Carbohydrates are broken down by insulin into glucose. Type 1 diabetics don’t produce the insulin needed to convert carbs into glucose. Type 2 diabetics produce insulin, but not enough to break all the carbs down into glucose. Carbohydrates are important because they provide the body with the energy needed to function. Diabetics have a very special and challenging relationship with carbohydrates: you need them, but the wrong amounts can wreck havoc on your blood sugar levels and potentially make your diabetes worse.
So, how do diabetics count carbs? By understanding the careful balance of too much and too little carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important aspects of a diabetic diet and should comprise about half of a diabetic’s daily intake. However, it’s also important to make sure you’re eating the right carbs. Stay away from simple carbs. These tend to be white flours and simple starches like potatoes. Simple carbs are digested so quickly by your body they spike insulin levels and disrupt your blood sugars. Complex carbs, on the other hand, tend to be unrefined and unprocessed whole grains like whole wheat, quinoa, barley, and spelt. Whole grains don’t affect your blood sugar levels like simple carbs because they take longer to digest. Whole grains also provide other dietary benefits like increasing your fiber intake and helping to lower cholesterol levels.
Counting carbs is an essential element of a healthy diabetic diet. Choosing the right carbs helps by not disrupting your blood sugars and by providing energy, nutrients, and other essential health benefits. Using a carb counter can provide you with a safe and accurate way to count carbs in thousands of foods –even when you dine out. With all the changes to your lifestyle that diabetes brings, taking the worry and guesswork out of counting carbs is easy with a carb counter.
Coheso, Inc. ( http://www.coheso.com ) makes handheld devices and diaries for diabetes management and weight loss. Track3 is a small customizable handheld carb and calorie counter that helps individuals self-manage their diabetes. Information about Track3 is at http://www.coheso.com/track-d.html . CalorieSmart is a handheld calorie counter that helps people tailor their weight loss plan.