5 tips to help diabetics manage their carbs during the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus / Sanitas Medical Center

Date: May 2, 2020

Many of us are wondering every day how to stay healthy. That is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. We all need to minimize the chances of getting sick in order to maintain the healthcare resources available for those in need. We understand how difficult it is for diabetics to manage their carbohydrate intake under these circumstances. 
 
Carbohydrates are a source of energy for your body, but they could negatively affect your blood sugar level as well. If you are a diabetic, you know that your body has difficulty processing sugar. Sugars are one kind of carbohydrates, therefore as you manage your carbohydrate intake you are also reducing the impact that food has on your blood sugars. 
 
That may seem like a difficult task during these times, but there are some strategies that can help you achieve that result: 

  1. Avoid skipping meals: Try to keep meals and snacks no more than 4-5 hours apart. When you skip meals, you are more likely to eat larger amounts of a carbohydrate at once.
  2. Incorporate snacks:  Examples of good snacks include nuts and seeds, celery and almond butter, strawberries and cheese, raw carrots and hummus, and a hard-boiled egg.
  3. Limit intake of high glycemic foods:  Some of those are white rice, white bread, white pasta, starchy vegetables (potatoes, yucca, sweet potato, corn, and beets), sweets, juices, sodas, banana, mango, grapes, pineapple, watermelon, plantain, etc. Instead consume low glycemic foods like non starchy vegetables (spinach, onions, broccoli, etc.), meats, eggs, cheese, nuts, seeds, olives, avocado, whole grains (i.e. quinoa).
  4. Always pair a carbohydrate with a protein and/or fat: For example, if consuming a fruit, pair it with cheese, or seeds. That will help you balance the amount of carbs.
  5. Look at the label: Avoid foods that contain added sugars. Remember that sugar can be written in different forms like high fructose corn syrup, honey, etc. Keep the “Total Carbohydrate” amount (in grams) to a minimum. Everybody requires different amounts of carbohydrates. However, a low carbohydrate meal plan will ideally have less than 130 grams of carbohydrate in a day. Those taking more than one oral blood sugar lowering medication and/or injecting insulin, will need further assistance from a dietitian when making dietary changes to prevent episodes of hypoglycemia. 

 
Today and every day, the care and safety of our patients and team members are our number one priority. We will continue to work tirelessly to put things into place that will keep you safe. The Sanitas team thanks you for trusting us in putting your health first. If you are a current patient, please visit our appointment guides to schedule a virtual appointment with your Sanitas doctor: FloridaNew JerseyConnecticutTexas.

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