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What Diabetics Eat to Get Energy

Diabetics get their energy, or calories, from carbohydrate-rich foods with a low to moderate glycemic index 2. The glycemic index is a measure of how rapidly a food raises your blood sugar or glucose 2. Energy-rich foods for diabetics also have a significant amount of fiber, fat or protein which slows the digestion and absorption of the food.

Fruits

Apples, oranges, pears, cherries and grapefruit have a low GI and are better sources of energy for you; they may be eaten by themselves. A medium apple has 81 calories, 21 g of carbs, 4 g of fiber and a GI of 38; a medium orange has 64 calories, 16 g of carbs, 3 g of fiber and a GI of 44; a medium pear has 82 calories, 21 g of carbs, 3 g of fiber and a GI of 38. One cup of cherries has 84 calories, 19 g of carbs, 3 g of fiber and a GI of 22. Bananas, mango, green grapes and kiwi have a moderate GI and should be eaten with protein-rich or fat-rich foods to lower their effects on your blood sugar. Enjoy these moderate GI fruits with cottage cheese, nuts or as the dessert following your fish, meat or poultry meal.

  • Apples, oranges, pears, cherries and grapefruit have a low GI and are better sources of energy for you; they may be eaten by themselves.

Fettucini and Spaghetti Noodles

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Cooked fettucini and spaghetti noodles have a lower effect on your blood sugar compared to steamed rice or bread. One cup of fettucini has 240 calories, 46 g of carbs, 9 g of protein, 2 g of fiber and a GI of 32. One cup of spaghetti noodles has 197 calories, 40 g of carbs, 7 g of protein, 2 g of fiber and a GI of 41. Eat your pasta with a meat sauce to further slow its digestion and lessen the effect on your blood sugar.

  • Cooked fettucini and spaghetti noodles have a lower effect on your blood sugar compared to steamed rice or bread.
  • One cup of fettucini has 240 calories, 46 g of carbs, 9 g of protein, 2 g of fiber and a GI of 32.

Candy

A candy bar and plain white chocolate are better for you to eat for more energy than fresh pineapple or watermelon. A candy bar has a GI of about 41 and a white chocolate bar has a GI of 42, much lower than a cup of pineapple with a GI of 66 and a cup of watermelon with a GI of 72. While the fresh fruit are healthier choices for the general population, if you are a diabetic, pineapple and watermelon are not your best sources for fuel.

Dairy

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One cup of skim milk has 90 calories, 8 g of protein, 11 g of carbs and a GI of 32. A 1/2 cup of light yogurt has about 110 calories, 4 g of protein, 22 g of carbs and a GI of 28. The protein in the milk and yogurt slow the digestion of the carbohydrates, having a lower effect on your blood sugar than orange juice. Eat dairy products with low to moderate GI fruits for long-lasting energy.

  • One cup of skim milk has 90 calories, 8 g of protein, 11 g of carbs and a GI of 32.
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