Managing diabetes involves many annoyances and struggles, but one of the biggest is the question of what to do with starches and sugars. Carbohydrates of any kind can up your blood glucose level, so how do you know what you can eat and still be healthy?

It's a general misconception that in order to manage your diabetes effectively, you have to get rid of starches - from fruits to grains to dairy to sweets. It may be news to you that you don't have to cut out all carbs - you just have to plan for them. The problem with some meal plans is that they start eliminating foods that are healthy on the basis of their carb count. Grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, etc. can lower the risk of heart disease and cancer, and so cutting them out for diabetes can open another world of problems for diabetics.

The best thing to do is to make sure that you do eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables in addition to any carbs and starches you eat. This should certainly be the biggest part of any diet (not just a diabetic diet). If you're incorporating carbs, you can easily do so by dividing your plate in half, and then dividing one of the halves in half. Carbs can go in one of the 1/4 sections - in other words, 1/2 to 1 cup of starches, or 2 slices of bread. Try to go for whole grains and legumes rather than for refined carbs and sweets.

Also, consider what else you're getting from your carbs when you do eat them. If you're eating sweet potatoes
brown rice, whole wheat pasta, etc, you're sure to get more vitamins out of the carbs you do eat.

As for desserts, you don't have to cut them out completely, but you will need to consider what you eat. Stick mostly to fresh fruits or fruity desserts like cobbler. Then, try using differet sweeteners or cutting out sugar or fat wherever you can in the recipes you love. If you're going to eat dessert, keep your portions small, cut out the carbs from that particular meal, and try to save them only for special occasions. (You're literally "saving room for dessert" by making sure that you're cutting other things out of your meal in order to have it.)

By planning and keeping things moderate, you can still enjoy the foods you love and manage your diabetes at the same time.