One Easy Tip to Cut Carbohydrates

Although as Type 1 Diabetics we have the ability to take as much insulin as possible to eat whatever our hearts desire, we also know that it’s easy to rock the boat of blood sugars and accidentally throw it off.

I hate feeling ‘the swings’: you’re high then you’re low and then you’re back to being high again. It really does take a physical toll on your body and that’s something I try to avoid on a daily basis.

Not that I choose to live a fully low carb lifestyle (because that’s nearly impossible for us), but I prefer to cut back on carbs when I can. One of the easiest ways I cut out extra carbs throughout my day is by watching what I drink. By cutting out beverages that are loaded with carbohydrates, I have less of a chance to mess up my numbers with a bad calculation.  

Why are we cutting out liquids with carbohydrates??

  • It’s difficult to count carbs properly when it comes to liquids. Who can even calculate ounces? Also, I’m lazy. So it’s easier for me to just rid them altogether.
  • Carbs aren’t the only thing that can sneak up on you while drinking ur daily liquids, but calories can too. For the most part, any drinks that don’t contain carbohydrates won’t contain many calories either.

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What to Cut:

    • Regular Soda
      • There are generally 45 grams of carbohydrates in a single can of regular soda. Yes, it’s easier to count carbs on a can of soda, but soda isn’t good for you in general and lets be real, you ain’t about that life.
    • Teas with added sweetener or sugar
      • Always check nutrition labels, and try to avoid any jugs of ‘sweet tea’ because who can even estimate that??
      • juices + lemonades (unless u low)
    • Sugar-y fancy boujee coffee
      • I know a frappicino calls to you through clever marketing strategies, but the feeling 100 grams of carbohydrates will give you in the span of 15 minutes is not worth it.
      • Also, my “treat myself drink” is a chai latte w/ almond milk. Chai is generally premade and has a lot of carbohydrates in it. I avoid this by asking the barista for only half of the pumps. Not completely carb free but lower carbs = happier sugars. Read more about my favorite iced Starbucks drinks here.

Most drinks either have a sugar free option or don’t need sugar in the first place. Now, if we are talkin’ alcohol, we’ll get to that at a later time.

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Here are my options:

  • Coffee
    • When I am getting coffee for the day I prefer to stick with regular iced coffee. Always iced, unless it’s actually snowing outside. I’m not hardcore enough to drink it black so I always add milk and sugar. BUT it’s not regular sugar, it’s the cool sugar (stevia, OKAY splenda sometimes don’t judge). I also prefer almond or coconut milk because it generally has fewer carbohydrates. Here are my other coffee options.
  • Tea
    • Love tea. Love it iced, hot, green, black, tropical whatever. Tea has so many benefits without having any carbs or calories. My biggest tip is to brew it yourself and either drink it plain or add a stevia packet if you need it a little sweeter. Add a freakin’ lemon. Store it in the fridge to make iced tea for later. Any premade bottled tea from stores can have added sugar (unless they specify unsweetened, and if so, opt for that).
  • Diet Sodas
    • Honestly, I am not a fan of soda, it’s horrible for your body and I will only drink it on occasion BUT if I am splurging on the pop I am drinking diet. Diet soda was ingrained into my childhood being since I was first diagnosed with diabetes so I don’t have a problem with it, but I know that it can be a difficult switch for some people. My advice would be to try to cut out soda completely, and if you are going to drink it on occasion, drink diet. Or try sparkling water for some similar fizz action.
      • EXCEPT when mixing with alcohol but once again, another post.
  • Sparkling Water
    • Sparkling water is a great substitute for soda and any other fancy drink that makes you feel saucy because it is literally a no-carb tasty potion for your body. La Croix is my personal favorite (hello pamplemousse), but anything bubbly at this point in my life can make me happy. Definitely check nutrition labels before you buy. La Croix uses “the essence of the fruit” so it basically tastes like someone just screamed the name of the fruit into the can, but not all sparkling water is carb-free. I know off the top of my head that Trader Joe’s sells a sparkling water that uses real fruit juice, which will spike your sugar. Here are my two favorites at the current moment: La Croix Pamplemousse & Trader Joe’s Lemon Sparkling Water.
  • Fruit Infused Water
    • Not only is it fun to look at, it tastes great + you can make it yourself which will make you feel like a culinary handyman. I’ve been drinking a lot of water with fresh lemon in the morning. It’s also fun and delicious to throw in cucumbers, berries, grapefruit, or mint.

If you have a signature drink or something that you turn to when you’re thirsty but don’t want to take insulin, I would love to know!

– Ariana

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