WHMC NEWS

Type 2 Diabetes and Carb Intake

The majority of individuals struggling with type 2 diabetes have cells that don’t react correctly to insulin—the hormone that allows the body’s cells to absorb glucose. They also may not have enough insulin to keep their blood sugar levels balanced. One of the most efficient ways to control this is by monitoring carb intake. When it comes to raising blood sugar levels, carbohydrates are experts—they affect your blood sugar much faster than fats or proteins do. As a result, those with type 2 diabetes can greatly benefit from controlling the quantity of carbs they eat, as well as the quality of carbs they eat.

Watching the Types of Carbs You Eat

First off, there are two different types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbs, like sugar, quickly affect your body’s glucose levels while complex carbs, like vegetables, take longer to break down and give you steadier amounts of energy. In order to properly control blood sugar, it is beneficial to learn about different simple and complex carbs, as well as how to count carbohydrates.

Take a look at these examples of simple carbs:

  • Fruit Juice
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Bread
  • Honey
  • Pasta
  • Chocolate
  • Candy
  • Table Sugar

Whether a carb is simple or complex is determined by its molecular structure and how long it will take for the body to digest the sugars inside. Complex carbs are considered healthier because the body takes longer to digest the sugars and they don’t spike glucose levels in the same way that simple carbs do.

Take a look at these examples of complex carbs:

  • Green Vegetables
  • Whole Grains
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Apples
  • Carrots

Comprehensive lists of simple and complex carbs can be obtained from nutritionists at Whittier Hospital Medical Center. Don’t hesitate to call us today with more questions about managing type 2 diabetes.

Counting Carbohydrates

It is recommended that adults with diabetes limit their carb intake to approximately 45-60 grams of carbohydrates per meal. Your personal physician can help you determine the amount that is best for you. Then, it is up to you to monitor your daily carb intake.

Take a look at these tips for counting carbs:

  • Download an app: In this day and age, numerous resources for managing diabetes are available. Get an app to help you keep track of the carbohydrates you’ve consumed throughout the day.
  • Measure your food: Keep measuring cups handy so you get an accurate estimate of the carbs in each serving. You can also weigh less-measurable foods on a food scale.
  • Research restaurant menus: Before going out, look up the restaurant’s menu and see if they have nutrition facts available. Most do. Decide what you will order before getting there.
  • Eyeball those proportions: Remember that your carb estimate should be higher if there are more grains and starches in a certain meal. Estimate in proportion to their amounts.

As you improve your carb counting skills, you will be able to better control your blood sugar levels and enjoy a healthier, less complicated lifestyle! Though counting carbs may seem like a difficult process at first, over time it will become second nature and you will reap the benefits.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.