Good Carbohydrates and Bad Carbohydrates

A lot of diabetic diets and diabetic meal planning center around carbohydrate intake – the
amount you can have and when you should have them.  This is because they play such a
crucial role in managing blood sugars.  Too many carbohydrates or the wrong kind can
cause high blood sugars.  Not enough carbohydrates can cause low blood sugars or

It is recommended that carbohydrates make up about 40% of your daily calories, but not
all carbohydrates are created equal.  You also need to pay attention to fat and sugar

Here are some carbohydrate choices that should be made frequently:

*    Whole grain cereals
*    Whole wheat breads and rolls
*    Brown rice
*    Whole wheat crackers
*    Raw or lightly steamed fruits and vegetables
*    Whole wheat pita pockets or wraps

Carbohydrate choices that should be made less often:

*    Potato chips
*    White bread
*    White rice
*    Other foods that have been processed
*    Cookies
*    Easy to eat snacks

Carbohydrates are an essential part of every diet but make sure you are including the
right kinds in yours.  Good carbohydrates will fill you up and not create a sudden spike in
your blood sugars.  Bad carbohydrates are usually over-processed, create high blood
sugars, create obesity and are high in sodium.

As carbohydrates are going to make up almost half of your daily food choices it is
important to fill you body with high-quality choices.  Choose ones that will give you
energy and not cause you to gain weight.  The less processed or refined a carbohydrate is
the better it is going to be for you.  Even when baking, choose unbleached whole grain
flour.  It doesn’t make a big difference in taste but it does in the quality of carbohydrate it
creates.  Try whole grain flour in pancakes, cookies and cakes.
read more "Good Carbohydrates and Bad Carbohydrates"

Free Foods in a Diabetic Diet

Even though there are free foods on a diabetic diet it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to
pay for them.  What it does mean is you can eat them freely without considering them an
exchange or counting them as carbohydrates.  These are the kinds of foods that you are
going to want around the house in abundance for times when you are hungry and meal
time is still too far away to eat.

Free foods have little to no affect on blood sugars and that is why they can be eaten in
without counting them as part of a meal.  Your diabetes educator or dietician will provide
you with a complete list but here are a few items that are normally considered free foods:

*    Water and other water-based drinks (such as coffee and tea) that are sugar free
*    Bouillon (beef or chicken broth)
*    Sugar-free gelatin (flavored or not)
*    Pickles
*    Cream Cheese
*    Unsweetened cocoa powder
*    Rhubarb
*    Cranberries
*    Salsa

Many condiments are considered free foods too.  When you are planning a snack or a
meal add some of the free foods such as salsa or cream cheese for variety or extra flavor.

Depending on your dietician, he or she may consider most vegetables as part of the free
foods group too.  Vegetables that do not qualify include potatoes, corn, peas, and carrots
as they are considered starchy and have higher carbohydrate content.  If your dietician
does allow you to have vegetables in between meals, make sure to clarify the kinds you
can have and if there is a certain amount you should have.

A diabetic diet can feel restrictive at times.  It is nice to have some items that you can
have whenever you want without having to account for them in one way or another.
read more "Free Foods in a Diabetic Diet"