Not All Carbs Are Created Equal
When creating a diabetic meal plan, it’s really easy to focus on what one cannot eat and lose sight of what one can eat. Diabetic meals need to be low carb and high protein meals. Food can be classified in one of three categories: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Proteins and healthy fats have a negligible effect on blood sugar so diabetics focus on minding their carbohydrate intake. It’s important to keep in mind that all carbohydrates turn into sugar inside the body. The key to managing a diabetic lifestyle is figuring out which carbs convert more slowly.
It’s prudent to ask for advice when it comes to creating diabetic meals and diabetic recipes, but everyone is unique. This is why it’s important to be diligent about testing one’s blood sugar levels. One person may endure blood sugar spikes with rice and tolerate pasta just fine while another person could be the opposite.
Simple carbohydrates can cause the blood sugar to initially spike and then crash, but this doesn’t mean that a diabetic person has to live without spaghetti.
Carbs to avoid:
- White Flour
- White Pasta
- White Breads
Carbs to enjoy in moderation:
- Whole Wheat Pasta
- Brown or Wild Rice
- Whole Grain and Multi-Grain Breads
Complex carbohydrates like whole wheat pasta process more slowly in the digestive tract. This allows any medication more time to work. Diabetics who are still producing their own insulin may discover that simply substituting whole grain bread for white breads can result in lower blood sugar readings.
Vegetables and whole fruits also have a place in a diabetic diet plan. Vegetables and fruit are still carbohydrates, but they provide important nutrients and should be enjoyed. Starchy vegetables should be enjoyed in very small amounts.
Examples of starchy vegetables:
Examples of non-starchy vegetables:
Family recipes can by modified to become diabetic recipes. If someone cannot imagine living without mashed potatoes, they can make their mashed potatoes with a blend of potatoes, parsnips, and turnips.
Fruit can be a little difficult for some diabetics to manage. Fruit juices should be avoided. Nutritionally, they’re little more than sugar water, but whole fruits contain fiber which slows down the digestion of the sugars. Whole fruits can form the foundation for some diabetic desserts.
Diabetic foods don’t have to be bland and boring. They can be nutritional, inviting, and delicious!