I was taught to control my blood sugar by eating a certain amount of carbohydrates at every meal. Does this mean I can eat as many carb-free foods as I want?

Answer From Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

No, don't eat unlimited amounts of foods just because they're free of carbs (carbohydrates). Carbs aren't your only dietary consideration.

Eating a healthy, portion-controlled diet helps you manage your blood sugar levels and reduces your risk of diabetes-related conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. The best way to do this is to choose a variety of nutritious foods — those rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber — and limit foods that are high in saturated fat and sodium.

Consider the following sample breakfast menus. Although they provide almost the same number of carbs, breakfast No. 2 is a better choice because it's considerably higher in nutrients and lower in calories, fat and sodium.

Breakfast No. 1
  Carbs (g) Sodium (mg) Fat (g) Calories
2 fried eggs 1 190 13.5 180
2 sausage links 1 374 12.5 150
3/4 cup hash browns 41 400 14.5 310
1 slice white toast 15 145 1 78
2 teaspoons butter 0 61 8 68
1/2 cup orange juice 14 2.5 0 61
1 cup black coffee 0 5 0 2
Totals 72 1177.5 49.5 849
Breakfast No. 2
  Carbs (g) Sodium (mg) Fat (g) Calories
3/4 cup cornflakes 18 153 0 75
1/2 medium banana 13.5 1 0 44
1 cup low-fat milk 12 107 2.5 102
1 slice whole wheat toast 13 141 1 76
1 tablespoon peanut butter 4 68 8 96
1/2 cup orange juice 14 0 0 59
1 cup black coffee 0 5 0 2
Totals 74.5 475 11.5 454
March 04, 2017 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. Medication-free hypertension control
  2. A1C test
  3. After a flood, are food and medicines safe to use?
  4. Air pollution and exercise
  5. Alcohol: Does it affect blood pressure?
  6. Alpha blockers
  7. Amputation and diabetes
  8. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  9. Angiotensin II receptor blockers
  10. Anxiety: A cause of high blood pressure?
  11. Artificial sweeteners: Any effect on blood sugar?
  12. Bariatric surgery
  13. Beta blockers
  14. Beta blockers: Do they cause weight gain?
  15. Beta blockers: How do they affect exercise?
  16. Blood glucose meters
  17. Blood glucose monitors
  18. Blood pressure: Can it be higher in one arm?
  19. Blood pressure chart
  20. Blood pressure cuff: Does size matter?
  21. Blood pressure: Does it have a daily pattern?
  22. Blood pressure: Is it affected by cold weather?
  23. Blood pressure medication: Still necessary if I lose weight?
  24. Blood pressure medications: Can they raise my triglycerides?
  25. Blood pressure readings: Why higher at home?
  26. Blood pressure tip: Get more potassium
  27. Blood pressure tip: Get off the couch
  28. Blood pressure tip: Know alcohol limits
  29. Blood pressure tip: Stress out no more
  30. Blood pressure tip: Watch the caffeine
  31. Blood pressure tip: Watch your weight
  32. Blood sugar levels can fluctuate for many reasons
  33. Blood sugar testing: Why, when and how
  34. Bone and joint problems associated with diabetes
  35. Pancreas transplant animation
  36. Build resilience to better handle diabetes
  37. Caffeine and hypertension
  38. Calcium channel blockers
  39. Calcium supplements: Do they interfere with blood pressure drugs?
  40. Can whole-grain foods lower blood pressure?
  41. Caring for a loved one with diabetes
  42. Central-acting agents
  43. Choosing blood pressure medications
  44. Diabetes
  45. Diabetes and dental care
  46. Diabetes and depression: Coping with the two conditions
  47. Diabetes and exercise: When to monitor your blood sugar
  48. Diabetes and fasting: Can I fast during Ramadan?
  49. Diabetes and foot care
  50. Diabetes and Heat
  51. Diabetes and menopause
  52. Diabetes and summer: How to beat the heat
  53. Diabetes and travel: Planning is key
  54. Diabetes and electric blankets
  55. 10 ways to avoid diabetes complications
  56. Diabetes diet: Create your healthy-eating plan
  57. Diabetes diet: Should I avoid sweet fruits?
  58. Diabetes foods: Is honey a good substitute for sugar?
  59. Diabetes and liver
  60. Diabetes management: Does aspirin therapy prevent heart problems?
  61. Diabetes management: How lifestyle, daily routine affect blood sugar
  62. Diabetes: Eating out
  63. Diabetes nutrition: Sweets
  64. Diabetes symptoms
  65. Diabetes treatment: Can cinnamon lower blood sugar?
  66. Using insulin
  67. Diabetic Gastroparesis
  68. Diuretics
  69. Diuretics: A cause of low potassium?
  70. Do you know your blood pressure?
  71. Erectile dysfunction and diabetes
  72. High blood pressure and exercise
  73. Exercise and chronic disease
  74. Fatigue
  75. Free blood pressure machines: Are they accurate?
  76. Frequent urination
  77. Home blood pressure monitoring
  78. Glucose tolerance test
  79. Glycemic index: A helpful tool for diabetes?
  80. Healthy heart for life: Avoiding heart disease
  81. Hemochromatosis
  82. High blood pressure (hypertension)
  83. High blood pressure and cold remedies: Which are safe?
  84. High blood pressure and sex
  85. High blood pressure: Can you prevent it?
  86. High blood pressure dangers
  87. Hypertensive crisis: What are the symptoms?
  88. Insulin and weight gain
  89. Insulin therapy options
  90. Intensive insulin therapy
  91. Isolated systolic hypertension: A health concern?
  92. L-arginine: Does it lower blood pressure?
  93. Late-night eating: OK if you have diabetes?
  94. Low-phosphorus diet: Helpful for kidney disease?
  95. Medications and supplements that can raise your blood pressure
  96. Menopause and high blood pressure: What's the connection?
  97. Pancreas transplant
  98. Pulse pressure: An indicator of heart health?
  99. Reactive hypoglycemia: What can I do?
  100. Reading food labels
  101. Resperate: Can it help reduce blood pressure?
  102. Service dogs assist with diabetes care
  103. Service dogs: Should I get one if I have diabetes?
  104. Sleep deprivation: A cause of high blood pressure?
  105. Blood sugar testing
  106. Sodium nitrate in meat: Heart disease risk factor?
  107. Stress and high blood pressure
  108. The dawn phenomenon: What can you do?
  109. Tips for cutting costs of blood glucose test strips
  110. Unexplained weight loss
  111. Vasodilators
  112. Vegetarian diet: Can it help me control my diabetes?
  113. How diabetes affects your blood sugar
  114. How to measure blood pressure using a manual monitor
  115. How to measure blood pressure using an automatic monitor
  116. What is blood pressure?
  117. Weight Loss Surgery Options
  118. Weightlifting: Bad for your blood pressure?
  119. What's your high blood pressure risk?
  120. White coat hypertension
  121. Why does diet matter after bariatric surgery?
  122. Wrist blood pressure monitors: Are they accurate?