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?

Answers 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