People with diabetes should work with a dietitian or doctor to devise a food plan that is specific to them. Often diabetics have other health concerns such as high blood pressure or cholesterol. Sometimes they need to lose weight.
Many people believe diabetics should avoid all carbohydrates. The opposite is true, according to Nancy Maza, diabetes educator at Morton Plant Mease. Carbohydrates should be included in a healthy diet.
Portion control is a big factor. Smaller meals more often are better than large meals, which can overwhelm the body's processing system. It's important not to skip meals.
All foods can fit in moderation but some carbohydrates are healthier than others. If you're newly diagnosed or live with someone who is, some of the answers to this quiz might surprise you.
When given the choice, which food or drink should you choose?
Red wine or white wine? Generally red wine has fewer carbohydrates than white. For instance, pinot grigio has three times the carbs of cabernet sauvignon. Of other alcoholic drinks, beer is carb-loaded. A diet cola and rum (regular, not flavored) has 0 carbs.
Watermelon or cherries? Go for the cherries. Watermelon is loaded with natural sugar.
Baked potato or mashed potato? Baked, white or sweet, is the better choice, because the amount of added fat in mashed is difficult to control.
Whole grain or 12-grain bread? Whole grain is better because the 12-grain could include 12 refined grains.
Corn flakes or bran flakes? Bran flakes is the wiser choice because it has more fiber. Read the label on the box. If you want a big bowl of cereal, make sure you choose one with less carboydrate grams per portion.
Peanut M&M's or jelly beans? The nuts in the M&M's make them a better choice, though candy should always be limited. Jelly beans are pure sugar.
New England clam chowder or minestrone? Dairy and potatoes in clam chowder are a double-whammy. Order vegetable-laden minestrone.
Cashews or pecans? All nuts are not created equal, though most are good choices for diabetics. Cashews have 11 grams of carbs per ounce; pecans have 4 grams for the same amount.
Grilled chicken or fried chicken? Grilled chicken is lower in fat and lower in carbs because it has no breading.
Hummus or salsa? A trick question. Despite the starchy garbanzo beans in the hummus and the sugary tomatoes in the salsa, both are good choices because they are relatively low in carbs. Watch the dippers though! Whole-grain pita chips and veggies are better than chips.
Corn or broccoli? Both are nutritious vegetables but the starchy corn should be eaten in a smaller portion.