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Carbohydrate is a source of energy for our body.  During digestion carbohydrate containing foods are broken down into glucose which is then absorbed into the blood stream and cause a rise in blood glucose levels.  Types of carbohydrate are starch, fructose, lactose, and sucrose.

Foods containing carbohydrate and types of carbohydrate:

  • All breads, rice, pasta, noodles, breakfast cereals, and potatoes provide STARCHY CARBOHYDRATE.
  • Pulses: peas, beans and lentils provide STARCHY CARBOHYDRATE     
  • All   types of fruit, dried fruit, fruit juices and fruit smoothies contain the carbohydrate FRUCTOSE.
  • Milk and yoghurts provide LACTOSE
  • Cakes, chocolate, sweets, jams, and honey contain the carbohydrates of SUCROSE and GLUCOSE

When you have diabetes, it is important to accurately count the carbohydrates that you eat.  Click on the link below for more information on ‘Carbohydrate Counting’ 

For more information, speak to your diabetes team.

Food, Blood Glucose & Insulin

If you eat foods containing carbohydrate (CHO), your blood glucose levels will rise so it is important to take the correct amount of rapid acting insulin for the amount of carbohydrate you are eating.

The quantity of insulin you need varies depending on the time of day and the amount of carbohydrate that you eat as your Insulin Carbohydrate Ratio (ICR).  For example, in the morning you may need 1 unit of rapid acting insulin for 8g CHO, at lunchtime and in the evening you may need 1 unit of insulin for 10g of carbohydrate.

(Your diabetes team will teach you how to calculate your ‘Insulin Carbohydrate Ratio (ICR)’)

Need More Help?

The CHOICE diabetes education programme is available in NI and the border counties of Republic of Ireland, ask your Diabetes Team

Choice Programme