Counting Carbs for Diabetes

Counting Carbs for Diabetes

Q. If I’m counting carbs for diabetes in my diet, what should I look for?
Harry Meltzer, Newton, KS

A. There are three types of carbs you should know about if your are counting carbs for diabetes:
Sugar (simple carbohydrates) – These fast-acting carbohydrates they are rapidly absorbed by the blood and can quickly increase your blood sugar levels. Simple sugars occur naturally in milk and fruit or they can be added to processed foods and beverages.
Starch (complex carbohydrates) – Starchy foods contain complex carbs, which do not break down as easily as simple sugars in the blood. Starch can be found in vegetables such as corn, white potatoes, peas, beans, lentils and grains like wheat, oats, rice and barley.
Fiber – Foods containing at least 2.5 grams of fiber per serving can help you feel full and satisfied after a meal, although it is best to look for foods with five or more grams of fiber per serving. Foods high in fiber include fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and whole grains.
When you are counting carbs and looking at food labels, the term “total carbohydrate” includes all three types of carbohydrates and specifically breaks out fiber and sugar (which includes both natural and added sugars) as line items. Foods high in fiber and whole grains are always your best choices.

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