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Living Well with Diabetes

Chapter 3: Creating a Meal Plan How Carbohydrates Affect Blood Glucose Just as a car needs the right type of fuel (gas) to run, you need the right kind of fuel (food) to function. To sustain energy, your body needs food that contains carbohydrates. But carbohydrates raise blood glucose levels higher and faster than other kinds of food. What Foods Contain the Most Carbohydrates? You need to eat carbohydrates every day. But the more you eat, the higher your blood glucose may rise. To help keep your blood glucose in your target range, learn which foods contain carbohydrates. Then decide how much of these foods fit into your meal plan. The main types of carbohydrates are: starches, sugars, and fiber (a type of carbohydrate that doesn’t raise blood glucose). 26 Starches Starches are found in grains, some vegetables, and beans. Grain products include bread, pasta, cereal, and tortillas. Starchy vegetables include potatoes, peas, corn, lima beans, yams, and squash. Kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, and lentils also contain starches. Sugars Sugars are found naturally in many foods. Or sugar can be added. Foods that contain natural sugar include fruits and dairy products. Added sugars are found in most desserts, processed foods, candy, regular soda, and fruit drinks. You can find added sugars in the ingredient list on food labels. Limit foods with added sugar. Fiber Fiber comes from plant foods. Most fiber isn’t digested by the body, so it doesn’t raise blood glucose like other carbohydrates. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, peas, and many nuts.


Living Well with Diabetes
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