Blog Post

17 Jun


(basic knowledge regarding calories intake and carbohydrates suitable for diabetics)

                                                                             CARBOHYDREATES;    55% of total calories                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        TOTAL ENERGY PER DAY OR TOTAL CALORIES PER DAY ;-1600 per day                                                                                      

Types of Carbohydrates

Did you know there are three main types of carbohydrate in food? There are

  • Starches (also known as complex carbohydrates)
  • Sugars
  • Fiber


Foods high in starch include:

  • Starchy vegetables like peas, corn, lima beans and potatoes
  • Dried beans, lentils and peas such as pinto beans, kidney beans, black eyed peas and split peas
  • Grains like oats, barley and rice. (The majority of grain products in the US are made from wheat flour. These include pasta, bread and crackers but the variety is expanding to include other grains as well.)


Sugar is another type of carbohydrate. You may also hear sugar referred to as simple or fast-acting carbohydrate.

There are two main types of sugar:

  • naturally occurring sugars such as those in milk or fruit
  • added sugars such as those added during processing such as fruit canned in heavy syrup or sugar added to make a cookie

On the nutrition facts label, the number of sugar grams includes both added and natural sugars.

There are many different names for sugar. Examples of common names are table sugar, brown sugar, molasses, honey, beet sugar, cane sugar, confectioner's sugar, powdered sugar, raw sugar, turbinado, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, agave nectar and sugar cane syrup.

You may also see table sugar listed by its chemical name, sucrose. Fruit sugar is also known as fructose and the sugar in milk is called lactose.                                                                                     Fiber

Fiber comes from plant foods so there is no fiber in animal products such as milk, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish.

 Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. When you consume dietary fiber, most of it passes through the intestines and is not digested.

 For good health, adults need to try to eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day.

Fiber contributes to digestive health, helps to keep you regular, and helps to make you feel full and satisfied after eating.

Additional health benefits, of a diet high in fiber — such as a reduction in cholesterol levels.


  • Beans and legumes. Think black beans, kidney beans, pintos, chick peas (garbanzos), white beans, and lentils.
  • Fruits and vegetables, especially those with edible skin (for example, apples, corn and beans) and those with edible seeds (for example, berries).
  • Whole grains such as:
    • Whole wheat pasta
    • Whole grain cereals (Look for those with three grams of dietary fiber or more per serving, including those made from whole wheat, wheat bran, and oats.)
    • Whole grain breads (To be a good source of fiber, one slice of bread should have at least three grams of fiber. Another good indication: look for breads where the first ingredient is a whole grain. For example, whole whe+at or oats.) Many grain products now have "double fiber" with extra fiber added.
  • Nuts — try different kinds. Peanuts, walnuts and almonds are a good source of fiber and healthyfat, but watch portion sizes, because they also contain a lot of calories in a small

In general, an excellent source of fiber contains five grams or more per serving, while a good source of fiber contains 2.5 - 4.9 grams per serving.It is best to get your fiber from food rather than taking a supplement. It is also important that you increase your fiber intake gradually, to prevent stomach irritation, and that you increase your intake of water and other liquids, to prevent constipation.

         LOW-CALORIE SWEETNER                                                  When you have diabetes, including sweets in your diet requires careful planning.                                                                        Sometimes low-calorie sweeteners are also called artificial sweeteners, sugar substitutes or non-nutritive sweeteners. They can be used to sweeten food and drinks for less calories and carbohydrate when they replace sugar.

Still, many foods containing low-calorie sweeteners will provide some calories and carbohydrate from other ingredients. That means foods that carry claims like "sugar-free," "reduced sugar" or "no sugar added" are not necessarily carbohydrate-free or lower in carbohydrate than the original version of the food. Always check the nutritional panel.                                                                                                                                               

How Much Carbohydrate?

How much carbohydrate you eat is very individual. Finding the right amount of carbohydrate depends on many things including how active you are and what, if any, medicines you take. Some people are active and can eat more carbohydrate. Others may need to have less carbohydrate to keep their blood glucose in control.

A place to start is at about 45-60 grams of carbohydrate at a meal. You may need more or less carbohydrate at meals depending on how you manage your diabetes.

What Foods Have Carbohydrate?

Foods that contain carbohydrate or “carbs” are:

  • grains like rice, oatmeal, and barley
  • grain-based foods like bread, cereal, pasta, and crackers
  • starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas and corn
  • fruit and juice
  • milk and yogurt
  • dried beans like pinto beans and soy products like veggie burgers
  • sweets and snack foods like sodas, juice drinks, cake, cookies, candy, and chips

Non-starchy vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, and cauliflower have a little bit of carbohydrate but in general are very low.

How Much Carbohydrate is in These Foods?

Reading food labels is a great way to know how much carbohydrate is in a food. For foods that do not have a label, you have to estimate how much carbohydrate is in it. Keeping general serving sizes in mind will help you estimate how much carbohydrate you are eating.

For example there is about 15 grams of carbohydrate in:

  • 1 small piece of fresh fruit (4 oz)
  • 1/2 cup of canned or frozen fruit
  • 1 slice of bread (1 oz) or 1 (6 inch) tortilla
  • 1/2 cup of oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup of pasta or rice
  • 4-6 crackers
  • 1/2 English muffin or hamburger bun
  • 1/2 cup of black beans or starchy vegetable
  • 1/4 of a large baked potato (3 oz)
  • 2/3 cup of plainfat-free yogurt or sweetened with sugar substitutes
  • 2 small cookies
  • 2 inch square brownie or cake without frosting
  • 1/2 cup ice cream or sherbet
  • 1 Tbsp syrup, jam, jelly, sugar or honey
  • 2 Tbsp light syrup
  • 6 chicken nuggets
  • 1/2 cup of casserole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A person with diabetes on a 1,600 calorie diet should get 50% of these calories from carbohydrates. This would be a total of 800 calories of carbohydrates (at 4calories per gram) spread out over the day. At 15 grams per exchange, this would be about 13 exchanges of carbohydrates per day                     WHAT SHOULD I EAT?

There is not a single optimal diet or meal plan for people with diabetes. The proportion of carbohydrates, fat, and protein should be individualized based upon the metabolic status of the individual (weight loss needs, lipid levels, renal function, and blood pressure) and food preferences. While protein and fat do not affect blood glucose levels significantly, they do contribute to the number of calories consumed. Eating a consistent number of calories every day can help to maintain body weight. An individual's recommended calorie intake is discussed below.

General recommendations — To help manage the ABCs (A1C, Blood pressure, and Cholesterol) and promote good health, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends decreased calorie intake, increased physical activity to promote weight reduction, and monitoring of carbohydrate intake as primary considerations. ADA nutritional guidelines do not give specific total dietary compositional targets except for the following recommendations, which are in large part similar to the recommendations for the general population.

  • A diet that includes carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat milk is encouraged.

When considered in addition to total carbohydrates, the use of lower glycemic index and glycemic load meals may provide a modest additional benefit for glycemic control.

  • A variety of eating patterns (low fat, low carbohydrate, Mediterranean, vegetarian) are acceptable.
  • Fat quality is more important than fat quantity. Saturated fat and trans fat contribute to coronary heart disease (CHD), while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are relatively protective. Saturated and trans fats are found in solid fats like cheese, red meats, butter, margarine, and shortening. Saturated fats can be replaced with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (eg, in fish, olive oil, nuts). Trans fatty acid consumption should be kept as low as possible. People with diabetes are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke, and eating a diet low in saturated and trans fats and cholesterol can help to reduce cholesterol levels and decrease these risks.
  • The usual intake of dietary protein should be approximately 10 to 25 percent of total caloric intake. Patients should be encouraged to substitute lean meats, fish, eggs, beans, peas, soy products, and nuts and seeds for red meat.
  • A diet that is high in fiber (25 to 30 grams per day) may help to control blood glucose levels and glycated hemoglobin (A1C).
  • A diet that is low in sodium (less than 2300 mg per day) and that is high in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, is recommended and can help manage blood pressure. For people with diabetes and heart failure, further reduction in sodium may be necessary to reduce symptoms.
  • Artificial sweeteners do not affect blood glucose levels and may be consumed in moderation. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has tested and approved five artificial sweeteners: aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), saccharin (Sweet'N Low, Sweet Twin), acesulfame-K (Sunnet, Sweet One), neotame, and sucralose (Splenda). Stevia (sometimes called Rebaudioside A or rebiana) comes from the stevia plant and is now generally recognized as safe by the FDA as a food additive and table top sweetener. When something is generally recognized as safe by the FDA, it means that experts have agreed that it is safe for use by the public in appropriate amounts.

Sugar alcohols (sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, mannitol, and maltitol) are often used to sweeten sugar-free candies and gum and increase blood glucose levels slightly.

  • Previously, people with diabetes were told to avoid all foods with added sugar. This is no longer recommended, although sugar should be eaten in moderation. If you take insulin, you should calculate your dose based upon the total number of carbohydrates in the food, which includes the sugar content.
  • Products that are "sugar-free" or "fat-free" do not necessarily have a reduced number of calories or carbohydrates. Read the nutrition label carefully and compare it to other similar products that are not sugar- or fat-free to determine which has the best balance of serving size and number of calories, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber.

Some sugar-free foods, such as diet soda, sugar-free gelatin, and sugar-free gum, do not have a significant number of calories or carbohydrates and are considered "free foods." Any food that has less than 20 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrate is considered a free food, meaning that they do not affect body weight or require additional medication.



  • - Asif Hanif

    Really useful info... keep posted such things ...

  • - Asif Hanif

    Really useful info... keep posted such things ...

  • - Asif Hanif

    Really useful info... keep posted such things ...

  • - Asif Hanif

    Really useful info... keep posted such things ...