We're answering a very important question for diabetics: what are carbs?Diabetes is a complex disease (actually, a group of diseases) that all result in increasing blood glucose levels. Regardless of what kind of diabetes you have, diet and exercise are a part of treatment.

Total calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat all play a role in blood glucose management. Carbohydrates can raise your blood glucose the most quickly. So what are carbs? Carbohydrates come in many different forms:

Sugars: sucrose (sugar from sugar cane or beets), high fructose corn syrup, honey, natural fruit sugar (combination of glucose, fructose, and sucrose), lactose (the sugar in all mammal milks…goat, cow, human). These raise your blood glucose the most quickly if they are eaten alone.

Starches: the carbohydrate in flour, grains, starchy vegetables. When refined (white flour) these raise blood glucose relatively quickly; the more fiber with them, the more time it takes for them to empty from your stomach and be absorbed into your blood stream.

So, what’s healthiest for a diabetic?

Eat carbs that have high fiber.

  • Whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat, spelt, kamut, quinoa, & corn (yes, corn is a grain!)
  • Crackers, breads, pastas and cereals made with whole grains
  • Beans (yes beans offer protein, but they give a lot more carbohydrates, and they are loaded with healthy fiber!)
  • Vegetables like winter squashes, peas, parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes
  • Whole fruits rather than fruit juices or fruit snacks.

If you are eating a high sugar food/dessert, eat it with a complete meal, so that it does not raise your blood glucose as quickly as it would by itself.

No one wants to miss out on taste, so that’s why we’ve created a Diabetes-friendly recipe board on Pinterest. Follow us and join the discussion!

Bon appètit!

Healthfully yours,
Central Oregon Nutrition