You may or may not be diabetic. However, the “diabetic diet” is a good all around eating plan for all of us. The typical American Diets is very heavy on fats, carbs and salts. “Carbs” or carbohydrates include grains and sugars in all forms.

When I was doing a lot of diabetic teaching, I would frequent the diabetic web sites for information. It was very inlightening. One site I like a lot is If you notice, I don’t recommend artificial sweetener’s. They all are very bad for your health. It was interesting to read the blog at dLife. There was a thread about NutraSweet and other artificial sweeteners. Many of the diabetic readers wrote in that they could not tolerate the artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet and sweet-n-low. These product spiked their blood sugars as much as or more than regular sugar. Food for thought.

We are a carbohydrate eating society. Probably too much so, given the amount of processed foods we eat. Processed foods are loaded with sugars from multiple sources, fats, and salt. There was a great article on that compared good and bad carbohydrates. I thought I would share it with you my readers.


Eat…Scrambled eggs with vegetables and cheese. Two scrambled eggs with a
tablespoon of milk contains 197 calories and 1.5 grams of carbs. Add cheese
and fresh, low carb veggies to up the nutrient quota.

NOT… An egg-white omelet on a “multi-grain” bagel. For one, the vast majority of an
egg’s amazing array of nutrients are in the yolk, so keep it in there! Second, a
multi-grain bagel is likely to have very little whole grain or fiber in it and a huge
amount of carbs. Starbucks’ Multigrain Bagel packs 62 grams, along with a
whopping 320 calories.

EAT… Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. A 4-ounce serving of 4% milkfat cottage
cheese has 6 grams of carbs (lower fat varieties will have more), 12 grams of
protein, and 120 calories. Full-fat Greek yogurt contains about 4 grams of carbs
per 4 ounces, 150 calories, and 8 grams of protein.

NOT… Low fat fruit yogurt. Eight ounces of fat free, fruit flavored yogurt contains 43
grams of carbs. Low fat and fat free yogurts are chock-full of hidden carbs and
sugar; they need it to replace the fat! Stick to plain, full-fat yogurts or go for low carb
fruit versions.

EAT… Whole fresh fruit. A half-cup of strawberries has 23 calories and 5.5 grams of

NOT… A fruit smoothie. A small Strawberry Fruit Coolatta from Dunkin Donuts weighs
in at 72 grams of carbs and 300 calories.

Plus, fruit is best eaten the way it came from nature. The fibrous membranes,
pulp, and flesh keep the sugars from being absorbed so quickly into your

EAT… Crispbread. One-half of a big slice of Wasa Whole Grain crispbread (5 grams of
carbs) quenches a crunch craving without all the junk. Its ingredients are simply
whole grain rye flour, water, yeast, and salt. For a snack, have a half topped with
a soft cheese and some diced veggies.

NOT… Rice cakes. Confused? Aren’t rice cakes a health food?
Not really. One serving of salt and pepper mini rice cakes contains 11 grams of
carbs and 70 calories. (To top if off, the third ingredient is “corn syrup solids,” and
the sixth ingredient is sugar! Is that really necessary?)

EAT… Nuts. One quarter-cup of nutrient-rich pistachios delivers 8.5 grams of carbs
along with a healthy 3 grams of fiber. Almonds are one of the lowest carb nut
varieties; one-half cup of almonds contains just 3.6 grams of carbs.

NOT… Snack mix. One cup of cereal snack mix has 40 grams of carbs. There are a few
nuts in the recipe but, but most of this mix is made of refined flour and sugar (not
to mention salt), in the form of cereal, pretzels, and bagel chips. It’s a blood
sugar disaster waiting to happen.

EAT… Barley. Barley is the lowest-glycemic grain tested so far, which means it has a
more moderate effect on blood sugar than other grains. One-half cup of cooked,
pearl barley contains 21.6 grams of carbs (3 grams of fiber) and 94 calories. And
if you can find the less processed, hulled barley or Scotch barley, the carbs and
glycemic index will be lower.

NOT… Rice. Rice is a high-glycemic grain, unfortunately, and all varieties will cause
blood sugar to rise fast. One-half cup of cooked white rice has 26.6 grams of
carbs and no fiber to speak of. Go for barley or quinoa. And if you choose rice,
remember to go with brown rice, which is at least a whole grain.

EAT… Spaghetti squash. A half cup of boiled or baked spaghetti squash has 19
calories and 4.7 grams of carbs.

NOT… Pasta. You may not need us to tell you this, but one cup of cooked spaghetti
contains 43 grams of carbs. When it’s pasta night, make sure you buy whole
grain, low carb noodles and keep portions small.

EAT… Dark chocolate mini chips. One tablespoon of Hershey’s semi-sweet miniature
chocolate chips has 4 grams of carbs and 80 calories. Minis are the way to go;
you’ll be surprised how satisfying a small amount of these can be.

NOT… Dried fruit. A 1.5-ounce serving (one small box of raisins) of dried fruit has 34
grams of carbs. Stick to fruit in its fresh form.

EAT… Popcorn. One cup of air-popped popcorn has 6.2 grams of carbs and 31 calories. And
popcorn is a whole, unprocessed food. Now, that’s a great snack!

NOT… Potato chips. One ounce (20 chips) of plain, thin potato chips contains 15 grams
of carbs and 150 calories. Count out 20 chips, lay them next to about three cups
of popcorn, and decide which is a better investment for your 15g of carbs.

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Blessings, Mary Pat

Mary Pat FitzGibbons RN MS writes on weight loss and other health issues facing  Baby Boomer Women today.