Which Low-Carbohydrate Foods Are Good for Diabetics?


Quick Answer

Dried beans, nonstarchy vegetables, sweet potatoes and whole grain breads are examples of carbohydrates that do not raise blood sugar levels, according to the American Diabetes Association. Whole grain cereals and fresh fruits are also among low glycemic index carbohydrates.

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Full Answer

The glycemic index, or GI, is a classification of carbohydrates based on its effect on blood glucose level. Low GI foods include 100 percent stone-ground whole wheat bread, rolled or steel-cut oatmeal, muesli pasta, converted rice, barley, corn, sweet potatoes, yam, lima beans, legumes, most fruits, peas and lentils. Nonstarchy vegetables such as cucumbers, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots also belong under low GI foods. Brown rice, couscous and quick-cooking oats fall under the medium GI category, explains the American Diabetes Association. The GI value only signifies the type but not the quantity of carbohydrate in foods.

Portion sizes and appropriate substitutions must also be monitored to successfully manage blood sugar levels, notes the American Diabetes Association. For example, instead of drinking sweetened carbonated beverages, drink water or sugar-free lemonade. Choose to eat whole grain oatmeal over processed cereals or brown rice instead of white rice. To monitor the portion size of food, use the plate method as a guide. One-fourth of the plate is for grains or starchy vegetables, one-half of the plate is for nonstarchy vegetables and the remaining portion is for protein foods.

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