Eating to Manage Type 2 Diabetes: Diabetes and Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are always a hot topic when it comes to managing diabetes through diet. Should we be recommending no carb, low carb, carb counting, complex carbs? With diabetes self-management there is no one right way, rather it should be individualised to each and every diabetic.


Diabetes occurs when there is too much glucose (sugar) in the blood often resulting from a lack of insulin, or the body does not respond to insulin (insulin resistance). Healthy eating and knowing how food affects your blood glucose levels plays an essential role in managing diabetes.


Carbohydrates in the food we eat are broken down into glucose (sugar) units in the gut and absorbed into the blood. It is then up to the hormone insulin to effectively help move the glucose out of the blood and into the cells.


The recommendation for diabetics is to eat carbohydrates of a good quality, regularly throughout the day. The amount that is needed depends on a number of factors, such as physical activity level, age, gender, body weight, metabolism. This can be worked out on an individual basis by an Accredited Practicing Dietitian.

So what are the main dietary sources of carbohydrates:

As you can see carbohydras are in many of our essential food groups such as grains, breads, cereals, dairy, fruits and vegetables making them an essential component to a healthy diet.


If you, or someone you know has diabetes I cannot stress enough how essential it is that you seek help and guidance from a dietitian. Ask your GP for a referral to see a dietitian and you will even get money back from Medicare – win win!!


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