When people mentioned ‘carbohydrate,’ most of us think of sugar. But that is just half the story.
Carbohydrates are also fiber and starches, which are present in various nutrient-rich foods, that should be part of a healthy diabetes diet.
Sugar is the basic building block, which depending on how it is organized, makes either fiber or starches. About 135 grams of carbohydrates are needed daily and should be evenly distributed throughout meals.
Instead of trying to avoid carbohydrates completely, you should plan your diabetes diet with everything in moderation. You can use the list below of healthy carbohydrates, to help you stay balanced.
Beans provide a starchy form of carbohydrate and high-fiber food. It also provide protein, which helps to fill you up.
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot break down, which makes it healthy for a diabetes diet. The healthy carbohydrate content varies due to bean variety.
A cup of cooked black beans contains approximately 40 grams of carbohydrates. Beans however are calorie dense, so you have to watch your portions. But because beans are filling, just a little amount, goes a long way.
Just 1 cup of strawberries contains 11 grams of carbohydrates and 1 cup of raspberries contains about 14 grams. Berries have low calories, are high in healthy fiber and pack a powerful punch of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.
These fruits are good carbs to include in a diabetes diet. A study which was published in the European Journal of Nutrition, revealed that a naturally occurring substance in raspberries known as ellagic acid, helped reverse certain aspects of diabetes.
Bulgur is loaded with protein and fiber, so it will not spike blood sugar levels as quickly as refined grains, such as pasta. It is made from whole wheat kernels that have been dried, boiled and cracked. Just 1 cup serves up 4 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and 25 grams of carbohydrates.
Dairy products contain sugar in the form of lactose. However, this is an important food group to include in a healthy diabetes diet. Just make the most nutritious choices: such as “If you are opting for skim milk, low-fat Greek yogurt or light yogurt, dairy has a great benefit, though it’s a carbohydrate.
Also dairy products contain calcium and protein, both of which are important nutrients. By skipping whole-fat dairy products, you can avoid a lot of the calories and fat that give dairy a bad reputation. Just 1 cup of skim milk contains about 12 grams of carbohydrates.
5. High-Fiber Fruits
Most fruits are igh in sugar, but that does not mean you cannot enjoy its healthy goodness. You should focus on fruits that you can eat whole and with the skin, where most of the fiber is stored. Fiber can help slow any spike in blood sugar.
Include apples, peaches and pears in your bowl of fruit. Practice moderation to have one serving of these healthy carbohydrates per meal, as part of a healthy diabetes diet.
An ounce of walnuts contains 4 grams of carbohydrates and makes a filling and healthy treat. Most nuts that contain starch, are a good source of healthy proteins and fats.
One of their best advantages is their portability, you can pack an ounce portion to carry with you for a perfect snack. Just remember that it is high in calories due to their fat content. Therefore, enjoy them in moderation as part of a healthy diabetes diet.
Oatmeal to include should be classic rolled , steel-cut or quick oats, without the added flavors and sugars in the instant packets. Same as the other whole grains, oatmeal provides a good dose of fiber.
Studies have suggested that regular consumption of oats may help lower bad LDL cholesterol levels. Keeping cholesterol low is essential for people with type 2 diabetes. This is because this condition is a serious risk factor for heart disease.
8. Sweet Potatoes
The orange variety of sweet potato is digested more slowly, compared to the white potatoes and it does not raise blood sugar as quickly. This is due to its fiber content.
Just a cup of cubed sweet potatoes packs 4 grams. also, sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene.
9. Whole Grains, Rice and Pasta
When choosing a grain-based starch, think nutritious whole grains, such as quinoa, barley, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and couscous, instead of refined white rice and pasta. Upon the refining process of grains, fiber and nutrients from the outer kernel are lost.
Just 1 cup of quinoa contains about 39 grams of carbohydrates, while 1 cup of instant white rice contains about 41 grams of carbohydrates. But, quinoa contains vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, which are not found in the white rice.
Vegetables are known to be complete carbohydrates. The same with fruit, healthy carbohydrate-rich vegetables includes peas, squash and potatoes.
Vegetables are a perfect way to moderate the carbs in a meal and feel full. Non-starchy vegetables can fill up to half of your plate, a quarter goes to starchy vegetable or whole grain and the other quarter to lean protein.