Carbohydrates and Diabetes

How Adjusting Your Carbohydrates Can Improve Your Diabetes

Carbohydrate Sources
Maximillan Stock Ltd, Photolibrary/Getty Images.


Carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient which provide the body with energy. Carbohydrates include foods composed of starches and sugars. For example, all fruit, milk/yogurt, grains, and starchy vegetables, sweets and sugars such as honey, agave, and maple syrup, are sources of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates break down into glucose and are the nutrient that impact blood sugar the most. When it comes to diabetes, the type of carbohydrate and quantity of carbohydrate eaten can affect blood sugars.

Some studies suggest that even the timing of carbohydrates can affect your blood sugar control. 

What Types of Carbohydrates are Best?

Carbohydrates that are rich in fiber and less processed tend to have a more favorable affect on blood sugar. These types of food are called complex carbohydrates and include foods such as whole grains and vegetables. In addition, complex carbohydrates are rich in vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, simple or refined carbohydrates such as sweets, candy, table sugar and sugar sweetened beverages are not the best carbohydrate choices as they can cause blood sugars to rise at a more rapid rate. These types of carbohydrates also tend to be high in calories which can cause weight gain. 

Read more about the difference between types of carbohydrate sources here: Complex, Simple, Refined Carbohydrates-What Does it All Mean? 

How Can I Determine the Amount of Carbohydrates I Should Eat Daily?

The total amount of carbohydrates you should eat daily depends on a variety of factors such as weight, activity level, gender, blood sugar control, etc. A registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator can customize a meal plan for you that fits your health goals, lifestyle and food preferences.

How Can I Learn About Carbohydrate Counting?

Some people with diabetes benefit from counting carbohydrates and following a consistent carbohydrate diet, while others can achieve their health goals by simply modifying portions. If you'd like to learn more about carbohydrate counting, you can start by sorting through the articles below. Here you can find all you need to know about carbohydrates ranging from the basics such as label reading, to specific carbohydrate counting tips, such as weighing food. Additionally you can find the best carbohydrate counting apps and foods that contain hidden sources of carbohydrates. 

Carbohydrate Counting Should You Do It?

Top 4 Carbohydrate Counting Necessities

Top 5 Apps for Counting Carbohydrates 

Surprising Sources of Carbohydrates 

Continue Reading