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If you have diabetes running in your family or are just interested in ways of managing it effectively through diet, with all the different types of diets out there, you may have wondered which one exactly is the best. If you have been wondering, then that makes two of us. Or sorry, scratch that, that likely makes a thousand or so others like us who have wondered the same thing too. So what exactly is the best diabetes diet, what are its characteristics, what are its features? This I decided to look at with a view to closing the chapter on that debate. Where to start. Well generally said, there are two perspectives when it comes to the issue of diabetic diet or management. The first one postulates a low in carbohydrate, low in salt, low in fat, high in fiber... diet. The second view not so much as places emphasis on restricting certain types of foods, for example, carbohydrates, as it does rather, the practice of carbohydrate counting. What does this second method imply? Well simply put, it says that in working with your healthcare team to come up with a suitable eating plan for you, what one should emphasize is the none-exceeding of one's carbohydrate target at each meal sitting. To illustrate succinctly, the view here is that assuming you were to eat a small cup cake with a carbohydrate content of say 30 grams, but you would rather opt for 2/3 cup of rice or a cup of beans both of which contain 30 grams of carbohydrates, then as far as loading your system goes, opting for the small cupcake would have the same effect as going for either the rice or the beans. In other words either way, you will basically have 30 grams of carbohydrates in your blood stream. Blood glucose monitoring should be made to ensure that blood sugar stays within the target range. Though rational, the problem here would then be the fact that the small cupcake may not be as filling as either the rice or beans. The individual may then be tempted to go for a second or even possibly third helping, leading therefore to that individual inadvertently exceeding his target carbohydrate load. Another strike against the second method - Carbohydrate counting, is that carelessness to properly balance out meals, may lead to individuals missing out on important nutrients or food types that tend not to spike blood sugar after a meal. For example, food containing dietary fiber may contain as much carbohydrate as some carbohydrate rich foods, for example pasta. Two diabetics may eat food containing the same amount of carbohydrates - say one a salad and the other pasta, but since the presence of fiber in the salad means that the carbohydrate in the salad will be released more slowly into the blood stream, a measurement of that individual's A1c after such a meal may reflect a lower blood sugar level than the other individual who ate the pasta. This is where the concept of glycemic index comes in. It has been defined as a number representing the relative ability of a carbohydrate food to increase the level of glucose in the blood. This being the case, generally speaking as far as food for diabetics goes, it is better to avoid or reduce foods with a high glycemic index. Diabetics who go for the practice of carbohydrate counting in the management of their diabetes need to be fully aware of and know how to utilize this knowledge. Otherwise, diet may in the long run prove more efficacious and also healthier in managing ones diabetes than the sole use of carbohydrate counting. Having said that it should be noted that greater benefits can be derived through the synthesis of the two methods-diet and carbohydrate counting. The incorporation of Carb counting or some other method for example exercise aimed at reducing carbohydrates somewhere along the food selection and consumption process, would prove more effective and beneficial at the end of the day. We shall be looking at such specific diets in our next article. Article Source: