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Get excited about nutrition, and learn as you go with these information-packed resources on a wide variety of nutrition-centric topics! Our bistroMD experts review the importance of the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as how to make them work most efficiently for you.

Carbohydrates and Diabetes Prevention

How Carbohydrates Help Prevent Diabetes

When it comes to diabetes, prevention may seem hopeless, especially if you have been told to follow a strict diet.

If you have a family history of this condition, you may be at greater risk for developing diabetes, however there are steps you can take toward prevention. It may sound surprising, but one area is to focus on is eating the proper forms of carbohydrates.

Here are some very important reasons why eating the right carbohydrates can help prevent and manage diabetes.

Pick the Best Option

Carbohydrates come in different forms, but there are three forms you should familiarize yourself with if you want to prevent diabetes.

Starches, sugar and dietary fiber are all important forms of carbohydrates that you should recognize.

Starches and sugar both raise your blood sugar, so it's wise to know which foods you should include as part of a preventative, healthy diet.

Good starches are found in foods such as beans, legumes, fruit, whole grains and vegetables. Most of these foods also contain complex carbohydrates. You should always try to avoid simple sugars and starches found in many processed foods and snacks, candies, cakes, and desserts.

It’s also important to speak with your dietitian or physician to figure out the right balance of starches, sugars and dietary fiber to include in your diet.

Keep it Complex When it Comes to Blood Sugar

Many health professionals will tell you that eating the right diet is key to preventing diabetes, but what they don’t tell you is which form of carbohydrates are proper for controlling blood sugar.

Carbohydrates have the most immediate impact on your blood sugar. This is because they are broken down directly into sugar during digestion.

Complex carbohydrates make it possible to maintain your blood sugar at a more steady level. Complex carbohydrates are much healthier than simple carbohydrates, simply because they are digested by the body slowly and therefore they do not cause a large spike in blood sugar. The fiber found in complex carbohydrates is what slows the digestion of these carbohydrates and makes them an all-around better choice.

Carbohydrates are necessary, providing your body with glucose as the primary means of energy for your body’s cells. Therefore, include carbohydrates  in your diet, along with lean adequate protein and healthy fats.

Spread out Your Servings

Timing of carbohydrates is very important for diabetes maintenance and prevention. You need to make sure that you spread out your servings throughout the day so your blood sugar will stay within a normal range.

You want to nourish yourself, but you don’t want too many carbohydrates in one serving. Practice portion control with your servings by actually measuring cups to measure out foods like rice and pasta, or, for a better choice, choose quinoa or lentils.

The key is balance, and making sure that you are giving your body the nourishment it needs from all nutrients, as well as vitamins and minerals.

Fore more tips from our experts, please visit our healthy facts section for more information.

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