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What information is included on a diabetes carbohydrates chart?

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Quick Answer

Carbohydrate charts for diabetics convert the number of carbohydrates in a given food, measured in grams, into a number of carbohydrate servings, also called choices, states the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Carbohydrate counting is a method of maintaining healthy blood glucose levels for diabetics, according to the American Diabetes Association.

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Full Answer

Carbohydrates convert into blood glucose, and diabetics should consume them in moderation, according to UPMC. Each carbohydrate choice is equivalent to 15 grams of carbohydrates. Male diabetics can eat four or five carbohydrates choices at each meal, while female diabetics should limit themselves to three or four choices per meal.

All diabetics can eat one or two carb choices as snacks. Foods such as dairy products, breads and grains, fruit, sweets and starchier vegetables contain carbohydrates, while most green vegetables and meats are low in carbohydrates. High-fiber foods can help diabetics maintain a stable blood glucose level and control cholesterol.

Stable carbohydrate intake prevents fluctuations in blood glucose levels, notes the Mayo Clinic. When blood glucose rises too high, diabetics are at risk of damage to their kidneys and hearts. Diabetics can manage their carbohydrate intake by keeping lists of foods by food group, carbohydrate content and choice equivalent. Dietitians can assist diabetics in choosing the appropriate carbohydrate content when planning meals.

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