Carbs Count When Managing Diabetes
In times of crisis, it’s natural to turn to comfort foods like pasta, mashed potatoes, cakes, and cookies. But too many carbohydrates can be bad for your diabetes. To stay on track and make smart choices about what you eat and drink, try counting carbs.
This meal planning approach involves adding up all the carbs you consume. The goal is to keep the total for a meal or snack within a target range, which you’ve set with your diabetes care team.
On a day-to-day basis, this can help you better manage your blood sugar levels. And looking at the big picture, better diabetes control can help you stay healthier for longer.
Why Every Carb Counts
Carbs are one of the three main nutrients found in food, along with proteins and fats. Inside the body, carbs turn into blood sugar. So, carb-rich foods affect your blood sugar levels more than other foods do.
The amount of carbs you need depends on your weight, activity level, and diabetes medications. Work with a registered dietitian or diabetes professional to set a carb goal that is right for you.
It’s Easy(ish) as 1, 2, 3
Follow these steps before a meal or snack:
- Determine how many servings of a food or beverage you plan to consume. Look at the food label to find out how much one serving is. For foods without a label, use an app, website, or book as a guide.
- Determine the grams of total carbohydrate per serving. You can also find this information on the food label (or in the app, website, or book).
- Multiply the two numbers. This tells you how many grams of carbs you will get if you consume the amount you had planned. If the number is too high, you can always adjust your eating plans as needed.
Keep Diabetes Care On Track
With all the stress that comes with COVID-19, it can be difficult to prioritize diabetes care. If you could use a little extra help sticking to your diet, exercise, and medication plans, consider downloading one of these four diabetes apps.