If you’re not in the habit of asking “how many carbs are in that?” hopefully I can change your mind, because keeping track of the carbohydrates in the food you eat can be a powerful way to manage Type 2 Diabetes.
Why It’s Important:
Keeping tabs and balancing the carbs you eat each day can prevent dangerous drops and spikes in your blood sugar,
It’s those drops and spikes which put you at risk of damaging your heart, your eyes, teeth, hearing, nervous system, kidneys, circulation and more…
It’s worth the extra effort.
It’s a matter of customizing meal plans for yourself that are sustainable, long-lasting and based on what you like to eat.
Counting carbohydrates can also help you balance out food groups in your meals and snacks over the course of a day.
There’s no magic number of carbs to eat per day. What’s most important is getting the right number of carbohydrates per day for you.
Getting the “what and when to eat ” formula” right for you involves becoming aware and smart about carbs.
Make sure you’re consistently getting well-educated about type 2 diabetes and surrounding yourself with support — whether that’s a Certified Diabetic Educator, a Registered Dietician or a Certified Nutritionist. Seek direction from someone who specializes in diabetes.
That person will not always be your primary care physician. It may not even be your endocrinologist. However, they can and should refer you to the special educators as listed above, and you should insist on it.
Staying informed makes you less vulnerable to being influenced by common myths and misunderstandings about diet and carbohydrates.
For example, some people don’t know that:
➡ Milk and yogurt have carbohydrates, that fruit does too, and more important that:
➡ The extent to which and how your body converts the carbohydrates to glucose (sugar) in your body, depends on how much fiber is in the product…Did you know that?
➡ Fiber helps to slow down the conversion of carbs to sugar.
If you’re trying a new food and need to estimate its carbohydrate count at that moment, there’re a few simple ways to do it.
➡ You can use your fist to estimate a 1-cup serving of food like oatmeal, and the palm of your hand is a good estimate for a 3-ounce serving of meat, poultry, or fish.
➡ One teaspoon of oil or other fat measures to about the tip of your thumb
➡ One tablespoon is the length of your entire thumb,
In addition, your dietitian or diabetes educator can suggest some free phone apps to download for assessing carb counts and keeping track of daily intake.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says that the “total carbohydrate” listing on nutrition labels is the number you should pay attention to when counting carbs.
It might be easier than you think to stick to a healthy diet with Type 2 diabetes. Using the information and tools provided by a dietician or an educator, you can strategize effectively and get familiar with lower carb options.
Coming Up: The 8 Major Sources Of Carbs