Carbohydrate is Cardinal for People With/Without Diabetes

People generally advocate a low-carb diet for weight loss and this myth is propagated in the case of diabetic patients too. In reality, diabetic individuals need to be mindful of their carbohydrate consumption, but need not avoid it altogether. Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for our body essential for maintaining proper cellular function. What carbohydrates you eat and how much you eat is the concerning factor here.

Carbohydrates are of three types namely starches, sugars and fiber. Food sources of each type include: 

Starches: Bread, cereal, rice, crackers, pasta,potatoes, peas, corn and beans.

Sugars: Fruits, milk and processed foods such as candy, cake and soda.

Fiber: Oatmeal and fruits contain soluble fiber necessary for healthy cholesterol levels. Fiber is actually the roughage in plant foods helpful to maintain a healthy digestive tract.

Individuals with diabetes should opt for smart carbohydrate foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and dairy products. Indulge on sugary beverages and sweets only during special occasions and plan your meals such that carbs are evenly present throughout the day to avoid highs and lows in blood sugar levels.  

Let us assume that an individual is on a 2,000-calorie meal plan. For this plan, an RDN usually recommends consuming about 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates. This is planned according to the number of meals and snacks consumed by a person throughout the day. Every serving of carbohydrates contains 15 grams and given below is a list of one-serving portions of carbohydrate-containing foods that can be incorporated in meals and snacks.        

  • One small fresh fruit (about the size of a baseball) 
  • ½ cup of canned or frozen fruit        
  • 1 slice of bread or one tortilla (6-inch)        
  • ½ cup of oatmeal (cooked)       
  •  ⅓ cup of pasta or rice (cooked)      
  •  4 to 6 crackers        
  • ½ English muffin or hamburger bun        
  • ½ cup of black beans or starchy vegetable       
  •  2 tablespoons light syrup        
  • 2 small cookies        
  • 1 tablespoon syrup, jam, jelly, sugar or honey        
  • ¼ of a large baked potato         
  • ⅔ cup of unsweetened or fat-free yogurt        
  • ¼ cup of sherbet        
  • ½ cup of ice cream        
  • 2-inch square brownie or cake without frosting .

Carbohydrates are cardinal for people with and without diabetes. Strategize your diet such that it includes balanced quantities of nutrient-rich carbs after discussing with a registered dietitian nutritionist.