When you have diabetes, deciding what should be the carb intake in your diabetic diet can be difficult. Dietary guidelines all over the world recommend that you get 45-65% of your daily calories from carbohydrates.
It's possible that your doctor advised you to "count carbs" or use the glycemic index to help you plan your meals. But a healthy diet includes a variety of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. However, those who have Type 2 diabetes must carefully monitor their carbohydrate intake while following a diabetic friendly diet. Why? Because sugar is produced when our body breaks down carbohydrates, which raise the blood glucose level.
It's very simple: Consuming too many carbohydrates might increase your blood sugar levels and cause health issues. As a result, keeping track of your carb intake will help you stay within the range that is most beneficial for you.
Here, we'll help you organize your carbohydrate intake while managing Type 2 diabetes. That being said, it's best to realize that it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ type of situation. Every individual is unique in their body metabolism, lifestyle, and medications.
Keeping carbs in check
Different levels of carb intake, especially diets with less than 26% calories from carbohydrates, have been found to manage blood sugar. However, the best amount of carbs varies by person. As per earlier nutrition recommendations, you should aim to acquire half of your daily calories from carbohydrates. For example, if you eat 1,800 calories per day, aim for 900 calories in carbohydrates.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) once advised diabetics to consume about 45% of their calories from carbohydrates. The ADA now advocates a customized approach, where your ideal carb consumption should take into consideration your dietary preferences and metabolic goals.
A recent Indian study suggests that pre-diabetics should reduce their carbohydrate intake while increasing their protein intake to keep Type 2 diabetes in check. This reinforces that carbohydrate management can put diabetes into remission.
Everyone's approach to their diabetic condition and blood sugar level is distinct. Therefore, it's crucial to customize your diabetic friendly diet in collaboration with your physician and nutritionist.
Counting carbs simplified
If you're eating a diet that is suitable for people with diabetes, keeping track of your carbohydrate intake is essential. However, if you've never done this before, you might not know where and how to begin. Since there are 4 calories in every gram of carbohydrate, you must convert carbohydrate calories into grams to determine how many grams you should consume daily.
To determine your daily calorie requirements, first, sit down with a nutritionist and work out your nutritional requirements. For instance, if your daily calorie requirement is 1800 and you are advised to consume 40% of your calories from carbohydrates, which means 40% of 1800 i.e:
0.4 x 1800 = 720 calories
Since there are 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrate, by using the unitary method we divide 720 by 4 to get,
720 / 4 = 180 grams
For the entire day, you must aim for 180 grams of carbohydrates. Make sure to distribute them equally throughout your meals and snacks for the day. In order to slow down digestion, avoid a blood sugar surge, and maintain a longer-lasting feeling of fullness, it is crucial to combine carbohydrates with protein and fat.
Every diabetic has his own individual response to carbohydrates. People with diabetes can benefit from finding out their carb tolerance by testing their blood sugars and evaluating it with their diabetes care team to finalize what works best for them.
Before limiting your carb intake if you take insulin or diabetes medication, it's crucial to speak with a healthcare provider to confirm the correct dosage.
The bottom line
It is now clear that low-carb diets are an efficient way to control both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Low-carbohydrate diets can help you better control your blood sugar, use fewer medications, and lower your chance of developing diabetic complications.
Never forget to consult your doctor before changing your diet since your prescription dosages may need to be changed. There are substantial risk of hypoglycemia, or dangerously low blood sugar levels if insulin and other prescriptions aren't adjusted for a low-carb diet. In light of this, it's crucial that anyone on insulin or other diabetes drugs consult their doctor before beginning a low-carb diet. And we say this again, there is no one diet that is fit-for-all.