Why Should Diabetics Avoid Carbohydrate-Rich Foods?

We often hear people say: “You’re a diabetic, you should avoid sweets.” This may be true, but there’s a more significant fact that you should know. A common misconception that most people have is that as long as it’s not sweet, it’s good for diabetics. Why should diabetics avoid carbohydrate-rich foods? Keep reading…

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High-Carb Foods And The Sugar Content of Your Blood

How Do Carbohydrates Get Digested?

Simply put, when you ingest carbohydrates, some are partially digested in your mouth and the rest in the small intestines with the help of salivary & pancreatic amylase.

In the intestines, the carbohydrate is broken down into its simplest form – the monosaccharide, where glucose is the most predominant. Glucose is the sugar that’s utilized by the whole body as a source of energy. Your bland food has been broken down into the simplest form of sugar – glucose.

When the glucose level exceeds its normal concentration, the hormone, insulin, is triggered by the brain to lower the glucose level.


What Happens When Glucose Levels Are Too High?

Since a diabetic person lacks insulin, or is insulin-deficient, the glucose will remain in the bloodstream; thereby, causing hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels), and the classical triad – polydipsia (excessive thirst), polyphagia (excessive hunger) and polyuria (excessive urination).

Thus, when you eat carbohydrates your blood sugar will keep increasing, especially if you don’t burn it. If you’re a diabetic, it would exacerbate your condition. Primarily, diabetes is not caused by your excessive carbohydrate intake but by your insulin deficiency. If you’re not a diabetic, your sugar level would elevate after you eat carbohydrates, but it would go back to normal after, at least, 2 hours.

However, with type 2 diabetes mellitus, eating excessive carbohydrates could contribute to your acquisition of the disease. This usually occurs at age 40 and above because older people have a slower metabolism and the pancreas may be impaired due to old age. In this case, dieting from carbohydrates is crucial.


Examples Of Carb-Rich Foods:

  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Cake
  • Potato
  • Corn
  • Bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Barley
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Fruit Juice

This doesn’t mean though that you should avoid these foods altogether. The key is to eat them moderately and monitor your carb intake. Since carbohydrates are the main source of energy in your body, you need to adjust your intake according to your lifestyle.

If you’re an active diabetic, meaning you exercise regularly and do physical activities more than the average individual, then you can add more carbohydrate to your diet.

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Take note that regular exercise or any physical activity could help you dispose of your excess carbohydrates. Eat just the right amount of carbohydrate that corresponds to the energy you would spend for the day. Keep in mind that extra bland potato on your plate is glucose.

Observe a healthy lifestyle to stay healthy, fit and trim as well. Hydrate yourself properly with more than 8 glasses a day of water. Get, at least, 8 hours of sleep daily. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and illicit drugs. Exercise regularly, and eat a balanced diet.


Because diabetes is a lifetime illness, you have to learn how to manage it properly. Knowing the food to avoid is one step in doing it. If you apply what you have learned from these pointers, you would be able to prevent your diabetes from getting worse.

Post submitted by: Adelaide Taylor

Written by Chief Health

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