The role of carbohydrates in the menu for type 2 diabetes

Carbohydrates – substances that are responsible for providing the body with energy. Therefore, they must be present in the daily menu. However, in patients with diabetes mellitus, the assimilation of these substances is impaired, so you should choose foods carefully.

Features of type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a disease of the endocrine system associated with insulin deficiency. In case of a disease of the 1st type, the pancreas does not, in principle, produce a hormone, which requires special treatment – continuous injection therapy. Such a disease is diagnosed most often in childhood.But   diabetes mellitus 2nd   Type – acquired disease. In this case, the pancreas for one reason or another can not cover the body’s need for insulin. And this is due not so much to a violation of secretion, as with the immunity of tissues to the hormone.

Insulin is the main regulator of blood glucose levels. And with its lack of sugar can greatly increase, and this leads to various complications, including diseases of the cardiovascular system – ischemic heart disease, heart attacks (necrosis of various tissues – heart, kidney), stroke.

With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas can still control a certain level of glucose in the blood. This means that the main task of the patient is to ensure that sugar does not rise too high and does not fall too sharply.

The main source of glucose is carbohydrates. It is after consuming carbohydrate-containing foods that blood sugar levels rise. However, these nutrients are quite diverse in structure and action.

Carbohydrates in the diabetic diet

All carbohydrates are composed of their structural units – saccharides. It depends on how much they are contained in the structure of a substance, how quickly they are converted into glucose. According to this principle, it is customary to isolate complex and simple carbohydrates.

Complex – multicomponent substances, which when released into the body “decomposed” to the initial structural units. This process takes some time, and therefore   glucose   in the blood rises gradually. For patients with diabetes, this is important for several reasons:

  • Gradual increase in glucose allows even a limited amount of insulin to keep its level under control.
  • The process of converting carbohydrates into glucose takes a long time, which means that until the next meal, the blood sugar level will not drop too much.
  • During the conversion of a complex carbohydrate, the body expends energy. This is important for those diabetics who are obese, because with this diet they can consume more calories.

In order to figure out which carbohydrates are complex and which are simple, it is necessary to use the glycemic index tables. Values ​​from 100 to 0 – this is the conditional rate of increase in blood glucose. For diabetics, carbohydrates with GI not higher than 40 are recommended.

The list includes such products:

  • Grapes, oranges, peaches, apples, cherries, figs, grapefruit.
  • Green peas, black beans, lentils.
  • Salad, cucumbers, tomatoes, Bulgarian pepper, cabbage, eggplants.
  • Greenery.
  • Mushrooms.

It is important to combine carbohydrates with proteins (fermented milk products, fish, meat) and fats (preferably vegetable). This will allow you to create a complete and nutritious diet that will help to live a full life, despite the diagnosis.

Simple carbohydrates: banned foods list

Simple carbohydrates are the most dangerous foods for diabetics because they lead to blood sugar jumps. And their danger is not only that they dramatically increase its level, but also that they can cause too low sugar.

After eating simple carbohydrates almost immediately converted to glucose. Its level is rapidly increasing, and this affects the work of the cardiovascular system, the state of the vessels, kidneys and other organs.

However, such an increase may not last long – since simple carbohydrates are converted immediately, after a short time a person may experience signs of hypoglycemia (lack of sugar in the blood). At the initial stage, it can manifest itself with the following symptoms:

  • Pallor, sweating.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Nausea.
  • Irritability, anxiety.
  • Poor concentration of attention.
  • Tremor of the limbs.

If necessary measures are not taken quickly (glucose tablets are most often used), hypoglycemia can lead to coma and death. Attacks are more common in people with type 1 diabetes, but if they eat the wrong diet with an excess of simple carbohydrates, they can also threaten type 2 diabetics.

Such carbohydrates include foods with a glycemic index above 70. However, in order to maintain health and better control blood sugar, patients with diabetes should be reduced to a minimum and products with GI to 50.


  • Beer, kvass.
  • Dates.
  • Buns, white bread.
  • Dishes from potatoes, including chips.
  • Rice, corn, wheat porridge.
  • Boiled or stewed carrots.
  • Honey, sugar.
  • Watermelon, zucchini, pumpkin.
  • Sweet carbonated drinks.

It is recommended to minimize:

  • Sweets – marmalade, jams, juices with sugar, milk chocolate, shortbread.
  • Black bread.
  • Semolina
  • Pasta, dumplings.
  • Raisins.

Prevention of pancreatic diseases

Type 2 diabetes is considered a hereditary disease. If one of the parents has developed it, then the child has a 40% chance of receiving the same diagnosis. And yet, unlike type 1 disorder, which is associated with pancreatic pathology, type 2 diabetes is an acquired disease.

The main reason for its development is irrational   nutrition   with a predominance of simple carbohydrates in the menu. After all, jumps in blood sugar also occur in healthy people, they just have insulin that can still control such sharp drops. However, over time, insulin resistance develops – addiction to insulin, which requires its increased concentration to control glucose. At some point, under the influence of the constant consumption of simple carbohydrates, even an overestimated amount of insulin can no longer keep glucose under control – hyperglycemia develops.

Therefore, nutrition, which is based on complex carbohydrates, is the best   prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus even in people with a predisposition to it.

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