Skip to content

    Diabetes Health Center

    Select An Article

    The Facts About Carbs, Fiber, and Diabetes

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    When you watch your diet because you have diabetes, you'll want to pay special attention to carbohydrates, because they can affect your blood sugar level faster than protein or fat.

    You get carbs from sweets, fruit, milk, yogurt, bread, cereal, rice, pasta, potatoes, and other vegetables.

    Recommended Related to Diabetes

    6 Diet Tips to Help Manage Diabetes Nerve Pain

    If you have diabetes, you already know the drill. What you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat can send your blood sugar skyrocketing -- or make it plummet. For better or worse, "diet and diabetes" go together like salt and pepper. So if you need a little motivation to eat better - and who doesn't? - consider this: with diabetes, you're at high risk of the nerve pain and damage called diabetic neuropathy. What can start as a little tingling or numbness in your feet can turn into major problems...

    Read the 6 Diet Tips to Help Manage Diabetes Nerve Pain article > >

    It can help to count your carbs from things you eat or drink, and split them evenly between meals so that it’s in line with how much insulin is available from your body or from medicine. If you get more than your insulin supply can handle, your blood sugar level goes up. If you eat too few carbohydrates, your blood sugar level may fall too low.

    With carbohydrate counting, you can pick almost any food product off the shelf, read the label, and use the information about grams of carbohydrates to fit the food into your meal plan.

    Counting carbs is most useful for people who use insulin several times a day or wear an insulin pump, or want more flexibility and variety in their food choices. The amount and type of insulin you are prescribed may affect the flexibility of your meal plan.

    You don’t have to count carbs. You could use diabetes food exchange lists instead. Ask your doctor or a registered dietitian for their advice on that.

    How Fiber Helps

    Fiber helps control blood sugar. It also helps you lower your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol.

    Most Americans need more fiber in their diets. The average American only gets about half the fiber needed on a daily basis.

    You get fiber from plant foods, so plan to eat more of these foods:

    • Fresh fruits and vegetables
    • Cooked dried beans and peas
    • Whole-grain breads, cereals, and crackers
    • Brown rice
    • Bran products
    • Nuts and seeds

    Although  it’s best to get fiber from food sources, fiber supplements can also help you get the daily fiber you need. Examples include psyllium and methylcellulose.

    Increase your fiber intake slowly to help prevent gas and cramping. It’s also important to also increase the amount of liquids that you drink.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD on May 14, 2016
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
     
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
     
    kenneth fujioka, md
    Video
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Article
     
    Middle aged person
    Tool
    jennie brand miller
    Video
     

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    Article
    type 2 diabetes
    Slideshow
     
    food fitness planner
    Tool
    feet
    Slideshow