Dear Dietitian – Carbs and Diebetes

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Published Friday, January 26, 2018
by Leanne McCrate, RD, LD, CNSC

Dear Dietitian,

I was recently diagnosed with diabetes.  I'm trying to watch my diet, and have cut out most carbs, but if I eat a slice of white bread, my blood sugar goes up to 200!  What gives?

Signed, Frustrated

Dear Frustrated,

First of all, try to be patient.  This is a major lifestyle change, and it cannot be accomplished in a couple of weeks.  It will take at least six weeks to become accustomed to the new diet, and it won't be perfect.   Secondly, there is no need to remove carbs from your diet.  Carbs are a great source of energy and are very satisfying. Anyone who has diabetes should be able to consume 12 to 15 servings of carbohydrate foods each day while maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. It is best to choose carbs that contain fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, whole wheat bread and high fiber cereals (5 g of fiber or more per serving).  Fiber helps us feel full, as well as keeping us regular.  Finally, I recommend that you measure the carb foods for one month until able to accurately estimate portion sizes.

Another important component for good diabetes management is to obtain the right medicine to lower your blood glucose levels.  My advice is to make an appointment with an endocrinologist, the expert in diabetes. After all, if you had heart problems, wouldn't you want to see a heart specialist (cardiologist)?

If you haven't already, search the internet for a Registered Dietitian (RD) near you to work on a healthy food plan. Congrats on getting on the right track. Good health to you!

Leanne McCrate, RD, LD, CNSC, is an award-winning dietitian with over fifteen years of experience. Have a question?  Email Leanne at