Carbohydrates and Diabetes

Understanding the effect of carbohydrate on blood glucose levels is key to managing diabetes. The carbohydrate in food makes blood glucose levels go up.

The key to keeping blood glucose levels at your goal is to balance the food you eat with your physical activity and any pills or insulin you take. If you eat more carbohydrate than usual, you can expect your blood glucose levels to be higher than usual. Likewise, if you eat less, you can expect your blood glucose levels to be lower. Finding the balance for yourself is important so you can feel your best, do the things you enjoy, and lower your risk of diabetes complications.

There are three main types of carbohydrate in food. They are starch, sugar and dietary fiber. Starch and sugar both raise blood glucose levels so including both types in your meal plan is essential. Foods that contain carbohydrate are:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Grains and starchy vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Dairy products like milk and yogurt
  • Sweets and snack foods like chips

Meal planning for diabetes is more than just cutting back on starch or sugar. There are many options that people with diabetes use to help them plan their meals. Having diabetes doesn't have to mean eating the same foods day after day. By choosing the right meal planning tool for you, you'll be able to try new foods and enjoy your favorites. You may want to try them all or use a combination to find out which you like the most.