Are Starches Out?


This week I received the following question from http://foodpicker.org :

I have type 2 diabetes and am confused about carbohydrates.  Are all starches out completely?

Good news! Starches are definitely not out. I am a firm believer that elimination of any food group is not the way to go. While it is true that you must watch your carbohydrate intake (including starches) if you have diabetes, this does not mean you cannot have them ever.

Carbohydrates break down into glucose, which is a source of energy for our bodies. You still need some carbohydrates to maintain your blood sugar levels, whether you are diabetic or not. If you eliminate starches, which include whole grain breads, rice, starchy vegetables such as potatos, corn, or lima beans, and cereals, you will be eliminating a lot of essential vitamins and minerals and fiber, important for heart health. Starches also include your sugary baked goods, like cookies and cakes. These are higher in fat, sugar, and lack nutrition, so these should be limited.

Remember to keep in mind that your carbohydrate allowance per meal is 2-3 servings for women, and 3-4 for men. When eating starches, it is best to aim for the complex carbohydrates that add fiber, which include the whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, fruit, and vegetables. Fiber itself does not raise blood sugar, so picking carbs with a higher amount of fiber tend to be better and not to mention more satisfying than one that does not, such as a sugary cereal or piece of cake.

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