A Bite-Size Guide to Carbs & Diabetes

Carbs have been mentioned a lot within the CuraLife Diabetes life blog, but are so important that they really deserve a post of their own. Here is our quick carb Q&A to make you an expert.

What is a Carb?

A carbohydrate is a molecule containing carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, which sounds simple, but the results are anything but. Carbs can be found in almost everything, from popcorn to soda, from potatoes to pears, the molecular structure is pivotal in the formation of certain sugars or fibers.

What do they do?

Carbs have a multitude of roles within the body, but most importantly take care of two jobs, specifically in digestive processes and in the construction of important proteins. They help store energy in the body while performing key functions in our body's DNA structure. In other words, carbs are a lot like caffeine in that it maintains the efforts and activities of your body through the absorption of nutrients into caloric energy. It's more complex role as Ribose becomes the building blocks for Ribonucleic acid or RNA an important component DNA.

Diabetes and Carbs?

Since carbohydrates can be found in tons of processed fibers and sugars they can be extremely unhelpful to those looking to maintain healthy glucose levels. Carbs not only will aid in the rise of blood sugar levels but simultaneously further damage your bodies ability to absorb and maintain the nutrients that keep you active. It is really important to know which carbs are right and which carbs are wrong because they are possibly a diabetics worst nightmare when not approached intelligently.

The Bottom Line:

You can find carbs in anything from potatoes to ice cream, there is no single case that defines and exemplifies carbohydrates. This is why it is very important to know the difference between your carbs, which are best for you and which can do the most harm.

The Diabetic’s Guide to Carb Consumption

• Bread: Baked goods are a huge source of carbohydrates, but one needs to make sure that they are complex and unprocessed. Processed and bleached bread often contains unhealthy sugars and a lack of healthy grains. Go for grainier unprocessed bread for a healthier option.

• Fruits and Veggies: Carbs found in fruit and veggies can be highly beneficial, even aiding in your digestion and metabolism. In order to get the full benefit try eating your berries or broccoli whole, don’t go for a smoothie or juice. Many fruits and veggies have healthy and useful fibers that are lost when turned into a juice or smoothie. If the choice is between fruits or veggies, go green, because fruits will always have some sort of sugars, and its best to give your body a break from those.

• Snacks and Starches: Mashed potatoes, potato crisps, potato chipsת we love them all, but our health and these favorites don’t always get along. Try healthy and nutritious beans or lentils in potato’s place, their carbs are more conducive to your health and will make digestion easier. Lastly, swap the crisps for some hummus dip and whole grain crackers, or some fruits and nuts, in the end, you and your body will be the big winner.

The key to understanding carbs is that they come in good and bad forms. Sugars and starches, especially when heavily processed, are incredibly unhelpful toward one’s health and comfort. Make better decisions and know your carbs, that way you can make every meal a pleasure and a boost, to get you on your way.