4 Tips on Eating Carbohydrates for Blood Sugar Management
by Tiffany Naticchioni
Blood sugar management can feel tricky to navigate. Have you ever asked yourself: What foods can I eat and how much? When should I eat carbohydrates? As a groundwork rule, diabetics should try to get about half of their calories from carbs. Check out these four tips on how to select and eat carbohydrates for managing blood sugar levels. While there is no one-size fits all solution, using these helpful tips can increase your mindfulness around mealtime and help you to use your favorite carbohydrate foods to feel your best.
How do I choose a food with carbohydrates?
Choose carbohydrate foods that are dense in vitamins and minerals, high in fiber and low in added sugars, sodium and unhealthy fats. These healthier carbs are found in fruits, vegetables, dairy foods and grains. Pick what you like. There is no need to eat a meal plan that isn’t suited to your personal taste. You really do have a wide variety of foods to choose from!
How do I know how much to have?
Every nutrition label identifies the serving size, which can help us gain perspective on how much carbohydrate is in a food. It can be easy to “eat with your eyes” but it’s most beneficial to measure and eat foods in the appropriate portion size in order to balance nutrient intake. Consider using measuring cups/utensils or a food scale as you become more familiar with what a portion size should look like. If you aren’t ready to modify your portions yet, simply measuring these foods prior to eating your typical portion can help create awareness around how much you are currently consuming.
How many carbohydrates should I eat per meal?
There is no standard recommendation for the number of carbohydrates per day and meal. It varies based on your age, height, weight and level of activity. A general rule is to aim to get half your daily calories from carbohydrates. However, the most important thing to remember when balancing your blood sugar levels is consistency. Keeping your carbohydrate intake consistent helps you avoid highs and lows in blood sugar that can be dangerous in the short term and the long term.
When planning your meals, it’s beneficial to get at least three of the five food groups in their proper serving size as this will guarantee adequate nutrition intake for that meal. For a wealth of information on carbohydrate counting and other methods for managing intake, visit the American Diabetes Association’s website.
Who can I turn to for help managing my blood sugar?
While your physician is an important resource for medications associated with blood sugar management, your registered dietitian will be invaluable in helping you modify your diet for your best health outcomes. Registered dietitians will assist you with small steps to use food as medicine for improving your blood sugar. The team of Kroger Dietitians can connect you with specific products that are suitable for both your health and your preferences. Your registered dietitian can be an effective counselor, helping you modify your unique behaviors to find lasting ways to change your eating habits – all with confidentiality and no judgement! Do yourself a favor and make a telenutrition appointment with a Kroger Health Dietitian to start your journey toward balancing your carbohydrate intake.
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Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.