Foods with carbs include:
- Grains (cereal, bread, pasta, rice)
- Fruits and fruit juices
- Milk and yogurt
- Starchy vegetables and legumes (corn, peas, potatoes, and beans)
- Regular soft drinks and other sweetened beverages
When carbs are digested, they are converted into glucose, which enters the bloodstream. Even though carbs raise your blood glucose levels, foods with carbs are not “bad” and should not be avoided. Carbs provide you with energy and contain important minerals and vitamins. It is very important to eat enough carbs because they are used by the brain for energy. There are general guidelines as to how many carbs a person should eat that depend on age, weight, and physical activity.
Protein is an important part of the diet, and certain types of protein may be better for you than others. Over time, protein is turned into glucose in the body. If you eat a meal high in protein (which is often high in fat), you may need more insulin than the amount you calculate based on carb counting. In the beginning, however, it is best to consider protein fairly neutral in terms of the blood glucose rise. You can learn over time how to increase insulin for the protein content of the meal.
Fat may slow glucose metabolism or alter the timing of the glucose peak after a meal. It can slow gastric emptying and may increase insulin resistance. If you notice that your blood glucose levels rise after high-fat meals despite administering the appropriate amount of insulin, ask your diabetes healthcare team about insulin adjustments. There are methods that can help address this issue based on your individual needs.