Food Matters Chat: Carbs and Control
The Diabetes123 "Food Matters" chat on Monday, September 18, 2000, will be on the topic of carbohydrate management for better blood sugar control. If this concept is new to you, you might want to review the following information to prepare for the chat.
The major source of sugar in the blood - especially for several hours after each meal -- is the food we eat. Although all foods raise blood sugar to some extent, starches and sugars have the biggest effect. Starches and sugars are both "carbohydrates."
By keeping track of all the carbohydrates you eat, you can manage the balance between food and insulin. This balancing act is equally important for every person with diabetes. Some are balancing food with insulin they TAKE. And the rest are balancing food with insulin they MAKE. Here's how you can get started:
- Learn where carbs come from.
Starches and sugars are found in: fruits and fruit juices, vegetables, breads and other grain foods, rice, potatoes, beans, peas, corn, cereals, milk and other dairy products, desserts, baked goods, and candies. All of these foods can be part of a healthy diet. Look at an exchange food list or a Food Guide Pyramid to identify the food groups that provide carbohydrate.
- Identify the carbohydrate foods you eat.
If you haven't done so lately, keep records of everything you eat for a few days. Then sit down with a marker and review the list. Highlight all the carbohydrate foods you normally eat.
- Manage portions so you know how much carbohydrate you're getting.
Using food labels or an exchange list, find out the carbohydrate value for the portions of carbohydrate foods you normally eat. On the Nutrition Facts label, use the "Total Carbohydrate" value. Add up the total for each meal. Do you eat about the same amount of carbohydrate at the same meal each day? Unless you adjust your insulin based on your blood sugar level, eating about the same amount is very helpful to maintaining blood sugar control. Most women need about 45-60 grams of carbohydrate, on average, per meal. Most men need about 60-75 grams per meal.
- Check your blood sugars.
By testing before and after meals, you can see whether the insulin you TAKE or MAKE is covering the amount of food you eat. If your blood sugars are above 180 after meals, it shows that there was too much carbohydrate in the meal for the available insulin. This can be solved by eating less carbohydrate or by adjusting your medicine. Talk to your health team learn which approach makes sense for you
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Last Updated: Thursday August 29, 2002 21:04:28
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