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Cereal Grains and Pasta

Cereal products are rich in carbohydrates and fiber. The primary carbohydrate found in most cereals is starch. However, the nutritional content of cereals can vary widely. As you compare the nutritional makeup of different cereals, play close attention to the amount of fiber and protein. Fiber especially tends to slow the absorption and processing of carbohydrates. Therefore, a high fiber cereal has less impact on blood sugar than cereals with minimal fiber content.The healthiest cereal choices are whole grain cereals. If a cereal is designated "whole grain," that means it contains the germ, endosperm and bran. Refined cereals only contain the endosperm. Whole grain is a better source of essential vitamins, especially vitamin B complex. You will also find higher levels of fiber and antioxidants, both of which are essential to a healthy, anti-aging diet. Whole grain cereals are also free from cholesterol.

Pasta is another rich source of carbohydrates. Pasta is general term for food that is made from unleavened dough and water. It is commonly made from wheat flour, eggs and other mixes. Plain pasta is rich in carbohydrates, but low in fat. Pasta comes in a wide variety of kinds and shapes, but their nutritional content is not affected.

Cereal grains and pasta tend to occupy a central place on many dining tables. However, their relatively high proportion of carbs per serving will make them off-limits for serious low-carb dieters. Many of these foods have a high glycemic index and can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels soon after consumption, which wreaks havoc on energy levels and weight control.

Diabetics should exercise caution when considering choices from these food groups. While most of these foods can be enjoyed by diabetics in moderation, eating large amounts of low-fiber, high carbohydrate foods can make blood sugar control more challenging. Larger insulin doses may be required to counteract the fast increases in blood sugar that pasta and grains can bring about.

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