Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to follow a low-carb diet or avoid carbohydrate foods. It is true that the carbohydrate you eat is the biggest factor affecting blood glucose after meals. However, research shows that many types of eating patterns can work for managing diabetes, and carbohydrate foods can be worked into an overall healthy meal plan. You’ll want to work with your healthcare provider to decide on how many carbs per meal is best for you.
When you choose which carbohydrate foods to include, fill your plate with those that are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The best carbohydrate choices include:
Non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, tomatoes, and carrots, have about 5 grams of carbohydrate in ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw (though this can vary). Most of the carbohydrate in non-starchy vegetables is fiber. So unless you eat more than 1 cup of cooked or 2 cups of raw non-starchy veggies at one time, you may not need to count the carbohydrates from the non-starchy vegetables in your plan. When choosing sources of carbohydrate for your meal plan, focus on the foods listed above. Limit carbohydrate foods that have a lot of added sugar, salt, and fat. This is what we mean when we say to Make Your Carbs Count! Here is a list of less healthy carbohydrate foods to watch:
It is important to choose healthy carbohydrate foods, stick to your meal plan, and control portions. Remember that even nutritious carbohydrate sources will raise blood glucose. A good way to control carb intake is to use our Diabetes Plate to plan meals. This can be helpful tool to keep your carb intake consistent.
When it comes to choosing grains, we recommend trying to make half your grains whole – if not more! There are three parts of a grain, and a whole grain includes all three: the bran, germ and endosperm (starchy part). A refined grain (or non-whole grain) has been stripped of one or more parts. You can find a list of the best starchy vegetables and whole grains on diabetes.org. There are many options to choose from. Here are some ways to incorporate more whole grains and healthy carbs into your day:
by Chef Jennifer Bucko, MCFE, & Lara Rondinelli, RD, LDN, CDE
With diabetes, not only do you have to count the carbs you're eating; it’s also important that you are choosing healthy sources of carbohydrate. This unique cookbook with over 150 recipes shows you how to fit more fruits, vegetables, and other healthy carbohydrate sources into your meal plan without added fuss.
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