Carb Meal, Giant Pot of Spaghetti

To Carb or Not To Carb? A Diabetic Question…

A Diabetic counting carbs? So you are watching your carb intake, but you have that big race this weekend. Should you still carbo load?

Well, that depends on the type of carbs and your expected level of exertion. To answer this question, you must first understand carbohydrates. In addition to your diabetic needs.

Types of Carbohydrates

There are three main types of carbohydrates: Starch, Sugar, & Fiber.

Starch examples:
potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, winter squash
dried Beans, lentils, peas, bread, grains, rice, pasta, bananas, avocados.

Sugar examples:
Naturally occurring sugars such as those found in fruit or dairy
Added sugars such as cane, syrup, fructose, dextrose, sucrose, confectioner’s, molasses,

Fiber examples:
beans, legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts

Simple Carbs and Complex Carbs. Simple Carbs are also known as Simple Sugars. Simple Carbs break down and absorb quickly raising blood glucose levels rapidly. On the other hand, Complex Carbs are starches that take longer to break down. Thus, longer to convert to glucose and absorbed more slowly.

Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a number given to food to measure how quickly your body converts carbohydrates to glucose. The lower the number, the better.
Low GI = 55 or less
Medium GI =56-69
High GI = 70 or more

Carb Counting is a method used to calculate and manage carbohydrates you consume and the effects on your blood glucose levels. Carb Counting should be unique to your particular needs. If you tend to have elevated glucose levels, then you should choose foods with lower GI’s and complex carbs. You should avoid simple carbs and added sugars. If you tend to have issues with hypoglycemia then will need to have a simple carb snack available to allow for quick absorption and energy.

fitness food cyclist

Carb Loading

Carb loading is the method of an athlete for storing energy or glycogen in the body. Carb loading is specific to your personal dietary needs. And you should consult your physician prior to any fitness program. You should not try anything different on race day than you do during your training. You must take care to manage your blood sugar levels at all times. If you are exerting yourself more, you will perhaps need more carbs. If you are taking in fewer miles and less activity, then you will probably need to lower your intake of carbs. But be sure to have on hand a carbohydrate snack in case you feel the drop in blood sugar while doing any endurance activity.

But most importantly, you should always consult your doctor for needs specific to your condition. There is a great deal of helpful info on the internet. But you should only follow the advice and direction of your physician or dietitian.

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