes, the patient immediately feels unwell
The danger of the disease is that at first it does not manifest itself in any way. At risk are people over 40 years of age, overweight or obese, as well as those with diabetes, parents, brothers and sisters. These patients need to measure their fasting blood sugar once a year.
Muscovites will be able to pass a free comprehensive examination for susceptibility to diabetes of the second type until November 16, . The action takes place in all health centers on the basis of city polyclinics of the Department of Health.
Doctors will screen. It includes the calculation of body mass index, measurement of blood pressure, rapid test to determine the level of glucose in the blood. After the examinations, the participants will be given a statement on their health status, as well as recommendations for the prevention of diabetes.If necessary, the doctor can refer the patient to an endocrinologist, ophthalmologist, cardiologist and other specialists.
Myth 5. Patients will sooner or later lose sight and suffer from diabetic foot syndrome
These consequences refer to late complications caused by the disease. But in patients who maintain target blood sugar, lipids, blood pressure and nonsmokers, the risk of their occurrence is significantly reduced. Modern drugs and new approaches to therapy can reduce possible complications.
Myth 6. Diabetes is contagious
Infection with diabetes mellitus is impossible under any circumstances.
Myth 7. Honey and sweeteners can be consumed in unlimited quantities
Honey contains equal amounts of glucose and fructose. It raises blood glucose in much the same way as regular sugar. Sugar substitutes in large quantities are not always harmless, therefore, their use must be approached reasonably. Sugar substitutes do not have any therapeutic effect on the body, are not included in diabetes treatment programs and are not required components of the diet.
Myth 8. Women with diabetes cannot have children
A woman is able to give birth to a healthy child when planning pregnancy, quality preparation for it and monitoring during the entire period of gestation.
The danger is posed by cases of unplanned pregnancy against the background of high blood glucose levels in the first three weeks of pregnancy, when the organs of the unborn child are being formed. That is why it is very important for women with diabetes to use reliable methods of contraception and take a responsible approach to planning pregnancy.
Myth 9. Sports are contraindicated in patients with diabetes mellitus
People with this condition need regular physical activity and exercise to improve their well-being. Of course, when choosing a load, it is necessary to take into account the recommendations of a doctor. There are no absolute contraindications to exercise in diabetic patients, but it is better to consult a specialist before starting classes. It is very important to avoid hypoglycemia, a syndrome that occurs when plasma glucose levels drop by at least 0.5 millimoles per liter from the lower limit of the norm and is accompanied by symptoms of a malfunction of the central nervous system.
Myth 10. Diabetes can be completely cured
It is impossible to cure diabetes mellitus. But it can and should be controlled in order to live a full life. If you learn about the risk of the disease in a timely manner, you can try to prevent it. In many cases, lifestyle changes could stop or slow down the progression of type 2 diabetes.
Myth 11. Insulin is harmful and addictive
Not at all. In type 1 disease, insulin needs to be injected several times a day, as it is very important for maintaining life and health.In type 2 diabetes, in the early stages of the disease, the pancreas still copes with the production of insulin. Therefore, during this period, special drugs are prescribed to lower sugar (usually in tablets, but there are also in the form of injections). With the progression of the disease, it becomes more difficult for the body to produce insulin, the drugs no longer give the desired effect. That’s when you need to start taking insulin.
Some people with diabetes are afraid of injecting insulin, most often for unknown reasons. When the tablets no longer help lower blood sugar levels, then insulin injections must be added.If this is not done in a timely manner, then blood sugar will remain significantly elevated for a long time, and this can lead to serious complications.
“Can I eat carbohydrates in diabetes?” – Yandex.Qu
Alena Paretskaya, pediatrician
When diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, one of the leading recommendations of specialists concerns dietary changes. Many patients mistakenly believe that carbohydrates should be completely eliminated or reduced to a minimum from the diet.But experts emphasize that it is impossible to sharply limit the intake of certain substances, this negatively affects the metabolism. Diet changes should be discussed in detail with the doctor, adjusting the amount of simple carbohydrates, but not completely eliminating them.
Carbohydrates in the diet
Nutritionists classify carbohydrates as “simple” (aka light) or “complex”. It is important for people with diabetes to be aware of the metabolic effects of each group of these substances in order to adjust their diet and control their plasma glucose levels.Naturally, when the diagnosis is just made, it is extremely difficult to figure out how to correctly adjust the level of carbohydrates in the usual diet. If diabetes is diagnosed, a person who is aware of the dangers of hyperglycemia may be tempted to simply eliminate carbohydrates from their diet. But it may not be as beneficial for metabolism and blood sugar control as it sounds. Diabetes compromises the ability to efficiently use and store carbohydrates in order to maintain a constant blood sugar level.If the diet is improperly selected, it can lead to an increase in blood sugar levels. Long-term hyperglycemia can lead to serious health problems such as nerve damage or kidney disease.
Effective diabetes control involves maintaining plasma glucose levels as close to normal as possible. This is achieved by adjusting the diet and taking hypoglycemic drugs or insulin injections.People who have diabetes should be able to choose the healthiest diet possible, and the most pressing issue lately is the low-carb diet. But how much is it acceptable for such a disease?
At first glance, it seems natural to eliminate carbohydrates from the diet of people with diabetes. A large amount of these substances in the diet increases blood sugar levels. The mainstay of diabetes management is interventions to lower plasma glucose levels. But carbohydrates are an important source of energy, they are involved in metabolism and must be supplied to the body with food.Another thing is that these should be “correct” carbohydrates in a certain amount.
Features of metabolism
Carbohydrates are direct participants in metabolism, they are the most natural and most effective source of fuel for the brain and body cells. Carbohydrate foods also provide essential nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. If they are severely limited in nutrition or are supplied in excess, the entire metabolism suffers.Even if a person has diabetes mellitus, this does not mean that he should not eat carbohydrates at all, it is necessary to change the diet in favor of complex compounds with some restriction of simple carbohydrates.
Today there are many different diets, nutritional guidelines and nutritional systems, and it is easy for the common man to get confused about them. So, there are recommendations that indicate that the share of carbohydrates should account for 50 to 60% of daily calories. For a person who consumes 2,000 calories a day, this equates to approximately 250 grams or more of carbohydrates.But the keto diet recommends only 20-30 grams of carbohydrates per day in order to activate the “emergency” system of the body (provocation of ketoacidosis) to burn fat and obtain energy. The difference between these recommendations is more than 220 grams. How do you know how much carbohydrates people with diabetes need? There is no single correct answer, an individual approach is important depending on the type of diabetes, the severity of the condition and age, and the level of glycemia.
Individual correction of the diet
Every person with diabetes should work with a doctor to develop an individualized meal plan.There is no one-size-fits-all diet for all diabetics. The diet is compiled taking into account many factors at once, including taking medications or insulin injections, a person’s food preferences, his age and comorbidities, and the level of physical activity.
It is important to recognize that blood glucose control is not the only challenge in diabetes management. The presence of this pathology also significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. In addition, it also provokes an increase in blood pressure and kidney damage.All these nuances must be taken into account when adjusting a person’s usual diet.
Nutrition for diabetics: what is important to know?
Healthy eating is important for people with diabetes. They should, together with an endocrinologist or nutritionist, develop an individual nutritional plan, determining the amount of simple and complex carbohydrates, their ratio to fats and food proteins. For those who suffer from diabetes and are considering reducing carbohydrates without professional guidance, I would like to remind you of the role of carbohydrate foods and those essential substances that it supplies to the body.
First of all, these are soluble fibers. They help lower levels of unhealthy LDL (low density lipoprotein), or “bad cholesterol,” in the blood, and beans and oats are the best sources of soluble fiber. And these are carbohydrate foods.
B vitamins play an important role in metabolism, especially in chemical reactions to extract energy from incoming food. B vitamins are so important to overall health that many foods are fortified with thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and folate (B9).You can get B vitamins from whole grains, beans, lentils, potatoes, milk, yogurt, and citrus fruits. All of these foods contain carbohydrates.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the functioning of the immune system, tissue repair. The richest food source for vitamin C is fruits, which also contain both simple and complex carbohydrates.
This is not a complete list of important nutrients that come from carbohydrate foods.And reducing the volume of carbohydrates immediately raises the question, what other types of food can adequately replenish the loss of vitamins and minerals? There are alternative sources of these nutrients, and in some cases supplementation can fill the gaps. But nutrients are best absorbed when they come from the diet. Therefore, against the background of diabetes, food should be as varied and healthy as possible, light carbohydrates are recommended to be reduced (but not excluded), and all dietary changes should always be discussed with a doctor.
Photo materials used Shutterstock
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- Safety and dietary efficacy of using new diabetic sweets for overweight and obesity / Vladimir Antonovich Dotsenko, LV Mosiychuk, VS Vlasov // Human Ecology. = 2012. – No. 6
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- Population study of urban population nutrition in type 2 diabetes / Kuntsevich Alexander Konstantinovich, Mustafina Svetlana Vladimirovna, Malyutina Sofya Konstantinovna, et al. // Diabetes mellitus. = 2015. – No. 4
Table of caloric content of foods for patients with diabetes mellitus
Calorie table of foods recommended for patients with diabetes mellitus
The provisions of the diabetic diet are to limit the level of simple carbohydrates and fats.On the menu, it is important to control the quality and quantity of dishes consumed and to divide them for the whole day. This is especially true for carbohydrates. The diet should include foods rich in nutritional properties, vitamins, mineral salts, and supplements to regulate metabolic disorders. A person suffering from diabetes should, together with a dietitian doctor, determine the appropriate amount of calories for themselves.
|Product||Number||Energy value (kcal)||Proteins (g)||Fat (g)||Carbohydrates (g)|
|Acidophilus 1%||100 ml||40||3.0||1.0||4.0|
|Low-fat acidophilus||100 ml||31||3.0||0.1||3.9|
|Blanched Beluga||100 g||234||23.3||15.6||0.0|
|Fresh broccoli||100 g||25||3.0||0.4||2.4|
|Brussels sprouts, fresh||100 g||34||4.0||0.5||3.5|
|Boiled pink salmon||100 g||168||22.9||7.8||0.0|
|Dried peas||100 g||298||20.5||2.0||48.6|
|Green onions||100 g||29||4.1||0.8||3.9|
|Boiled catfish||100 g||114||15.5||5.8||0.0|
|Boiled turkey||100 g||195||25.3||10.4||0.0|
|Turkey, breast||100 g||84||19.2||0.7||0.0|
|Italian cabbage||100 g||38||3.3||0.4||7.8|
|Boiled flounder||100 g||103||18.3||3.3||0.0|
|White cabbage||100 g||29||1.7||0.2||7.4|
|Carnose cabbage||100 g||27||1.9||0.2||6.7|
|Boiled crucian carp||100 g||102||20.7||2.1||0.0|
|Boiled carp||100 g||102||16.0||3.7||2.0|
|Buckwheat porridge||100 g||336||12.6||3.1||69.3|
|Millet porridge||100 g||346||10.5||2.9||71.6|
|Kefir 0%||100 ml||30||3.0||0.1||3.8|
|Boiled rabbit||100 g||204||24.6||11.7||0.0|
|Couscous groats||100 g||358||13.0||2.0||72.0|
|Pearl barley||100 g||320||9.3||1.1||66.5|
|Barley groats||100 g||324||10.0||1.3||66.3|
|Boiled bream||100 g||126||20.9||4.7||0.0|
|Boiled mackerel||100 g||124||22.8||3.6||0.0|
|Bee honey||100 ml||324||0.0||0.0||79.5|
|Boiled pollock||100 g||79||17.6||1.0||0.0|
|Milk 0.5%||100 ml||39||3.5||0.5||5.1|
|Wheat flour||100 g||342||9.2||1.2||74.9|
|Muesli with dried fruits||100 g||325||8.4||3.4||72.2|
|Boiled burbot||100 g||92||21.4||0.7||0.0|
|Olive oil||100 ml||882||0.0||99.6||0.2|
|Boiled sturgeon||100 g||179||17.7||12.0||0.0|
|Boiled halibut||100 g||216||14.0||17.8||0.0|
|Buttermilk 0.5%||100 ml||37||3.4||0.5||4.7|
|Peking cabbage||100 g||12||1.2||0.2||3.2|
|Bulgarian pepper||100 g||26||0.9||0.3||5.2|
|Parsley, greens||100 g||41||4.4||0.4||9.0|
|Curdled milk 1%||100 ml||40||3.0||1.0||4.1|
|Wheat bran||100 g||185||16.0||4.6||61.9|
|Rye bread||100 g||223||5.6||1.7||51.5|
|White rice||100 g||344||6.7||0.7||78.9|
|Brown rice||100 g||331||6.3||4.4||65.1|
|Beet tops||100 g||17||2.1||0.5||5.5|
|Celery, greens||100 g||13||1.0||0.2||3.6|
|Celery, root||100 g||21||1.6||0.3||7.7|
|Sunflower seeds||100 g||561||24.4||43.7||24.6|
|Pumpkin seeds||100 g||556||24.5||45.8||18.0|
|Soybean oil||100 ml||884||0.0||100.0||0.0|
|Pickled cucumber||100 g||11||1.0||0.1||1.9|
|Boiled catfish||100 g||196||18.4||13.6||0.0|
|Soybeans, dry seeds||100 g||382||34.3||19.6||32.7|
|Boiled horse mackerel||100 g||133||20.6||5.6||0.0|
|Boiled pike perch||100 g||97||21.3||1.3||0.0|
|Fat-free cottage cheese||100 g||99||19.8||0.5||3.5|
|Boiled veal||100 g||131||30.7||0.9||0.0|
|Boiled cod||100 g||78||17.8||0.7||0.0|
|Dried white beans||100 g||102||7.0||0.5||16.9|
|Green beans||100 g||24||2.0||0.2||3.6|
|Boiled hake||100 g||95||18.5||2.3||0.0|
|Bread with grains||100 g||228||8.6||1.4||43.9|
|Corn flakes||100 g||363||6.9||2.5||83.6|
|Barley flakes||100 g||355||9.8||3.6||79.4|
|Fresh cauliflower||100 g||21||2.4||0.3||2.3|
|Lemon tea||100 ml||43||0.7||0.8||8.2|
|Cooked lentils||100 g||111||7.8||0.0||20.1|
|Bitter chocolate||100 g||549||5.4||35.3||52.6|
|Boiled pike||100 g||98||21.3||1.3||0.0|
Diabetic Diet Basics
The main source of carbohydrates should be milk and milk products, as well as wholemeal breads, cereals, cereals, brown rice and pasta.Vegetables that are high in carbohydrates, such as potatoes, corn, and legumes (beans, peas, lentils). High-calorie carbohydrates also include beets, carrots, celery and Brussels sprouts. The diet may contain vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower, bell peppers, radishes, green salad, asparagus, and Chinese cabbage.
The diet of people with diabetes mellitus may include fruits. Watermelons and grapefruits contain few calories. High-calorie fruits include plums, grapes, and bananas.We can also add oranges, strawberries, tangerines and apples to the menu.
Apples are another component of the diabetic diet. Lean types of meat (veal, beef), chicken and turkey meat (without skin), sea fish, milk and dairy products (skim), legumes are well suited. You need to eat vegetable fats: vegetable oils, olive oil, soft margarines, and be careful with cholesterol-rich foods such as giblets, butter, cream, as well as fats found in cheeses, milk and fatty meats.It is recommended to drink mineral water, tomato juice, coffee and tea without sugar.
Foods prohibited in the diabetic diet
Sugary drinks should be excluded. Drinking alcohol, especially in large quantities, is risky because it enhances the action of insulin, which means that after drinking it, a person may be at risk of hypoglycemia. Foods containing a lot of monosaccharides should not be consumed: honey, chocolate, sweets and cakes. It is necessary to limit the use of salt, which can be replaced with herbs, lemon, etc.p.
Diabetics cannot eat a large amount of food at one time, and cannot eat anything for a long time. The number of meals should be the same every day, and it should be consumed at the same time.
Healthy living with diabetes
World Diabetes Day was proclaimed on November 14, 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) together with the World Health Organization under the auspices of the United Nations.This date is intended to perpetuate the merits of the Canadian scientist Frederick Bunting, who was born on this day in 1891.
In 1922, F. Banting, together with D. McLeod and C. Best, discovered insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar, or glucose). In 1923 F. Banting and D. McLeod were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this revolutionary discovery, which still saves millions of lives. In 1960, the chemical structure of human insulin was established, and in 1979, a complete synthesis of human insulin was carried out using genetic engineering.
The World Diabetes Day logo is a blue circle. In many cultures, the circle symbolizes life and health, and the blue color represents the sky that unites all peoples, and the color of the UN flag.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the three diseases that most often lead to disability and death (cardiovascular, oncological and diabetes mellitus). Today, this disease develops in every eleventh person in the world, and half of these people live unaware of their diagnosis.
In Russia, according to the All-Russian Epidemiological Study of the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, more than 6 million people have. About 25 million Russians are at the stage of prediabetes, that is, at risk.
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease when the pancreas does not produce enough of the hormone insulin (type 1 diabetes, insulin dependent) or when the body cannot use the insulin it produces efficiently (type 2 diabetes, non-insulin dependent).This leads to elevated blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia). Insulin deficiency leads not only to an increase in sugar levels, but also to disruption of the work of almost all organs and systems of the body, since insulin takes an active part in the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Diabetes mellitus can cause a number of complications: loss of vision, stroke, heart attack, amputation of limbs, etc. destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas.Lack of insulin in type 1 diabetes is compensated by subcutaneous injections of the hormone (in combination with diet). To date, it is impossible to prevent this disease, since the causes of its occurrence are unknown.
A catastrophic increase in the incidence is associated with type 2 diabetes, which accounts for more than 85% of cases. Type 2 diabetes is called the “disease of civilization”, which is caused by ineffective use of insulin by the body and is largely the result of lifestyle.For this type of disease, there are effective methods of prevention and
of disease control: a healthy and balanced diet, regular physical activity and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle.
It is not for nothing that doctors say that diabetes is not a disease, but a way of life. The right lifestyle for people with diabetes is one of the key moments of full interaction with the outside world. The lifestyle of people with diabetes is a healthy lifestyle that, ideally, everyone should adhere to.And we are not talking about giving up tasty food and having exhausting physical activity, but rather about moderation in everything. A large role is assigned to the rules of nutrition, physical activity, labor activity (including study), rest, etc.
Regime is one of the basic principles of nutrition for people with diabetes mellitus. Timely nutrition is an important point. With diabetes, food should be fractional and balanced – at least 5 times a day, while the break between meals should not exceed 3 hours.Diet therapy plays a leading role in the treatment of type 2 diabetes:
diet therapy: table number 9 – food with restriction of fats and digestible carbohydrates.
All products are divided into three groups: permitted – products containing complex carbohydrates and fiber; limited – foods with saturated fat; prohibited (only to eliminate attacks of hypoglycemia) – foods containing refined carbohydrates.For all people with diabetes, it is important to check your blood sugar and blood pressure on a daily basis, take special medications, do not skip meals, monitor your weight, limit salt intake, drink at least 1.5 liters of water daily, make a conscious choice products, take into account the amount of food eaten, regular physical activity of the recommended intensity.
Physical activity is one of the important components of complex therapy for diabetes mellitus.The regularity, duration and type of training should be discussed individually with your doctor. Physical activity is associated with increased consumption of glucose by organs, therefore, it is necessary to control blood glucose levels before and after performing a set of exercises. Too high values (above 13.9 mmol / l) are a contraindication to any physical activity. Against the background of physical activity, attacks of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) may occur. In this regard, it is impossible to start classes on an empty stomach and with glycemia <5.5 mmol / l.To eliminate possible hypoglycemia, you must have food containing easily digestible
carbohydrates (sugar, fruit juice).
A diabetic patient must be physically active for at least 50-60 minutes a day. What it will be – walking, swimming, cycling, dancing – you decide. The main thing is to move! Diet against diabetes.
How physical activity is important in diabetes for several reasons: it helps to cope with the problem of excess weight; prevents the development and progression of complications from the heart and blood vessels; increases the sensitivity of tissues to insulin, which allows you to reduce the dosage of insulin or hypoglycemic drugs.
Sports activities improve the functioning of the circulatory system and blood coagulation, as well as lipid metabolism. After playing sports, high blood pressure decreases, and the risk of developing macro- and microangiopathies also decreases.
Bad habits. In diabetics, cigarettes and alcohol aggravate the protective functions of the body, and so are exhausted by the disease. Harmful skills contribute to the development of new complications of pre-existing diseases. Smoking and alcohol in type 2 diabetes threatens with complications of the disease in the form of pathologies of the cardiovascular system (blood vessels narrow, become brittle, blood circulation is disturbed, which threatens a heart attack or stroke).
Work and rest mode. Regime is the basic rule for diabetics. A diabetic patient must fulfill all the points of the daily schedule at a strictly defined time: wake up, eat, take medicine, work and rest. He cannot overwork the body either morally or physically. Weekends should be free of stress and used only for outdoor activities.
The main task of a person with diabetes mellitus is to strive to compensate for the disease by observing the rules of nutrition, physical activity, work, rest, etc.