Carbohydrates are the most important food factor for a diabetic. Carbs are broken down into glucose that your body uses for energy. Unfortunately, it is easy to take in large amounts of carbohydrates in a short period of time, which can result in spikes in your blood sugar. Learning to balance your carbohydrates in your foods throughout the day will help you to manage blood glucose levels.
To find out how certain carbohydrates will affect your blood glucose, you can look at the GI, or glycemic index of a food. Processed foods, starchy vegetables, bread, and sugary foods are tend to have a high glycemic index, meaning that they will cause your blood sugar to increase more than usual. Most fresh, whole vegetables and fruits, and beans are all low GI foods (plus they are also more likely to be low in calories). Generally, the more refined the product, the higher the GI.carbohydrates are important because they break down into the glucose that fuels your body. Diabetics just need to plan their menu to choose the types of "carbs" that provide a slower, steadier release of glucose. These low-GI foods will help you to avoid "spikes" in your blood glucose levels, keep your blood sugar under control, and help you feel full for a longer period of time. In contrast, high-GI foods metabolize faster so you also feel hungry earlier. Many collections of diabetic recipes and cookbooks are available, and they often include delicious "diabetic-friendly" desserts too.
But remember: any type of fad diet is unhealthy, and there are plenty of websites that claim to have the secret to losing weight. And some of these are based on the glycemic index of foods! A healthy diet consists of foods in all the different food groups. Finding an eating plan that's nutritionally balanced and includes your favorite foods is the key to making it work for you long-term.
Of course, diet is only one component of a diabetes treatment plan. A glycemic index diet is a good planning tool, but the other parts of the treatment plan shouldn't be ignored. Lifestyle changes are incredibly important. Regular exercise helps to control blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure. Medication or insulin may also be needed if lifestyle changes alone are not enough to keep blood sugar levels well-managed.