In this tip series, Amy passes on some wisdom she's picked up about “carbs” and how to keep them under control for good diabetes management.

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Not sure what a carb is? Here’s the basic definition:

Carbohydrate = the sugars and starches found in grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.

This includes all sugary foods like sweets, fruit, and sugar itself, along with grains and starchy foods (pasta, potatoes, rice) that break down to glucose in your body.

To reiterate: carbohydrates are ALL the foods either made up primarily of sugar or those that convert to sugar in your system, including starches like potatoes, bread and pasta. Things like candy and muffins are obvious carbohydrates, but many are not so obvious.

Keep in Mind:

  • Most carbs have the same effect on your body, whether they’re in the form of a candy bar or a baked potato (see Tip 2 for exceptions)
  •  “Sugar-free” is not carb-free—don’t let marketing labels fool you into believing that some carbs “don’t count”
  • Fiber does the trick—high fiber content in a food (more than 5 grams per serving) can reduce the impact of the carbohydrate of that food on your BG (blood glucose)

As a diabetic, it’s critical for you to be aware of the carbohydrate content of your food, because limiting carbohydrates is an important tool for regulating both your daily BG levels, and your A1C over time.

Other Tips in This Series:

Tip 2: There Really ARE Good and Bad Carbs

Tip 3: How to Avoid Carb Overload

Tip 4: How to Learn and Practice Carb-Counting

Tip 5: What a Nutritionist Can Do for You