Misconception 3 – I should avoid carbohydrates completely if I have diabetes
Carbohydrates are foods that give you energy and have a direct effect on blood sugar levels. They should still be included as part of a health meal plan for people with diabetes.
Not all carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels the same manner. Simple carbohydrates (for example, glucose, sucrose, honey, sweets, jams) release glucose faster into the bloodstream and cause a rapid rise in blood sugar level. Complex carbohydrates or starches (for example, bread, rice, noodles, pasta, potatoes, corns) release glucose into the bloodstream at a slower rate and provide more stable energy levels.
Glycemic index (GI) measures the impact of carbohydrate on blood sugar level. Foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar are given higher GI values, while those that cause more gradual rise in blood sugar are given lower GI values. Switching to carbohydrates with lower GI (such as brown rice and wholegrain bread) is recommended for individuals with diabetes to help prevent sharp spikes in blood sugar levels after consumption.