The new American Diabetes Association nutritional recommendations advise people with diabetes to keep track of their overall intake of carbohydrates, noting that the source is not as important as once thought. Therefore, it's OK to have dessert on a special occasion, just so long as it's accounted for in your daily intake.
How many carbohydrates you should eat in a day depends on your weight, which determines your daily calorie intake. The ADA advises that you should get about half of your daily calories in the form of carbohydrates. Since each gram of sugar, fiber or starch is about four calories, people on a 2000-calorie a day diet should have about 250 grams of carbohydrate a day.
Routine servings, such as an apple, a glass of milk (8 oz) or a slice of bread, contain about 15 grams. If you're trying to restrict your carbohydrate intake to 1,000 calories a day, you can have 16 servings of these or equivalent foods. Product labels now clearly show the carbohydrate content per serving, so it's easy to keep track - just be sure to match the serving size with that on the label.
Lifestyle - Diet
- ADA. Evidence-based nutritional principles and recommendations for the treatment and prevention of diabetes and related complications. Diabetes Care, January 2002;25:202.
- Josefson D. US relaxes sugar ban for people with diabetes. British Medical Journal, Jan. 12, 2002;324:70.
- ADA. Diabetes group sweetens the snacking. Dec. 27, 2001.