Complex Carbohydrates and Managing Your Type 2 Diabetes: Tips You Can Use

Diet and nutrition have a great deal to do with managing your type 1 and type 2 diabetes.  Since your doctor has provided guidelines for the maximum number of carbohydrates you should consume per meal, it pays to use your allotment wisely. The best strategy is to focus on consuming complex carbs and staying away from simple carbs.


Understanding the Difference Between Complex and Simple Carbohydrates

Aren’t all carbohydrates the same? The answer is no. There’s a significant difference between simple and complex carbs. That difference is important for anyone, but especially so for type 1 and type 2 diabetics.

Complex carbohydrates are starches that include what’s known as long chains of sugar molecules. This is important, since the longer chain translates into slower absorption of the molecules in the body. The result is that the sugar takes longer to be converted into glucose within the system. That attribute means complex carbs raise blood sugar levels at a slower pace.

By contrast, simple carbohydrates are composed of shorter chains of sugar molecules. Since the carbs are absorbed faster, they increase blood glucose levels much faster. For diabetics, the body is not able to keep up with the pace. That’s why consuming products with processed sugar brings on sensations like dizziness, weakness, and sometimes the sensation of being about to faint. it also leads to a crash after the sugar high that can be dangerous.


The Advantages of Focusing on Complex Carbs Rather Than Simple Carbs

Foods containing complex carbs offer several benefits.  First, they are absorbed at a slower pace, which means these carbs are less likely to trigger severe spikes followed by sudden drops in blood glucose levels.  In addition, complex carbohydrates are typically found in fruits and vegetables that offer more of the nutrients needed to remain in good health.  When consumed in moderation and in line with the limits provided by your doctor, the right type of diet along with medication and exercise will make it much easier to control your glucose levels and still feel energized.


Creating Meal Plans Using The Glycemic Index

Choosing foods with complex carbs is not as hard as you may think.  Whole grains are often a good choice, with oatmeal and brown rice being two examples.  Broccoli is rich in the nutrients you need and also has the right type of carbs for your purposes. Legumes are also a good source of complex carbs, and can be prepared in a number of ways.  With some simple meal planning, you can feel satisfied, avoid spikes that cause headaches and other complications, and in general enjoy a higher quality of health.

One of the most valuable resources for coming up with nutritious and tasty meal plans is to utilize the Glycemic Index. This resource includes a variety of foods and rates them on a scale of 1 to 100. The Index also includes information about portion size. Foods with a lower rating typically have no carbohydrate content or include complex carbs only. Anything that’s closer to a rating of 100 is more likely to include simple carbohydrates.


Remember that diet is a powerful tool when it comes to controlling type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Exercise three times a week that lasts for at least a half-hour is also important. If you’re taking medication to help control your condition, do not skip doses under any circumstances. The right approach to self-care will make it easier to manage your glucose levels, feel better, and have every chance of enjoying a long life.