Having diabetes doesn’t mean a total removal of all sugar and carbohydrates, its more about being strategic with the TYPE and the AMOUNT you have.
Why does the TYPE and the AMOUNT matter?
The TYPE refers to the glycaemic index of the food eating (think table sugar VS wholegrain bread). The table sugar is going to very quickly be absorbed into your blood stream, potentially spiking your blood sugars, while the wholegrain bread (a low GI food) will take a longer time to be digested, giving you a smoother rise and fall in your sugar levels.
Of course, the AMOUNTof these foods also matters. Eating a small amount of rice (1/3 cup cooked – ½ cup cooked) shouldn’t spike your sugars above your target range, but have 1-2 cups would almost certainly send them sky-high.
Generally speaking, I suggest no more than 2 serves of carbohydrates at any one time for main meals, evenly spread throughout the day, with a low carbohydrate snack in between (up to 1 serve carbohydrates).
Well, what does 1 serve equal you might be asking:
1 serve is equivalent to:
- 1 slice bread
- ½ bread roll
- 1 glass milk
- small tub yogurt
- medium piece of fruit
- ½ cup cooked pasta
- 1/3 cup cooked rice, etc.
Now you know more about why we need to be mindful of the TYPE and AMOUNT, how do we put it into practice? Simple swaps and altering of recipes can work wonders in terms of lowering the glycaemic index (the type) and reducing the load (the amount) of carbohydrates.
Some ideas include:
- Swapping 1 cup cooked short grain rice for 2/3 cup cooked long grain rice (doongara or basmati) and adding 1/3 cup cauliflower rice
- Swapping added sugar yogurt for natural Greek yogurt and adding berries (which are low carb, low GI) for flavouring
- Using 2 wholegrain sandwich thins (equivalent to 1 slice normal bread and low GI) instead of 2 slices white bread (high GI)
- Swapping 2 cups cooked pasta for 1 cup cooked wholemeal pasta or high fibre pasta and adding 1 cup zucchini noodles (what a good way to get an extra serve of vegetables in! – works well with the kids too!)
- Swapping a large white wrap for a smaller wholegrain wrap
- Adding berries to cereal instead of adding banana
Want to know more? We would LOVE to help you better manage your diabetes. Taking control of your own food and keeping your sugar levels within your target range is beyond empowering, so let us help you get there!