Eating wisely is one of the most powerful weapons in the fight against Type 2 diabetes. But, despite what you may have been told, carbohydrates are not to be avoided altogether. They are not harmful to you by nature. It depends on how you choose to eat them and when. Carbs are a preferred energy source in the body due to efficiency and convenience. Because of glycolysis, it is the most efficient means of extracting energy from a nutrient. In the absence of carbs, our body will convert other nutrients into glucose to compensate: This is known as gluconeogenesis.
The first mistake many people make when eating carbohydrates has to do with the amount consumed. While they should combine a large chunk of your daily intake, it should not be an overwhelming majority. If 40% of your total calories come from carbs, you are eating a reasonable amount. If the number, however, is 60% or greater, you are overlooking including protein and healthy fats in your diet. Not only this, but that is when carbohydrates are more likely to be harmful and have a negative impact on your insulin and blood sugar levels.
The second common mistake is starting the day with refined sugars. Eating carbs and refined sugars for breakfast are unwwise because they elevate your blood sugar needlessly. They cause a steep spike; when you wake up your blood sugar is more or less at a baseline range. An upsurge in blood sugar so early in the morning will throw off your appetite for the day, not to mention it will be a harder day for you if you have high blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, refined sugars make up about one-quarter of the average person's calorie intake
Research shows eating carbohydrates food towards the end of your meal has a milder effect on blood sugar than eating them before eating protein foods. So if you should be leaving carbs to eat at the end of your regular meal, you should not be eating them at the beginning of your day.
If you are like most people, breakfast is not your main daily meal. Not to mention you could afford to eat less at the beginning of your day if you are looking to regulate your caloric intake. Instead of carb-heavy slices of toast or cereal, try yogurt instead, particularly the ones with minimal added sugar. You can add fruit to the yogurt since the meal itself would not be based entirely on carbs.
Carbohydrates are necessary. But you have to regulate your mind and mind your timing. Consume them when your body is already digesting other nutrients, which is the case when you eat meat or another protein food first. Otherwise, fruits are a good option, since they contain a high amount of fiber.
Regardless, endeavor to start your day without carbohydrates, especially refined carbs.