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Managing diabetes: Looking beyond carbs

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 4, 2019.

No, don't eat unlimited amounts of foods just because they're free of carbs (carbohydrates). Carbs aren't your only dietary consideration.

Eating a healthy, portion-controlled diet helps you manage your blood sugar levels and reduces your risk of diabetes-related conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. The best way to do this is to choose a variety of nutritious foods — those rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber — and limit foods that are high in saturated fat and sodium.

Consider the following sample breakfast menus. Although they provide almost the same number of carbs, breakfast No. 2 is a better choice because it's considerably higher in nutrients and lower in calories, fat and sodium.

Breakfast No. 1
  Carbs (g) Sodium (mg) Fat (g) Calories
2 fried eggs 1 190 13.5 180
2 sausage links 1 374 12.5 150
3/4 cup hash browns 41 400 14.5 310
1 slice white toast 15 145 1 78
2 teaspoons butter 0 61 8 68
1/2 cup orange juice 14 2.5 0 61
1 cup black coffee 0 5 0 2
Totals 72 1177.5 49.5 849
Breakfast No. 2
  Carbs (g) Sodium (mg) Fat (g) Calories
3/4 cup cornflakes 18 153 0 75
1/2 medium banana 13.5 1 0 44
1 cup low-fat milk 12 107 2.5 102
1 slice whole wheat toast 13 141 1 76
1 tablespoon peanut butter 4 68 8 96
1/2 cup orange juice 14 0 0 59
1 cup black coffee 0 5 0 2
Totals 74.5 475 11.5 454

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