How To Count Carbs For Better Blood Sugar Control
Your doctor may have told you to “count carbs” or use something called the glycemic index to plan your meals. A healthy diet consists of a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. However, people with type 2 diabetes need to watch carbohydrates carefully. Why? Because when any food that contains carbohydrates is digested, it turns into sugar, which increases your blood-glucose level. It’s pretty basic: Eating too many carbs can raise the amount of sugar in your bloodstream and lead to complications. The key for people like you with type 2 diabetes is to eat carbs in limited amounts at each meal and when you snack. Total carbs should make up about 45 to 60 percent of your daily diet (and be spaced out throughout the day) if you have type 2 diabetes. There’s no one diet that works for everyone with type 2 diabetes — there are just too many variables: Age, weight, level of physical activity, medications, as well as daily routine and personal preference need to be taken into account. So here’s where your diabetes care team comes in: Talk to your dietitian or diabetes educator to determine the right carb-counting number for you so you’ll be able to provide your body with a steady flow of energy throughout the day, maintain a healthy weight, and manage your blood sugar. The Basics of Counting Carbs Counting carbs is an effective way to monitor your carb intake and keep sugar from building up in the blood. You can use these basic tips to help manage your carb consumption: Foods that contain carbohydrates include starches, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, beans, and sweets. Most people with type 2 diabetes should stick to eating around 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal. For foods that have nutrition labels, add up the grams of carbohydrates per serv Continue reading >>
Can You Put A Number On Carbs?
I'd appreciate learning about how many grams of carbohydrate I should eat as a guideline to keep my glucose numbers normal. Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should A Diabetic Eat?
Figuring out how many carbs to eat when you have diabetes can seem confusing. Meal plans created by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) provide about 45% of calories from carbs. This includes 45–60 grams per meal and 10–25 grams per snack, totaling about 135–230 grams of carbs per day. However, a growing number of experts believe people with diabetes should be eating far fewer carbs than this. In fact, many recommend fewer carbs per day than what the ADA allows per meal. This article takes a look at the research supporting low-carb diets for diabetics and provides guidance for determining optimal carb intake. Glucose, or blood sugar, is the main source of fuel for your body's cells. In people with diabetes, the body's ability to process and use blood sugar is impaired. Although there are several types of diabetes, the two most common forms are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, a hormone that allows sugar from the bloodstream to enter the body's cells. Instead, insulin must be injected to ensure that sugar enters cells. Type 1 diabetes develops because of an autoimmune process in which the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells, which are called beta cells. This disease is usually diagnosed in children, but it can start at any age, even in late adulthood (1). Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes is more common, accounting for about 90% of people with diabetes. Like type 1 diabetes, it can develop in both adults and children. However, it isn't as common in children and typically occurs in people who are overweight or obese. In this form of the disease, either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body's cells are resistant to insulin's effects. Therefore, too much sugar stays Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Can I Eat With Diabetes?
If you have diabetes and you're counting carbohydrates (carbs), keep these guidelines in mind: Women need about 3 to 4 carb servings per meal (or split between a meal and a snack). Men need about 4 to 5 carb servings per meal (or meal and snack). In general, men with diabetes should aim for 60-75 grams per meal & females should aim for 45-60 grams per meal. An appropriate amount for snacks would be 15-30 grams. An average person without diabetes and with healthy eating habits consumes about 200 to 300 grams of carbs a day. Since diabetes is one of the few chronic conditions which is directly impacted by food choices, it is important to keep track of the amount and kind of carbs consumed. Aside from very active or athletic individuals, most people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are better off cutting their carbohydrate intake to 100 to 150 grams of carbs a day. If weight loss is also a goal, carbs may have to be reduced even more. In all cases, ask your physician or diabetes educator for guidance. Remember all carbs are not the same in the body. People with diabetes should avoid high-glycemic index carbs such as sugar like in soda or candy, enriched carbs such as starches, and some very sweet fruits. Depending on how many calories your body needs depends on the amount of carbohydrates necessary. Usually a breakfast, lunch, and dinner has 30-60 grams of carbohydrate. Each snack should be around 15 grams of carbohydrates. Meet with a Registered Dietitian to get the exact grams of carbohydrate that are necessary to consume. Carbohydrate quantity is individualized so you will need to meet with your Registered Dietitian to find out how many grams of carbohydrate you will consume. Your dietitian will give you a meal plan that will balance out the amount carbohydrates throughou Continue reading >>
Carb Counting For Diabetes: Meal Planning To Manage Blood Sugar
Carb counting is one form of meal planning that can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. Diabetes is an incurable, yet manageable, medical condition where the body's blood sugar levels are too high. This happens when there is not enough insulin in the body, or the insulin does not work properly. Insulin is a hormone that is made by the pancreas. It helps the body to process glucose (the simplest form of sugar), which is used by the cells to create energy. When this doesn't happen, sugar stays in the bloodstream. This can lead to serious health problems. This article explores carb counting as a meal planning method that can help people with any form of diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. Diabetes and the role of carbohydrates In the United States in 2014, approximately 9 percent of Americans, totaling nearly 29 million people, were found to have diabetes. Diabetes is classified into different types and includes: Type 1 diabetes: In this type, the body does not produce insulin. This is due to the body attacking its own insulin producing cells within the pancreas. It is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults. Type 2 diabetes: In this type, insulin is either not made in high enough quantities or not used efficiently. This form of diabetes affects people of all ages and is the most common type. Gestational diabetes: Some pregnant women will develop a typically temporary form of diabetes called gestational diabetes. This raises their risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Most times, once the baby is born, this form of diabetes disappears. What happens after carbohydrates are eaten? The digestive system breaks down the carbohydrates into sugar. This enters the bloodstream and is used by the body's cells for energy. Typicall Continue reading >>
7 Good Carbs For Diabetes Nutritionists Want You To Eat
Healthy carb: Oatmeal iStock/Magone Eating oats (the kind without added sugar) can slightly lower both fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1c, a three-month measure of blood-sugar levels, shows a review study by Beijing scientists. Have ½ cup cooked. Make a savory oatmeal: Top with a soft-cooked egg and mushrooms and onions sautéed in low-sodium vegetable broth. Healthy carb: Sweet potato iStock/margouillaphotos These orange spuds are digested more slowly than the white variety, thanks to their high fiber content. Season with a dash of cinnamon, shown to help control blood sugar. Have ½ cup cooked. Make a snack: Top a baked sweet potato with cinnamon and almond butter. Healthy carb: Brown rice iStock/WEKWEK Whole grains like brown rice contain all three parts of the fiber-rich grain kernel, while white rice and other refined grains have only the endosperm intact. The fiber helps to slow the speed at which carbohydrates hit your bloodstream. Have ⅓ cup cooked. Make rice pudding: Mix rice with equal parts light coconut milk, and combine with dried cranberries and cinnamon; cover and soak overnight. Healthy carb: Lentils iStock/rimglow The new 2015-2020 Guidelines for Americans recommend eating more protein-rich pulses, such as lentils and beans. And for good reason: Along with 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, ½ cup cooked lentils contains potassium, which helps to control blood pressure. This is especially important because two in three people with diabetes have high blood pressure or take medication to lower blood pressure, according to the American Diabetes Association. Have ½ cup cooked. Make a salad: Combine with diced pears and apples, dried cranberries, fruit-infused balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Healthy carb: Freekeh iStock/PicturePartners Like rice Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should I Eat In A Day?
If you have diabetes and are confused by carb counting, here's an easy-to-understand explanation from a registered dietitian. Carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients in food that supply your body with energy. Once carbs are broken down into simple sugars and absorbed into your bloodstream, the hormone insulin attaches itself to the sugar and pulls it out of the blood and into body cells, where it is converted to energy. Insulin also helps store sugar in your liver when you have too much in your blood and release sugar when you don’t have enough. When you have diabetes, you need to balance the amount of carbohydrates you eat with the amount of insulin your body needs to perform these tasks. Your job, along with your dietitian or diabetes educator, is to find the exact number of carbs that will help you stay healthy in the long run and feel your best from day to day. The American Diabetes Association recommends starting with 45 to 60 g carbohydrate at each meal and 15 to 20 g for snacks. You may need more or less, depending on your weight, activity level, blood glucose goals, and the type of medication you take. Your daily starting goal should be to get between 45 and 65% of your calories from carbs. So, for instance, if you eat 1,800 calories a day, that translates to approximately 200 g carbohydrate each day. If you eat more or fewer calories, adjust your carb count accordingly. Keeping in mind that 1 g of carbohydrate contains 4 calories, here’s the math: 1,800 calories x .45 (percent of calories from carbs) = 810 calories 810 calories / 4 (number of calories in 1 g of carbs) = 202.5 g carbohydrate Not all Carbs are Created Equal You have to learn the number of carbs in individual foods in order to figure out how many carbs you are getting in each meal or sna Continue reading >>
How To Count Carbs In 10 Common Foods
What are carbohydrates? Carbohydrates are sugar-based molecules found in many foods, from cookies to cantaloupes. If you have diabetes, planning your carb intake—and sticking to the plan—is critical to keep blood sugar on an even keel and to cut your risk of diabetes-related problems like heart disease and stroke. Whether or not you have diabetes, you should aim to get about half your calories from complex carbohydrates (which are high in fiber), 20-25% from protein, and no more than 30% from fat, says Lalita Kaul, PhD, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. How to read a food label The Nutrition Facts label lists the total amount of carbohydrates per serving, including carbs from fiber, sugar, and sugar alcohols. (If you're counting carbs in your diet, be aware that 15 grams of carbohydrates count as one serving.) Sugar alcohols are often used in sugar-free foods, although they still deliver calories and carbs. Sugar alcohols and fiber don't affect blood sugar as much as other carbs, because they're not completely absorbed. If food contains sugar alcohol or 5 or more grams of fiber, you can subtract half of the grams of these ingredients from the number of total carbs. (See more details at the American Diabetes Association and University of California, San Francisco.) How many carbs per day? If you eat 2,000 calories a day, you should consume about 250 grams of complex carbohydrates per day. A good starting place for people with diabetes is to have roughly 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal and 15 to 30 grams for snacks. While snacks are key for people with diabetes who use insulin or pills that increase insulin production (otherwise, they run the risk of low blood sugar), they aren’t essential for non-insulin users. The goal for anyone with diab Continue reading >>
How Many Carbohydrates Should A Person With Diabetes Eat Each Day?
Many diabetics know that carbs are something you shouldn’t eat too much of if you want to keep your blood sugar down. The types of carbohydrate foods you eat each day and how many carbs you eat are vital when managing your blood sugars. The idea is to strike a balance between the insulin levels in the body and the number of carbohydrates you take in. It is understood by nutritionists that your carbohydrate intake strongly affects your blood sugar levels—even more than the amount of protein and fat you consume in your diet. If you eat too many carbs in any given day, your blood sugar levels may be high. In the same way, taking medications to lower the glucose level may cause you to have low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia. The actual amount of carbohydrates you need to take in depends on what medications you are taking for the diabetes and is unique to each diabetic. Things like your activity level, how much insulin resistance you have, and the range of blood sugar levels you need play a role in how many carbohydrates you should eat per day. When counting carbs, it is important to learn how many carbs is in each snack or meal you take in so you can count those carbs toward your total. In general, it is recommended that a woman with diabetes, should take in about 45 grams of carbohydrates in each meal, while men can eat 60 grams of carbohydrates in each meal. This is because men tend to be bigger and can have normal blood sugar levels after eating more carbs when compared to women. Carbohydrate intake should be spread throughout the day so that there are no spikes in blood sugar when you eat a high carbohydrate meal or snack. In order to know if eating 45 grams of carbohydrate in your meal or snack is appropriate, you need to eat a meal that contains 45 grams Continue reading >>
How Low Is Low Carb?
Many agree: People with diabetes should eat a low-carb diet. Last week we looked at what “carbs” are. But what is meant by “low?” How much carbohydrate should you eat? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, (PDF) recommend that healthy people get 50–65% of their calories from carbohydrates. A study posted on the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Web site agrees. For a woman eating a below-average 2,000 calories a day, 50–65% would be 250–325 grams of carb a day. The Dietary Guidelines call for “a balanced diet that includes six one-ounce (28.3 g) servings of grain foods each day.” This would mean 170 grams of carbohydrate from grains alone each day. And the average American diet includes many other carb sources. Most men eat closer to 3,000 calories a day, so their numbers would be higher. Sixty percent of 3,000 would be 1,800 calories, equivalent to 450 grams of carbohydrate each day. Anything less than the recommended range is sometimes considered “low-carb.” Most popular low-carb diets, like Atkins, South Beach, Zone, and Protein Power, are much lower, from 45% of calories down to 5%. Many diabetes experts recommend somewhat lower carb intakes than ADA does. On our site, dietitian Jacquie Craig wrote, “Most people need between 30–75 grams of carbohydrate per meal and 15–30 grams for snacks.” So that sounds like between 120 and 300 grams a day. Dr. Richard Bernstein, an MD with Type 1 diabetes and a long-time advocate of the low-carb approach to diabetes, suggests much lower intakes. He says eat 6 grams of carbs at breakfast, and snacks, 12 grams each at lunch and dinner. So that would be about 40 grams of carbs per day. If 12 grams per meal sounds like a small amount, it is. It’s about the amount in an average slice of bread. An Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should A Diabetic Eat In A Day?
Diabetes affects the way the body metabolizes sugar. Whether you have type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes, paying close attention to the amount of carbohydrates you're eating is critical. With proper planning and education, a healthy diabetic diet -- which includes carbohydrates in moderation -- is just as satisfying as a regular one. Video of the Day How Many Carbs Can Diabetics Eat? All foods that have carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels. But some carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels more than others. By keeping track of how many carbohydrates are in foods, diabetics are better able to control their blood sugar levels and subsequently manage their diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends that adults with diabetes consume about 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per meal, which adds up to 135 to 180 grams of carbohydrates per day. Note that some individuals may need more or fewer carbohydrates. Consult a registered dietitian for an individualized recommendation. The three main type of carbohydrates include starches, sugars and fiber. Starchy foods, also known as complex carbohydrates, include peas, corn, beans, grains, whole wheat pasta, oats, barley and rice. Sugars can occur naturally -- in milk and fruit, for example -- or be added during processing. Common names for sugar include table sugar, brown sugar, honey, beet sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods that passes through the intestine when you consume fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. The general recommendation is that adults consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. Fiber offers an added benefit for diabetics, because it helps control blood sugar levels by slowing the release of sugar into the bloodstream after a meal. Carbohydrate C Continue reading >>
Treatment Of Diabetes: The Diabetic Diet
The mainstays of diabetes treatment are: Working towards obtaining ideal body weight Following a diabetic diet Regular exercise Diabetic 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: For women: 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. For men: 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 Continue reading >>
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Carbohydrate Counting & Diabetes
What is carbohydrate counting? Carbohydrate counting, also called carb counting, is a meal planning tool for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Carbohydrate counting involves keeping track of the amount of carbohydrate in the foods you eat each day. Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients found in food and drinks. Protein and fat are the other main nutrients. Carbohydrates include sugars, starches, and fiber. Carbohydrate counting can help you control your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, levels because carbohydrates affect your blood glucose more than other nutrients. Healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are an important part of a healthy eating plan because they can provide both energy and nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, and fiber. Fiber can help you prevent constipation, lower your cholesterol levels, and control your weight. Unhealthy carbohydrates are often food and drinks with added sugars. Although unhealthy carbohydrates can also provide energy, they have little to no nutrients. More information about which carbohydrates provide nutrients for good health and which carbohydrates do not is provided in the NIDDK health topic, Diabetes Diet and Eating. The amount of carbohydrate in foods is measured in grams. To count grams of carbohydrate in foods you eat, you’ll need to know which foods contain carbohydrates learn to estimate the number of grams of carbohydrate in the foods you eat add up the number of grams of carbohydrate from each food you eat to get your total for the day Your doctor can refer you to a dietitian or diabetes educator who can help you develop a healthy eating plan based on carbohydrate counting. Which foods contain carbohydrates? Foods that contain carbohydrates include grains, such as b Continue reading >>
10 Diabetes Diet Myths
Have you heard that eating too much sugar causes diabetes? Or maybe someone told you that you have to give up all your favorite foods when you’re on a diabetes diet? Well, those things aren’t true. In fact, there are plenty of myths about dieting and food. Use this guide to separate fact from fiction. MYTH. The truth is that diabetes begins when something disrupts your body's ability to turn the food you eat into energy. MYTH. If you have diabetes, you need to plan your meals, but the general idea is simple. You’ll want to keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. Choose foods that work along with your activities and any medications you take. Will you need to make adjustments to what you eat? Probably. But your new way of eating may not require as many changes as you think. MYTH. Carbs are the foundation of a healthy diet whether you have diabetes or not. They do affect your blood sugar levels, which is why you’ll need to keep up with how many you eat each day. Some carbs have vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So choose those ones, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Starchy, sugary carbs are not a great choice because they have less to offer. They’re more like a flash in the pan than fuel your body can rely on. MYTH. Because carbs affect blood sugar levels so quickly, you may be tempted to eat less of them and substitute more protein. But take care to choose your protein carefully. If it comes with too much saturated fat, that’s risky for your heart’s health. Keep an eye on your portion size too. Talk to your dietitian or doctor about how much protein is right for you. MYTH. If you use insulin for your diabetes, you may learn how to adjust the amount and type you take to match the amount of food you eat. But this doesn't mean you Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs To Eat A Day
Q: How many grams of carbohydrates should a woman with diabetes have each day? A: Generally speaking, being a woman means you likely need to eat fewer carbohydrates each day than a man. However, the amount of carbohydrates you need should depend on many factors, including your size, age, activity, desire to lose weight, and food preferences. There is not a one-size-fits-all amount of carbohydrates for all women. Everyone is different and has diverse nutritional needs. Carb intake depends on: Height and weight. Are you currently underweight, normal weight, or overweight? Activity level. Are you sedentary, moderately active, or highly active? Gender. Generally, men require more calories, and thus more carbohydrates, than women. Pregnant women and those who are breast-feeding require more as well. Most adults need 6-11 servings of carbs per day, depending on the factors listed above. The general starting point for a moderate-size woman is 45-60 grams of carbohydrates at each meal; for moderate-size men, 60-75 grams of carbs per meal. Most people with diabetes don't need to eat snacks. If you enjoy eating a snack in the late afternoon or before bed, use some of your allotted carb grams, say 15-30 grams, for a snack. To work with a registered dietitian to learn more about your carbohydrate needs and controlling your diabetes, find a diabetes education program in your area by contacting the American Diabetes Association. Jeannette Jordan, M.S., RD, CDE, is the American Dietetic Association's national spokesperson for African-American nutrition issues and oversees nutrition education at the Medical University of South Carolina. Virginia Zamudio Lange, a member of Diabetic Living's editorial advisory board, is a founding partner of Alamo Diabetes Team, LLP. Continue reading >>