Helping those with diabetes manage blood sugar.
Intro to Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar
Carbohydrates, along with fat and protein, are the main nutrients found in foods. Carbohydrates include sugars and starches that can affect the levels of glucose, or sugars, in the blood. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not digestible, but can help regulate sugar levels and satiety.
Diabetes and Carbohydrates
People who are prediabetic, or have Type I or Type 2 diabetes, need to watch, and often control, their carbohydrate levels to regulate the amount of glucose in their blood at any given time by slowing down overall digestion.
When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the sugars and starches into glucose, the simplest form of sugar. When glucose enters your bloodstream from your digestive tract, it raises your blood glucose levels. The hormone insulin, which comes from the pancreas, helps cells throughout your body absorb glucose and use it for energy. People who have diabetes often ingest prescribed insulin to help the body convert glucose to energy. Once the glucose moves from the blood into the cells, the blood glucose levels go down again.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases:
“Nutrition and physical activity are important parts of a healthy lifestyle when you have diabetes. Along with other benefits, following a healthy meal plan and being active can help you keep your blood glucose level, also called blood sugar, in your target range. To manage your blood glucose, you need to balance what you eat and drink with physical activity and diabetes medicine, if you take any. What you choose to eat, how much you eat, and when you eat are all important in keeping your blood glucose level in the range that your health care team recommends.”
They recommend specific carbohydrates such as grains, fruits and vegetables, and nuts along with heart-healthy fats and protein, and limiting intake of foods high in saturated fat, added sugars, sodium and trans fats. Learn more at niddk.nih.gov.
Dining Support for Diabetics
We believe a carb-restricted diet shouldn’t prevent you from continuing to enjoy your favorite beverages, snacks, meals and even desserts! Our goal is to help by providing nutritional options that are convenient, have clear nutritional information, and taste great–even when counting every gram!