Carbohydrates in Common Gluten Free Grains


carbohydrates in common gluten free grainsCarbohydrate counts in gluten free grains vary wildly.  The nutritional aspects of a grain, including its protein and fiber contents are not standard fare.  If you are living with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, managing these grains and counting carbohydrates demands daily vigilance.

Dietary Fiber

A tenet of dietary dogma is that fiber isn’t digestible and therefore has no effect on the blood sugar.  Because insulin is given in relationship to carbohydrates consumed, it is important to get your math right.  By subtracting the appropriate amounts of fiber in foods from the total carbohydrates, you get a “net carb” total. 

I crafted a list of common gluten free grains, their carbohydrate load, fiber and net carbohydrate totals associated with them.  Take a gander and see how your choices rank.

Dietary recommendations and teaching morph over the years and have landed in a math equation of sorts with current standards.  The basic tenet of today’s teachings focus on fiber content/ per serving that exceeds 5 grams.  The old school way I learned was to simply subtract the fiber from the carbs and that is your net carb total.  I actually still stick with this for myself and my daughter with ease and great success.  You will notice the old school math on my chart below for net carb counts.

Current recommendations from the American Diabetes Association

According to current dietary teachings from the American Diabetes Association, “Because fiber is not digested like other carbohydrates, for carbohydrate counting purposes, if a serving of a food contains more than or equal to 5 grams of dietary fiber, you can subtract half the grams of dietary fiber from the total carbohydrate serving of that food.”

Carbohydrate Counting for Dummies (a-b=c if b>or =5)

For example if the carbohydrate count of a serving of food is 30 grams, and the fiber content is 5 grams you would subtract 2.5 grams from the total carbohydrate count.  In this instance your total carb count would be [30-2.5= 27.5].

Which ever way you choose to calculate your carbohydrates, it is worth looking at this chart to see the fiber totals associated with common gluten free grains.


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