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Living Well with Diabetes

Keeping your blood sugar in a healthy range can help prevent serious diabetes complications and help you feel better!

Of all the things that make blood sugar rise, food usually has the biggest effect. Some foods can raise your blood sugar more than others, and portion size plays a big part too. Counting carbs is one way to create meals and snacks that will help you stay in range.

Generally, people need 45 to 60 grams of carbs in each meal for energy, but it depends on how your body handles carbs. Consult a diabetes educator or other healthcare professional for the amount that’s right for you.

Nutrition labels on packaged foods are a great help when you’re counting up the carbs in meals or snacks. Zero in on the Serving Size and the total Carbohydrate lines to see the total grams of carbs for 1 serving.1

Quick Tip1

Test before and 1-2 hours after a meal to see if your food and portion choices are working to keep your blood sugar in range after a meal. If your after-meal test result is more than 3.0 mmol/L higher than your before-meal result, next time consider eating a smaller portion of carbs. You’ll soon learn what foods and portions keep you in range so you can make choices that are right for you.

1 American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2016: Summary of Revisions. Diabetes Care. 2016;39(Suppl 1):S4-5.

2 Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada. Methods. Can J Diabetes. 2013;37(Suppl 1):S1-S212.