Carbohydrates and Diabetesenparents plans can help kids with diabetes balance carbs with medications and exercise to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.carbohydrates, carbs, carbos, blood sugar levels, blood glucose levels, sugars, starches, glucose, insulin, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, fiber, overweight, obese, proteins, fats, exchange meal plan, carbohydrate counting, constant carbohydrate meal plan, food labels04/01/200510/17/201610/17/2016Steven Dowshen, MD10/01/2016b8cce2da-3799-40b8-b29a-180e9c99b618 <p>Carbohydrates, like proteins and fats, are one of the three main components of food that provide energy and other things the body needs. They should be part of a healthy diet for all kids, including kids with diabetes.</p> <p>But carbohydrates (carbs), which are found in foods such as bread, fruit, and candy, can affect a person's <a href="">blood sugar level</a>. So kids with&nbsp;diabetes might need to track how many carbohydrates they eat.</p> <p>Following a meal plan can help kids balance carbs with medications and exercise so that they maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Like exercising and testing blood sugar regularly, tracking carbs is just another step many kids with diabetes take to stay healthy.</p> <h3>Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar</h3> <p>The two main forms of carbohydrates are sugars and starches. Types of sugars include fructose (sugar found in fruit and some baked goods), glucose (the main sugar in our bodies that's also found in foods like cake, cookies, and soft drinks), and lactose (sugar found in milk and yogurt). Types of starches include vegetables like potatoes, corn, and peas; grains, rice, and cereals; and breads.</p> <p>The body breaks down or converts most carbs into <a href="">glucose</a>, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. As the glucose level rises in the blood, the pancreas releases the hormone <a href="">insulin</a>. Insulin is needed to move glucose from the blood into the cells, where it's used as an energy&nbsp;source.</p> <p>In people with diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin (<a href="">type 1 diabetes</a>) or the body can't respond normally to the insulin that is made (<a href="">type 2 diabetes</a>). In both types of diabetes, glucose can't get into the cells normally, so a person's blood sugar level gets too high. High blood sugar levels can make people sick if they don't receive treatment.</p> <h3>Carbs Can Be Part of a Healthy Diet</h3> <p>Eating carbohydrates makes blood sugar levels rise, but that doesn't mean that people with diabetes should avoid them. In fact, carbs are a healthy and important part of a nutritious diet.</p> <p>For everyone &mdash; including people with diabetes &mdash; some carbohydrate-containing foods have more health benefits than others. Whole-grain foods, vegetables, candy, and soda all have carbohydrates. But fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods are generally healthier than sugary foods like candy and soda because they provide <a href="">fiber</a>, vitamins, and other nutrients.</p> <p>On the other hand, some foods containing carbs &mdash; like sugary snacks &mdash; contain "empty calories." That means their calories lack nutritional value. Eating too many empty calories can contribute to being <a href="">overweight or obese</a> and can crowd out more nutritious foods from a daily diet. These foods can also cause tooth decay.</p> <p>Fiber is the one type of carbohydrate that does not raise blood sugar. Everyone needs fiber &mdash; it helps you feel full and keeps the digestive system running smoothly. Most people don't get enough of it. Some experts think that people with diabetes should have more fiber than others to help control blood sugar levels.</p> <p>Whichever type of carbohydrates your child eats, remember this: Generally, the amount of sugar that gets into the blood after eating depends on the amount of carbs eaten, not the type of carbs. So basically, as far as managing diabetes is concerned, a carb is a carb. Again, the one exception to this is fiber: It is the one type of carbohydrate that does not raise blood sugar because the body doesn't digest or absorb it.</p> <p>Your goal is to help your child achieve the right balance between the insulin in the body and the carbs in food.</p> <h3>Balancing Carbohydrates</h3> <p>In addition to serving a balanced diet of carbs, proteins, and fats, you can also&nbsp;help keep your child's blood sugar at a healthy level by:</p> <ul> <li>making sure blood sugar is tested regularly</li> <li>encouraging plenty of exercise</li> <li>making sure your child gets insulin and other medications for diabetes according to schedule and in the right amounts</li> </ul> <p>Following a meal plan helps kids with diabetes&nbsp;track their carbohydrate intake. You'll work with your child and the diabetes health care team to create a meal plan that will include general guidelines for carbohydrate intake. The team will consider your child's age, size, weight goal, exercise level, medications, and other medical issues, and will try to incorporate foods your child enjoys.</p> <p>Usually, it's easier for most people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels if they eat carbs in fairly consistent amounts and at regular times each day.</p> <p>Three general types of meal plans can help achieve the proper balance:</p> <p>An <a href=""><strong>exchange meal plan</strong></a> lists items in six food groups and sets a serving size for each food. You can mix and match the foods while keeping track of what your child is eating, including how many carbohydrates.</p> <p>With the <strong>constant carbohydrate meal plan</strong>, people eat about the same amount of carbs and other foods every day. This can be a good approach for those who take insulin only once or twice a day or who don't take insulin at all to control their diabetes.</p> <p>The third type of plan, <a href=""><strong>carbohydrate counting</strong></a>, matches a person's insulin dosage to the amount of carbs eaten. This plan offers more flexibility and can be a good fit for people who take insulin with each major meal and snack.</p> <h3>Keeping Carbs in Check</h3> <p>Kids may be tempted to sneak sugary snacks between meals without accounting for insulin coverage. You might discuss this with your child, even if it hasn't happened yet. It's healthier to create open communication about food instead of making kids feel like they need&nbsp;to hide dietary slip-ups.</p> <p>Emphasize that most people eat unhealthy snack food occasionally, but eating lots of sugary junk foods can make it hard to keep a healthy blood sugar level, especially for kids who&nbsp;don't take insulin. And it can lead to weight gain and painful cavities!</p> <p>If you're not sure how many carbohydrates a food contains, check the <a href="">food label</a> or ask someone &mdash; like a waiter or chef &mdash; about unlabeled foods like restaurant entrees.</p> <p>Also, check the labels of diet foods. These foods may contain extra sugar as a substitute for fat calories. Try to include your child or teen as you evaluate and select healthy carbohydrate-containing foods. With your guidance and the meal plan, your child can begin to choose foods and learn how carbs affect blood sugar.</p> <p>By taking a smart approach to balancing carbohydrates, medications, and activity, you can help your child enjoy food and stay healthy at the same time.</p> Los carbohidratos y la diabetesLos carbohidratos, así como las proteínas y las grasas, son uno de los tres principales componentes de los alimentos que brindan energía y otros recursos que el cuerpo humano necesita. Deben ser parte de una dieta saludable para todos los niños, incluso para los niños que tienen diabetes.
Carbohydrates and DiabetesIf you have diabetes, your doctor may have recommended keeping track of how many carbohydrates (carbs) you eat. But what exactly are carbs and how do they affect your blood sugar?
Carbohydrates and SugarCarbs are the body's most important and readily available source of energy. The key is to eat healthy ones, like whole grains, and avoid foods with added sugar.
Diabetes CenterDiabetes means a problem with insulin, an important hormone in the body. Find out how children with diabetes can stay healthy and do the normal stuff kids like to do.
Eating Out When You Have DiabetesEverybody loves to eat out. Can kids with diabetes go out to restaurants?
Eating Out When Your Child Has DiabetesDining out should be fun for you and your child with diabetes. The key is to find out the nutritional value of food options and keep portions healthy.
Meal Plans and DiabetesKids with diabetes don't have to follow a special diabetes diet, but they may need to pay more attention to when they eat and how much is on their plates.
Meal Plans: What Kids With Diabetes Need to KnowMeal plans help people with diabetes eat right and stay healthy. What's a meal plan?
Type 1 Diabetes: What Is It?Every year in the United States, 13,000 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. With some practical knowledge, you can become your child's most important ally in learning to live with the disease.
Weight and DiabetesA balanced diet and an active lifestyle are important for kids with diabetes because weight can influence diabetes, and diabetes can influence weight.
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-endocrinologykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-endocrinologyDiet & Nutrition