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You should embrace these five ‘bad’ carbs if you are diabetic


Jan 8, 2024


A woman buys vegetables at a supermarket in Buenos Aires, Argentina on August 31, 2018. — Reuters
A woman buys vegetables at a supermarket in Buenos Aires, Argentina on August 31, 2018. — Reuters 

Contrary to common misconceptions, not all carbohydrates are off-limits for individuals managing diabetes. A dietitian sheds light on five supposedly “bad” carbs that might offer benefits in blood sugar management, Eatingwell reported. 

1. Potatoes: Despite being categorised as “white” carbs, potatoes, especially when consumed with the skin, provide a substantial amount of fibre and protein. Choosing heart-healthy preparations, like baked potatoes instead of deep-fried, is recommended for individuals with diabetes.

2. Pasta: While pasta falls under refined carbs, studies suggest that its starch digests slower, resulting in a more controlled blood sugar response. Portion control is emphasised, and enjoying pasta with vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats is recommended for those with diabetes.

3. Dried Fruit: Certain dried fruits, like prunes, can be a nutritious addition to a diabetes-friendly diet. Prunes contain fibre and have a low glycemic index, potentially supporting healthy blood sugar levels. Portion sizes should be monitored, and dried fruits without added sugars are preferred.

4. Carrots: Despite their natural sweetness, carrots are not high in sugar. With approximately 2 grams of dietary fibre and minimal natural sugar per medium carrot, they contribute to blood sugar control. Additionally, carrots are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, particularly vitamin A.

5. Cereal: Opting for whole-grain, fibre-rich cereals without added sugars can be a part of a diabetes-friendly diet. Cereals made with oats, in particular, offer health benefits, as oats contain beta-glucan, a fibre known for lowering blood sugar and insulin levels. Enhancing the nutritional profile by adding flaxseed, chia seeds, or nuts is recommended.

Emphasising the importance of mindful eating and considering the overall nutritional value, the dietitian suggests that these supposedly “bad” carbs can be integrated into a balanced diet for individuals managing diabetes.


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