Carbs: There Is More To It Than Just Counting Carbs

When you completed your diabetes self management class, they discussed counting carbs and gave you guidelines on how much of these carbs you can have per meal.

I want to take this information you learned  to a deeper level because the TRUTH is, not all carbs are created equal and looking just at the  nutritional label for the percentage of carbs is not enough.  You need to also look at the ACTUAL INGREDIENTS as well as the glycemic index of that carb.

My first point I want to make is:

The packaging may state “whole grain” but the reality is, when you look at the ingredients, there is flour!  Yes, maybe there are some grains in there… but they conveniently omit the fact that the product STILL CONTAINS FLOUR!  And why is that a problem?


The reason is the original grain is pulverized to flour, stripping the grain of the great FIBER, and therefore does not require your body to slowly digest it before it enters your bloodstream.

This is the same thing with fruit smoothies, juice and juice concentrate.   It is true juices are made from fruit, but once again all that great FIBER is pulverized and many more quantities of the fruit are used so you have a concentrated liquid that will hit your blood stream way faster than having a whole apple which your digestive system needs to digest and break down… thus slowing down the rate the sugars reach your blood stream.

My second and most important point is:


Yes, it is important to look to see how many carbs the food has, but the GLYCEMIC INDEX  of that carb is very important.  Glycemic index, or GI, is a ranking of carbohydrate containing foods on a scale of zero to 100 according to how quickly these foods raise your blood sugar level after consumption.

Here is an example comparing  a slice of 100% whole GRAIN bread from Natural Ovens (which by the way does contain flour)  to a slice of Ezekiel sprouted grain bread (which contains no flour):

100% whole GRAIN bread from Natural Ovens

Total Carbs:  15g
Total fiber:  4g
Total Sugar:  2g

Glycemic Index: 51

Ezekiel Flax Sprouted Grain Bread

Total Carbs:  14g
Total Fiber:  4g
Total Sugar:  0g

Glycemic Index:  36


Ingredients: whole wheat flour, filtered water, rolled oats, flaxseed, vital wheat gluten, brown sugar. Contains 2% or less of the following: wheat fiber, soybean oil, lin, cultured wheat starch, vinegar, yeast, sea salt, barley malt powder, soy lecithin, ascorbic acid, enzyme blend (wheat flour, dextrose, natural enzymes). Ingredients:  Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Sprouted Flax, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Fresh Yeast, Organic Wheat Gluten, Sea Salt. Rolled in Organic Flax Seeds.


Notice how both of these breads contain about the same amount of carbs and fiber.  The Natural Oven bread unfortunately has added  sugar.  But look at the stark difference of the Glycemic Index..  51 vs 36.  Why is there such a difference?  Look at the ingredients.  The Natural Oven brand contains flour as the first ingredient which means flour is the primary ingredient.  It also contains brown sugar.  The Ezekiel bread contains NO flour, all sprouted grains, and no added sugar.   So the Natural Oven bread will spike your blood sugars!

Hopefully you can see just how important it is to really do your homework when you are deciding which breads to eat.  And in my experience working with clients, most clients have found the need to dramatically reduce the amount of daily recommended/allowable bread consumption and REPLACE flour based foods as much as possible.

To find out more about alternatives to breads, pastas and anything that contains flour, read my other articles and check out my resources under the RESOURCES tab.  Or if you need immediate assistance contact me at for my health coaching program so I can help you design a meal plan made to meet your unique needs!