We once believed that certain carbohydrates would affect blood glucose levels in specific ways. Now we know that it is the total amount of carbohydrate you eat from all sources that is important. Knowing this, you can now plan meals by counting your total carbohydrate intake at meals and snacks.
Carbohydrate counting is useful as a method of meal planning to be used by itself or in addition to the Good Health Eating Guide Exchange System.
To achieve healthy blood glucose levels, you need to balance your carbohydrate intake, your activity and the available insulin, whether from your own body or by injection. The more consistent your carbohydrate intake is, the easier it is to balance the amount of insulin or medication you need.
Starchy foods, fruits, some vegetables and milk have significant amounts of carbohydrate in them. These are all important foods because they also contain other valuable nutrients.
Carbohydrate counting can be a useful tool for managing diabetes, but just counting carbohydrate does not guarantee that you will have a healthy diet. Your body requires a variety of foods for good health. This includes three to four cups of milk, at least five servings of fruit and vegetables and an adequate amount
of protein and fat each day. Nutrition is always important.
Talk to your dietitian who can help you evaluate your current eating habits and lifestyle and can help you get started with carbohydrate counting. Remember that carbohydrate counting does not have to replace your current method of menu planning, but may increase the flexibility and options that you enjoy!