Get smart with your Carbs

Hello, I hope everyone has been keeping up with the recommendations for diet and health management? Today, we have a new and interesting topic to discuss, which is also a very crucial part of our day-to-day diet. It is Carbohydrate. We often feel confused figuring out what carbohydrate to eat and how much, and have been a victim to food fads and myths? Today we will burst some myths and perhaps put a full stop to the confusions.

Carbohydrates or carbs are the prime source of energy for our body, a gram of carbohydrate provides 4 kcal of energy. Carbs form a part of every food item be it fruits, vegetables, breads, pasta, rice and dairy products. Even I was surprised to know that from a complete Indian platter, 50 to 60% calorie comes from carbohydrates. Generally, we can classify carbohydrates into simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple ones are those which get absorbed by the body very fast and causes a spike in blood sugar levels after having it : sugar, corn syrup, starch, fruit juice concentrate, etc. Complex carbohydrates are those that gets absorbed slowly into the body after consumption.

A term which is most commonly associated with Carbohydrates is ‘Glycemic Index’. Now what is  ‘Glycemic Index’, have you ever heard of it before? Well, Glycemic Index is a way that carbohydrates in foods and drinks are ranked according to how quickly they raise the glucose levels in the blood. Based on the classification of Carbohydrates; complex carbohydrates have a low glycemic index than simple carbohydrates. So, it is wise to generally opt for complex carbs.

A very important information which most of the us miss out on, are the ‘Hidden Sugars’ in our food. Never miss out on the hidden sugar in a plate. Shocking isn’t it? Foods like salad dressing, yogurt, bread, spaghetti sauce have sugars added in it. Added sugars mean added carbs. To spot them, we should check the ingredients list for words ending in “ose” (such as fructose or maltose) and any name that includes “syrup” or “juice.”

We have all been a prey to myths surrounding Carbohydrates like: Carbohydrates are bad for diabetics, haven’t we? Well, Carbs are the foundation of a healthy diet, whether the person is a diabetic or not. They do affect our blood sugar levels, which is why we need to keep up with how much is consumed each day. We should choose the carbs which have vitamins, minerals, and fiber: such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, starchy and sugary carbs are not a great choice because they have less to offer. They are more like a flash in the pan than fuel for our body to rely on.

There has been a rising trend of following many new and different types of diets which are propagated by Social Media Influences like, the keto diet, intermittent fasting and liquid diets. We should not be giving in to such trends. There is also a notion that proteins are better than carbs for diabetics. Let us see what we can learn about them. Carbs do affect blood sugar levels so we are tempted to eat less of them and substitute more protein, but we should choose our protein carefully. If it comes with too much saturated fat, it is risky for our heart’s health, it burdens the kidneys too. We should keep an eye on the portion size too. We should consult the dietitian or doctor about how much protein is right for us.

A couple of rotis/chapati or a bowlful of rice is a staple for every Indian, but undoubtedly both the roti and rice have their fair share of carbs. The quantity consumed matters rather than what we choose to eat. There is no need to restrict carbohydrates completely, better is to alter the carbohydrate intake. Watch my YouTube video with just a click on which is best: Roti or Rice?? We should keep a count on our carbs. Carb intake between 20–90 grams per day has been shown to be effective at improving blood sugar management among diabetics. However, it’s best to test blood sugar before and after eating to find the personal carb limit. As a part of diabetes management plan, it is healthy to count carbs which helps in the following aspects:

  • Stay healthy longer.
  • Feel better and improve the quality of life.
  • Prevent or delay diabetes complications such as kidney disease, eye disease, heart disease, and stroke.

The optimal carb intake for diabetes management requires testing the blood sugar and making adjustments as needed based on the response, but there is no one-size-fits-all diet that works for everyone. Personalized meal plans, which take into account the dietary preferences and metabolic goals, are best. We should construct a meal plan to manage diabetes with carbs evenly over three meals. Each meal should contain a balance of protein, healthy fats, and a small amount of carbs, mostly from vegetables.

Hope I have succeeded in clearing most of the confusions. Do let me know your thoughts on carbohydrate intake in the comments below. Living healthy in diabetes is an Art. Want to learn the easiest way to keep yourself protected from diabetes? Want to know more such interesting facts on nutrition in a diabetic life? join my ongoing educational course, Art of Living with Diabetes today and empower yourself with knowledge to beat diabetes.

Published by Dr.Pratim Sengupta

Dr. Pratim Sengupta thinks of himself as conscious, living, soulful being with an inner urge to break the inertia of life. He feels that life is nothing but a material expression of the Supreme Almighty Consciousness. His conscious existence empowered him to see, to hear, to talk, to interact, to feel, to dream, to ask questions, and to seek solutions to every problem. In the flow of life, as he grew up, he understood that knowledge of life is the only way to understand the scientific basis of conscious existence. Hence Dr. Sengupta felt the urge to study the science of life – i.e. Medicine. After he completed his higher secondary education from the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira in Belurmath, he joined the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) course at RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata. The professional packaging of knowledge in terms of a time-bound, goal-oriented syllabus frustrated him a bit, but nevertheless ignited the urge within him to study further. He thus went on to his post-graduation (MD) in Medicine from IPGMER and SSKM Hospital, Kolkata. During his MD training, he got a glimpse of the vastness of knowledge, and the quest to learn precisely the facts of life narrowed down his area of interest to the functioning of the kidneys and the specialisation of Nephrology – a discipline that is complex, yet relatively new and still evolving in terms of complete understanding of renal physiology and pathology. So, Dr. Sengupta decided to study and train for the DM (Doctorate of Medicine) degree in Nephrology. Right from the start of his career, Dr. Sengupta was passionate about Research. During the MD programme he worked on Cirrhotic Cardiomyopathy, Autonomic Neuropathy of Lupus, and Insulin resistance in Diabetics. All these research studies were published in national journals. During his postdoctoral study in Nephrology, he worked on Hemodialysis efficiency, and suggested an angular placement of the Dialyser in order to increase efficiency. This innovative concept was accepted for presentation at the World Congress of Nephrology, Milan, in 2009, and also published in Hemodialysis International. Dr. Sengupta also worked on Plasmapheresis – a blood filtering technique by which toxic and pathogenic immunoglobulins can be removed from the body. He studied the role of Prethymectomy Plasmapheresis in Myasthenia Gravis patients, and his findings were published in the journal Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. The patient-empowered nutritional model for nutritional care of kidney patients is another interesting and innovative area in which Dr. Sengupta has worked for quite a long time. Dr.Pratim Sengupta won the Bharat Jyoti award for his excellency in the field of medicine. He is also the president of our non-governmental organization, The Kidney Care Society. His tireless contribution to provide quality living for his patients is worth mentioning. He introduced Mukti, blending ancient Indian yoga with modern medicine for well being of every patient. He has also introduced an unique online course "Art of Living with diabetes" which is a complete solution to diabetes management. He has authored many books, blogs, for the patients. Searching and researching for solutions to problems in the field of Nephrology remains the passion and dream of Dr. Pratim Sengupta, and he intends to persist on this journey as long as he is conscious. Meanwhile, even as he pursues his dreams, Dr. Sengupta diligently puts into practice all he has learned about Nephrology over the years, at the Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkata and ILS hospital,Dumdum where he is available for his patient

4 thoughts on “Get smart with your Carbs

  1. Unique creations of “Mukti” and “Art of Living with diabetes ” by Dr. Pratim Sengupta are certainly unparalleled and illustrious work in the methology of medical treatment. Mukti is an outstanding creation where he has blended the ancient Indian method of treatment through yogic asanas, pranayam, breathing exercises etc. , with the modern methodology of medical teatment. What a beautiful expression he imbibes by his concept that our life is nothing but the material expression of the Super Almighty Force. Yes everyone of us is the expression of that invisible Almighty Force. We have come from nowhere and we will also go to that invisible nowhere.
    Thruogh his another creation of”Art of Living with diabetes ” he has opened an ocean knowledge about the ins and outs of dibetes thereby making us Diabetic Warriors against the silent epidemic of diabetes all over the world.
    I salute our beloved Dr. Pratim Sengupta and his team for presenting us such programmes created with their tireless efforts.


  2. I am sorry to say that whenever I approached any of your co-professional they always confused me । Your detailing gave answer to my all questions ।
    Thank you।


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