Sure, you could shell out an entire month’s income on a designer purse. You could also spend your daily carbohydrate allowance on a single meal. But splurging on one item or meal is not always wise in the long run. From day to day be consistent with how many carbohydrates you eat and when, especially if you’re taking set doses of insulin or medications that cause the pancreas to secrete insulin, such as glipizide or glyburide.
Although it may be tempting to squander an entire meal’s carb budget on dessert, allocating your carb quota on smart choices such as whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and low-fat dairy will make it easier to manage your BG and weight, plus get nutrients you need.
Read on for tips to get your carb intake on track.
1. Budget carbs
A registered dietitian (R.D.) can help you set a carb allowance. For people with type 2 diabetes who are overweight, average mealtime carb budgets are 45–60 grams for women and 60−75 grams for men. Snacks, if included in your overall plan, are typically 15−30 grams of carb.
2. Track carbs and BG
Most people with diabetes (PWDs) should aim for blood glucose 1−2 hours after the start of a meal to be less than 180 mg/dl, but your personal goal should be based on several factors. Aim for no more than a 50-point rise 2 hours after the meal, she says.
3. Control overspending
It’s so easy to completely fall off the wagon if you go way over your budgeted carb amount. Instead, at the next meal, start fresh. Each meal is an opportunity to get back on your plan.
4. Make smart swaps
PWDs can still eat carb-containing foods, such as desserts, bagels, and pizza. But it helps to know simple swaps, such as eating a bagel thin instead of a full-size bagel, that can help you stay on budget.