Carbohydrate is an important source of energy. All carbohydrates that you eat and drink are broken down into glucose. It is only food containing carbohydrate that will directly affect blood glucose levels. There are two type of carbohydrate: Starchy carbohydrates and Sugary carbohydrates.
Although carbohydrate foods are healthy and should be eaten at each of your meals, consider the following points outlined below.
Having more carbohydrate than your body needs can lead to weight gain. If you are trying to lose weight, consider reducing your portion of the starchy food at meal times. Also consider whether you can use less spread, butter, oil as these just add extra calories to the carbohydrate.
Sugary food and sugary drinks affect blood glucose differently. A sugary drink raises blood glucose levels more quickly than a cake because liquid is absorbed more quickly as it does not need to be digested. A cake takes longer to be digested and therefore the blood glucose rise would take longer. However it is still important to ensure that even the more slowly released sugary foods are eaten in moderation
There may be occasions where you would like to have a treat e.g. birthday cake or chocolate. That’s fine! If you know that you are going to have a treat there are three options available to you to reduce the effect on your blood glucose levels:
Remember it is the total amount of carbohydrate (i.e. starchy + sugary food intake) and the type of carbohydrate that affects the blood glucose. So if you were to have a treat after your usual meal your total intake of carbohydrate would be higher. This is likely to push your blood glucose levels up. To minimize this next time you could reduce the portion of either your starchy food or your pudding portion or reduce portions of both to minimize the rise in blood glucose levels.
If you are able to be active after having a treat or big meal this can help to minimise the rise in your blood glucose levels. This is because activity helps your insulin to work better at lowering your blood glucose levels. Of course this can also help you to manage your weight.
If your diabetes is managed with insulin, some insulin regimes allow you flexability to change your dose to fit around your food choices. Speak to your GP, Practice Nurses or Diabetes team about this.
Bear in mind that many people with diabetes do not require snacks. If you are trying to lose weight, including snacks will make this harder. If you feel you would like to include snacks, then try to reduce the carbohydrate portion of your meal/s so that overall you are not eating more. This may help you to manage your weight. Another good option would be to speak to your healthcare professional about adjusting your diabetes medications to allow you to eat less.
They are often expensive, high in fat and can have a laxative effect.
Instead, try to opt for low sugar, reduced sugar, and sugar free foods.
You could try sugar free jelly, light yoghurts, a couple of plain biscuits such as rich tea/morning coffee, fun/snack sized chocolates, fruit, low calorie hot chocolate.
Some people with type 1 diabetes will be adjusting their insulin to the amount of carbohydrate they eat. If you need support with estimating your portions of carbohydrate, please see the portions list. Download Document