Carbohydrates and Diabetes
Nutrition

Carbohydrates and Diabetes: What You Need to Know

Carbohydrates and Diabetes: What You Need to Know

Carbohydrates are an integral part of the diet as they are the primary source of energy in the body and are full of nutrients essential for our body. Carbohydrates are good for people with diabetes too. Some carbohydrates are a source of starch, and others are a source of sugar. Ultimately, the food we consume is broken down into glucose that gets dissolved in our blood and provides energy to the body. However, when the glucose levels present in the blood are too high compared to the insulin produced by the pancreas to balance it, it leads to diabetes. Can too much carbohydrates cause diabetes? The article analyses the benefits and risks involved with the consumption of carbs. 

How much Carbohydrate?

  • How many carbs a person can consume depends on their body type, age, weight, and health conditions. However, it is essential to consume good carbs or foods that contain natural sugars instead of added preservatives. 
  • It is essential for people with diabetes to follow a strict diet. Carbohydrates are good for diabetic patients as they provide energy to the body. A person with diabetes should note the carb intake in their daily diet to control the number of calories consumed daily.
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What Quality of Carbohydrate?

  • The glycaemic index, or the GI index, is a numerical method to assess the quality of carbs in food substances. It quantifies the carb content in the food. Generally, foods with a low Glycaemic index are considered to be healthier.
  • The GI index can help people with diabetes modify their diet and moderate the carbohydrates consumed per day.
  • The quality of food is assessed by the amount of fibre it contains. People with diabetes must include whole grains in their diet instead of refined wheat as they contain unregulated amounts of sugar, which are not healthy for overall health.

Ways to include good quality carbohydrates in your diet

  • So, what carbohydrates are good for diabetics? The answer is simple and helpful. People with diabetes must include whole grains, pulses, bread, cereals, fruits, vegetables, yoghurts, unsweetened milk, nuts, quinoa, etc., in their diet instead of packaged products that contain preservatives.
  • It is beneficial to consume fruit juice made naturally at home instead of packaged juices, which usually have a high quantity of sugar, which is bad for people with diabetes.
  • You can consume dairy products with low-calorie content, such as flax milk. Also, it is advisable not to take a disproportionate number of sugars in the diet. 

How do Carbohydrates affect people with Type 1 diabetes?

  • A person with diabetes cannot produce the required amounts of insulin in the body to balance the glucose levels in the blood.
  • For people with Type 1 diabetes, carbs containing high amounts of sugars lead to an imbalance between carbohydrates and insulin resistance.
  • Whenever we consume any food, it gets broken down into glucose and is ultimately absorbed by the blood.
  • The unregulated consumption of carbs containing high sugar content can be dangerous for the body.

How do carbohydrates affect people with Type 2 diabetes?

  • A person who has type 2 diabetes might be obese or overweight, which means that to control the ailment, it is necessary to lose weight by monitoring the carbohydrates they consume per day.
  • This can be done by consuming good carbs whose GI index is lower, for example, fruits, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, nuts, etc.
  • Diabetes can be managed with a proper diet, and studies have shown that people who consume a low-carb diet can control their body weight, thus preventing their bodies from reaching extreme diabetic conditions.
  • Foods with complex carbohydrates for diabetics, such as barley or quinoa, are healthy for the body as these come under the category of good carbs instead of refined wheat flour or maida.

Bottomline

Managing diabetes is possible through a healthy diet, enough sleep, and physical exercise. Following a healthy lifestyle is extremely important for a person’s well-being. Carbohydrates are a source of energy and an essential part of a balanced diet. However, it is also important to consider the quality of carbs one consumes.

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