How to maintain healthy blood glucose levels – diabetic or not!

You may be aware of the increasing amount of people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This differs from type 1 diabetes (which is an autoimmune disease) – type 2 diabetes is generally life-style related, with other factors like genetics, age and gender, increasing or decreasing your chance of becoming diabetic.

Unfortunately, once diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you can never really be “cured”, however, through eating well and managing the type and amount of carbohydrates you eat, you can dramatically improve your blood glucose levels, some people even go off all medications!

Now… maintaining healthy blood glucose levels – (BGLs) (the amount of glucose/sugar in your blood) isn’t only important for those diagnosed with diabetes, everyone can benefit from keeping their BGLs in check. A healthy amount of good carbohydrates is important for so many reasons and we don’t need to cull these from our diet to manage our BGLs.

Some great sources of carbs (low GI)

(A low GI carbohydrate food will raise blood glucose levels more slowly over a longer time followed by a gradual decline, therefore helping to keep blood glucose levels controlled. Another benefit is that low GI foods are more satisfying and filling, which is helpful in weight management. Lower GI foods assist in the management of insulin, weight & blood sugar levels.)

  • Dairy foods:
    • Milk
    • No added sugar yogurt (YoPro or Chobani are great)
  • Breads:
    • Wholegrain bread
    • Soy and linseed bread
    • Pumpernickel
    • Oat bread
  • Breakfast cereals:
    • All bran
    • Oat bran
    • Oats/porridge
    • Semolina
  • Grains:
    • Barley
    • Quinoa
    • Bulgur wheat
    • Wheat noodles
  • Starchy vegetables:
    • Sweet potato
    • Carisma potato
    • Corn
    • Popcorn

When we might need more carbs

  • Before we have a high intensity training session
  • If we are doing lots of exercise throughout the day
  • At the beginning of the day – increase our brain power and give you enough energy to tackle the day
  • If we are trying to gain weight – some people will really struggle to gain weight and may be underweight, this is when we might recommend increasing their carb intake, along with their protein and fat intake

When we might need less carbs

  • At our last meal of the day – no need for all that glucose before we go to bed and do not require extra energy!
  • When we have poorly controlled diabetes and are not wanting to increase our medications/insulin – we may need to decrease carbohydrates and spread them throughout the day.
  • When we aren’t doing much movement/exercise throughout the day (spending most of the day in a chair or in bed etc.)

If this is still all a bit much to take in and you’d like to know more about how you can optimise your diet by managing your carb intake, book in to see one of our dietitians!

Blog by Eat Smart Dietitian Danielle

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