carbohydrates to eat

Carbohydrates Part 1 – How much should I be eating in a day?

Posted on August 29, 2016 with 0 comments

Carbohydrate-containing foods have the maximum impact on blood sugar levels compared to foods containing protein or fat. This 2-part article series will help you understand the importance of controlling the amount of carbohydrate in your meal, how to actually calculate the amount of carb in your meal and achieve a better control on your blood sugar levels. Make sure you discuss this with diabetes specialist or an expert dietitian.

When it comes to people living with Diabetes, the above question though looks quite simple holds a lot of significance.

Before we can actually know about the amount of carbohydrate one can eat during a day, we should first understand the benefits of counting the carbs.

Carbohydrate counting’ is one of the methods that is recommended for people with diabetes to help them manage their food intake and also to keep their blood sugar level in the target range. It involves calculating grams of carbohydrate consumed during the meals and snacks.

Carbohydrate counting – Benefits:

  • Once you know how to count the carbohydrates, you can start including a wide variety of foods into your meal plan – This will obviously make your meals more interesting and true to your taste.
  • Tight control over blood glucose readings. The exact quantity of carbohydrate intake and proper diabetes medication coupled with regular physical activity can establish a good glycemic control after meals.
  • For those who take mealtime insulin, carb counting helps to decide the quantity of carbohydrate one wants to eat at a meal rather than forcefully eating a certain amount of carbohydrate against the will.

Carbohydrate counting – Who can benefit?

  • All the people who are living with diabetes
  • All those who are taking insulin
  • Also useful for people who use more intensive methods to adjust insulin dose to control their diabetes

The answer to the question – ‘how much carbs can I eat during a day?’ varies from person to person. One needs to know not just the quantity of the total carbohydrates that one can eat in a day, but also need to understand how those carbohydrates are distributed throughout the day in meals and snacks. In order to keep blood sugar in a healthful range, this is rather essential.

At Advanced Diabetes Centre, our team of expert dietitians works with you and helps you to calculate the amount of carbohydrate that you can eat during a particular meal or snack. Some basic things that we take into consideration for this calculation include:

  • Age
  • Height
  • Weight goals
  • Physical activity that you do – The time of the day, nature and duration of the physical activity
  • Diabetes Medicines you are taking, their dosage schedule
  • Laboratory values: HbA1c, cholesterol, triglycerides, microalbumin (a measure of kidney function) etc.
  • Eating habits, meal preferences
  • Cultural & lifestyle preferences
  • Other medical issues if any

Carbohydrate quantity in the meal and snack can be adjusted based on the blood sugar reading before meals. Based on this reading, one can adjust the amount of carbs that one can eat at a meal and snack.

In a similar manner, the person living with diabetes can also use carb counting and adjust the dose of insulin based on what the person wants to eat – E.g. if you are going for a wedding and plan to eat an elaborate meal than your usual quantity, then carbohydrate counting can help you to decide the quantity of extra insulin to take in order for the blood sugar level to remain in the target range. Of course, such dose adjustment can be done only after proper consultation with your diabetes specialist or expert dietitian.

In the next article, we shall discuss how to use carbohydrate counting.

If you want to know more about carbohydrate counting give a missed call on 7227000100 or call Advanced Diabetes Centre on 0261 2600100.

Tags: blood sugar levels, carbohydrates, Carbs, cholesterol, consultation, Diabetes, Food, HbA1c, insulin, Medicines

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