More About Carbs
Understanding carbohydrates can help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
This session we will talk about:
- The link between carbs and type 2 diabetes
- Types of carbs
- A healthy approach to carbs
- How to find the amount of carbs in food
You will also make a new action plan!
Instead of choosing white rice, try barley or brown rice.
Instead of choosing apple pie, try stewed apple with cinnamon.
Types of Carbs
There are three main types of carbs:
1. Starchy foods include:
- Starchy veggies
- Beans, peas, and lentils
- Grain foods
Starchy veggies include:
- Green peas
- Winter squash
Beans, peas, and lentils include:
- Black, pinto, and kidney beans
- Black-eyed peas
- Garbanzo beans (chick peas)
- Red, brown, and black lentils
- Split peas
Grain foods include:
- Whole grains
- Refined grains
Whole grain foods include:
- Bread and other baked goods made with 100% whole wheat flour
- Brown and wild rice
- Oats and oatmeal
- 100% whole grain cereal
- Pasta made with 100% whole wheat flour
- Tortillas made with 100% whole wheat flour or 100% cornmeal
Refined grain foods include:
- Bread and other baked goods made with white flour
- Pasta made with white flour
- White rice
2. Sugars include:
- Fruit sugar (fructose)
- Milk sugar (lactose)
- White, brown, and powdered sugar Corn syrup
- Maple syrup
3. High-fiber foods include:
- Beans, peas, and lentils
- Veggies and fruits‚Äîespecially ones that have skin or seeds that you eat
- Nuts, such as peanuts, walnuts, and almonds
- Whole grain foods
Desmond is at risk for type 2 diabetes. His doctor tells him that the more carbs he takes in, the higher his blood sugar will be. So she urges Desmond to take a healthy approach to carbs.
"Try to cut back on carbs," says Desmond's doctor. "And when you do have carbs, choose healthy ones."
Desmond decides to replace:
- Candy and cake with fruit, such as apples, oranges, and berries
- Potatoes and corn with non-starchy veggies, such as broccoli, peppers, and carrots
- White bread with 100% whole wheat bread
- White rice with brown rice
These days, Desmond is taking a healthy approach to carbs. He uses food labels to find healthy items that meet his carb goals. He is also staying active. As a result, Desmond's blood sugar is lower.
A Healthy Approach to Carbs
Try to take a healthy approach to carbs. Here's how.
Make your plate
Carbs should make up one quarter of what you eat.
Choose carbs wisely
When you do have carbs, choose those that are:
Low in calories, fat, and sugar
High in fiber and water
High in vitamins, minerals, and protein
Make healthy swaps
Try these ideas.
Carbs by the Numbers
Read food labels
Reading food labels like the one below is one way to find the amount of carbs in food. Here's how.
First, look at the serving size. This tells you how much is in one serving of this item.
Next, look at the total carbohydrate. This tells you how many grams of carbs are in one serving of this item.
This container holds three servings. So if you ate the whole container, you would eat three times the carbs.
Other ways to find the amount of carbs in food include:
- Apps for smart phones or computers
One serving of carbs
Each of these items has 15 grams of carbs. That's one serving.
- 1 small piece fresh fruit (4 oz)
- 1‚ÅÑ2 cup canned or frozen fruit
- 1 slice bread (1 oz) or 1 (6 inch) tortilla
- 1‚ÅÑ2 cup oatmeal
- 1‚ÅÑ3 cup pasta or rice
- 4 to 6 crackers
- 1‚ÅÑ2 English muffin or hamburger bun
- 1‚ÅÑ2 cup black beans or starchy veggies
- 1‚ÅÑ4 large baked potato (3 oz)
- 2‚ÅÑ3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 2 small cookies
- 2-inch square brownie or cake without frosting
- 1‚ÅÑ2 cup ice cream or sherbet
- 1 Tbsp syrup, jam, jelly, sugar, or honey
- 2 Tbsp light syrup
- 6 chicken nuggets
- 1 cup soup
- 1‚ÅÑ4 serving medium fries
Write some of your favorite carbs. Decide if each item is healthy. If it's not, write a healthy swap you will try.