With diabetes, why do I need to be aware of carbohydrate content of food?


You can’t get diabetes from eating too much sugar or other carbohydrates. However, eating too much isn’t good for anyone. Sweets contain lots of carbohydrates and calories, which can lead to excess pounds. Eating too much of anything (including sweets) can lead to obesity—and diabetes.

People without diabetes may not notice the immediate effects of choosing an extra doughnut for breakfast. Their bodies balance the extra carbohydrates by putting out more insulin.

But if you have diabetes, you have to do the balancing act your body used to do for you. You need to make sure that your carbohydrate intake is balanced with your insulin doses, oral medication and physical activity to keep your blood glucose levels on target. And, by eating more nutritious meals, you may improve your overall health and lower your risk for heart disease, some cancers and hypertension.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.