Choosing the best carbs if you have diabetes
When you have diabetes, you need to be smart about choosing healthy food. Although low-carb diets are popular, carbohydrates are actually an important part of a well-rounded diet. That’s because they’re the body’s main source of energy and they are some of the most nutritious types of food you can eat.
It’s true that carbohydrates are found in sugary candy and drinks, but they are also in fruit, vegetables, dairy, nuts, grains, whole and more. Carbs do drive blood sugar, so if you have diabetes, you need to choose wisely.
From oatmeal to lentils, here are some good carbs for people with diabetes. They’re tasty ways to feel full, get all the nutrition you need, and help you control your blood sugar.
7. Healthy carbohydrates: oatmeal
Eating oats (the kind without added sugar) can lower fasting blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c, which is a three-month measure of blood sugar levels. Why is oatmeal so good for you? This is due to their relatively high fiber content, which slows down the digestive process and reduces the effect of blood sugar on the body. Half a cup cooked.
Make delicious oatmeal: Top with a soft cooked egg, mushrooms, and fried onions in a low-sodium vegetable broth.
6. Healthy carb: Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are also a good source of carbohydrates for diabetics. These orange spots are digested more slowly than the white variety, thanks to their higher fiber content. Season with some cinnamon, as it appears to help control blood sugar. Half a cup cooked.
Make a snack: Top baked sweet potato with cinnamon and almond butter.
5. Healthy carb: Brown rice
Whole grains such as brown rice contain the three parts of the kernel of the fiber rich in cereals, while white rice and other refined grains contain only the endosperm. Fiber helps slow down how quickly carbohydrates get into the bloodstream. 1/3 cup cooked.
Making rice pudding: mix rice with equal quantities of light coconut milk and mix with dried cranberries and cinnamon; cover and soak overnight.
4. Healthy carb: Lentils
The 2015-2020 guidelines for Americans recommend eating more protein-rich legumes, such as lentils and beans. And with good reason: Along with 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, 1/2 cup of cooked lentils contains potassium, which helps control blood pressure. This is especially important because two out of every three patients have high blood pressure or take medication to lower blood pressure, according to the American Diabetes Association. Half a cup cooked. (Here are 10 easy recipes for lentils.)
Make a salad: Combine with diced pears, apples, dried cranberries, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.
3. Healthy carb: Freekeh
Like rice, this ancient grain offers fiber: Each 1/3 cup serving of the cooked grain has up to 13% of your daily need. It also contains the mineral manganese, important for blood sugar control. Have 1/3 cup cooked.
Make a salad: Combine with tomato slices, arugula diced red onion, feta, oil, olive, and lemon juice.
2. Healthy carb: Plain Greek yogurt
A 3/4 cup serving of plain 2% fat Greek yogurt contains about 7 grams of carbs (about half the amount in a slice of bread), along with essential nutrients, such as calcium and protein. Getting enough calcium is essential for people with diabetes, who may be more likely to have poorer bone density. Have 3/4 cup.
Make a parfait: Mix with chopped almonds and sliced strawberries.
1. Healthy carb: Wild blueberries
Wild blueberries have three to five more antioxidants—which may play a role controlling blood sugar—than traditional blueberries, according to research out of University of Alaska Fairbanks published in the Universal Journal of Circumpolar Health. Have 3/4 cup defrosted frozen wild blueberries.
Make a smoothie: Blend with almond butter, frozen banana slices, and almond milk.