Should I avoid all carbs?

Here is question I recently received from

I was just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  I would like to know, should I avoid carbs all together or is there a minimum you must eat?

Answer:  Carbohydrate is actually your body’s favorite source of energy so you don’t want to avoid all carbs.  In addition to being an energy source, carbohydrates also offer a variety of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber to the diet.

It is important to select more “nutrient dense” carbohydrate sources such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products instead of “empty calorie” carbohydrates such as cakes, cookies, and other snack foods that do not offer much nutritional value.   Portion sizes should be noted when consuming carbohydrate as well.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for carbohydrate has been set at 130 grams per day.  The brain uses an average minimum of 130 grams carbohydrate daily.  This minimal amount is where the RDA is derived.  Consider that other parts of the body would like to use carbohydrate for energy as well.

Since you were just diagnosed with diabetes, it would be a good idea to ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian and a diabetes education class to help you get started with the basics.


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