There are 2 types of carbohydrates – complex as in starch or simple as in fruits and sugar. They have greater effect on blood sugar compared with fats and protein. It is recommended that they should provide 50% to 60% of the daily caloric intake.


Complex carbohydrates found in whole grains and vegetables are always preferred over those found in starch-heavy food such as pasta, white-flour products and potatoes. One of the reasons is that they usually are high in fiber. We should always understand that whole grains are specifically and extremely important for people with diabetes.


Simple carbohydrates are sugars and there are 2 types of them. They are sucrose (table sugar) and fructose (sugar found in fruit).

Fructose may produce a slower increase in blood sugar than sucrose, which may have some advantages for people with diabetes. Dark-colored fruits are rich in important vitamins and other nutrients, and studies continue to report their benefits for the heart and health in general.

Sugar, either as sucrose or fructose, adds calories and increases blood glucose levels quickly. Both of them provide no other nutrients. High level of sugar consumption, whether fructose or sucrose, has been associated with higher triglycerides and lower levels of HDL cholesterol, or the so-called good cholesterol.

Notes to Diabetics

People with diabetes should avoid food with more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Even fruit intake should be moderate. If specific amounts are not listed, they should avoid food with either sucrose or fructose listed as one of the first four ingredients on the label.

Carbohydrates & Diabetes

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