As a diabetic, it is important to measure how many grams of carbohydrates are in each food you are eating in order to calculate how many units of insulin you will need to take. It is therefore easier when having a snack, to choose something low carb that will not require any insulin. However, as someone who lives a very active lifestyle with a diet mainly focused on healthy foods, I do not eat a low carb diet.
As a frequent gym goer, it is essential for my body that I get enough carbohydrates in order for my muscles to repair and grow. Carbohydrates are your body’s first source of energy and so they are vital in order to give you what you need in order to feel ready for a workout, and to perform well.
It is not about eating a low carb diet, but rather, making certain decisions when it comes to what carbohydrates to eat. Most white breads, white rice, packaged breakfast cereals etc. are all full of unnatural and refined sugars that are released quickly into your bloodstream and cause high rises in blood glucose levels. We all know how much of a pain this can be on a busy day – high blood sugars are hard to handle and can have a knock on effect on the rest of your day, making you feel lethargic and tired.
There are many alternatives to these carbohydrate sources that are much healthier and release their natural sugars slowly into the body preventing you from experiencing that sick feeling of a quick rise in glucose levels. For example, steel cut oats, quinoa, couscous, bulgur wheat and wild and brown rice variations are all healthy grains that release carbohydrates slowly into the bloodstream and are a great way of eating your carbs. (As you can tell from this blog already – I LOVE OATMEAL! I could not LIVE without these carbohydrate sources making a regular appearance in my diet.)
Also sweet potatoes are an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates that don’t spike glucose levels quickly. Non starchy vegetables provide small amounts of carbohydrates that are slow release and healthy all round – essential to ANY diet, especially if you are a diabetic. Nuts contain a small amount of slow release carbohydrates and are also high in protein, fibre and healthy fats.
It can be surprising how many grams of carbs are in your foods once you start to count (and even though I don’t have the choice not to now I am diabetic, I absolutely wouldn’t choose not to count when living my fit lifestyle to keep me on track!) And always remember, carbohydrates are NOT the enemy!