Why should you care? Because your healthy longevity depends on good regulation of your blood sugar. Good regulation means that you have steady, moderate amounts of sugar in your blood stream at any given time. When blood sugar levels are higher than normal, the excess sugar in your blood stream starts attaching to proteins, causing damage. That damage leads to heart attacks, strokes, impaired memory, and sometimes to Alzheimer’s disease.
Take diabetics, for example. People with diabetes are twice as likely as people without diabetes to die early. The good news is that by making smart choices in eating and physical activity, you can delay or prevent type II diabetes. There’s more good news. Even with diabetes, people can lower their chances of blindness, kidney disease, heart attack, and stroke by eating healthy and getting regular physical activity.
So, how to monitor your carb intake. First of all, get educated about what carbs (carbohydrates) are. Carbs include starches and sweets. Rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, pretzels, corn chips, and tortillas are all starches. Sweets are foods made with sugar or honey or maple syrup. Next, learn to count your carbs. Your goal is no more than 50 grams of carbs a day and no more than 15 grams at a meal. That means you can’t save up your carbs and go crazy at one meal during the day. Counting carbs means counting “net” carbs. Look at the label of what you are eating or look up the nutritional content of your foods on one of the many online sites such as Fitday.com.
Look for the grams of total carbs. Then subtract the grams of fiber and you have the “net” carbs. Keep your carb intake at each meal at less than 15 grams of “net” carbs. You can eat rice or potatoes, but very small amounts, like 1/4-1/2 cup. Compare that to your usual helping of rice or potatoes.
With lowering your carb intake, you are sure to lower your blood sugar measurements and likely lose weight at the same time. How great is that? Cutting your risk of serious disease while looking and feeling better than ever!