Diabetics Benefit from Choosing Whole-Grain Carbohydrates
Carbs are everywhere in our diet…including in dairy products, fruits, sweets and cereals and grains. But even though carbs provide an almost constant temptation, we can eat carbs wisely and help control diabetes by choosing whole grains whenever possible that fill us up and satisfy.
Our bodies crave, and need, carbohydrates for energy. Carbohydrates influence blood sugar more than fats or proteins, so the amount we take in should be carefully portioned, and this is especially important for those with prediabetes and diabetes.
Tracking and limiting the amount of carbs taken in at one time is an effective way to keep sugar from building up in the bloodstream. Choosing whole grain pasta, whole wheat bread, brown rice, and whole grain cereals when we choose to eat grains does more than add nutrients. Whole grain foods are traditionally fiber-rich. Foods that retain the whole grain have fiber and fiber equals fullness.
I opt for a few “go to” whole grain foods that are delicious and nutritious AND that can make it easier to stay within a targeted carb range and stay satisfied too!
- When buying bread at the supermarket look at the Nutrition Facts Label to ensure each slice has at least 3 grams of fiber before tossing it in your cart. There are many delicious choices that have even more dietary fiber per serving.
- Serve, choose and buy brown rice over white rice whenever possible. Brown rice is even sold frozen and precooked now in many supermarkets, making it an even easier choice. White rice is a refined carbohydrate while brown rice retains fiber and other nutrients and is digested more slowly. This leads to a smaller rise in blood sugar.
- Whole grain cereals are plentiful and a great way to start the day. These include my two favorite healthful choices…Wheat Chex and Multi Grain Cheerios. Or make your own whole grain breakfast. Simmer water and oatmeal from rolled oats, then add a sprinkle of nuts, a dash of flax seed, a drizzle of maple syrup and finally shake on some cinnamon.
Whichever whole grain foods we choose, it is essential to manage portion sizes wisely. I eat cereal in mini bowls so it is easier to portion out one serving and stick to the recommended amount. Check your Nutrition Facts Label or SureCount for specifics on serving sizes.