Calories (Kilojoules): This is the unit of measurement to tell you how much “energy” the food you are eating will provide your body to do your daily activities or exercise that you embark on. 1 Calorie = 4.2 Kilojoules. Some dieticians will ask you to manage the amount of Calories (Kilojoules) you eat every day, as this will assist you to manage your weight. Most foods that you can buy will have the ENERGY CONTENT printed on the label. Carbohydrates and protein contain 4 Calories (16.8 Kilojoules) per gram, Alcohol contains 7 Calories (29.4 Kilojoules) per gram, and fat contains 9 Calories (37.8 Kilojoules) per gram.  We “burn” or use up calories every day, and the best way to manage your weight is to make sure that your “calories in” either equal or are less than your “calories out” (i.e. what you burn up). If your “calories in” are greater than your “calories out”, you will gain weight, and likewise if your “calories out” are greater than your “calories in” you will lose weight.

Carbohydrate(s): Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. The following foods are classified as carbohydrates: sugar, honey, fruit, pasta, rice, potatoes, bread, vegetables, milk and milk products, sweets, chocolates, jams, biscuits, crisps, cakes, sweetened cold drinks and fruit juices. All carbohydrates will be converted into glucose (sugar) when digested (broken down) by the body. In people living with diabetes, too many carbohydrates can raise the blood sugar (glucose) levels higher than normal, and therefor the amount of these foods that are eaten at each meal should limited.

Carbohydrate counting:  Many people living with diabetes use carbohydrate counting as a method to manage the amount of carbohydrates they are eating at each meal. Counting carbohydrates literally means that you count the amount of “sugar” you will be eating at each meal, thus limiting an overload of “sugar” (carbohydrates) at any one meal, and helping to manage your blood sugar (glucose) levels.  Carbohydrate counting is normally ‘taught” to you by a dietician who has been trained in carbohydrate counting.

Cholesterol: A type of fat produced by the liver, as well as being found in some of the food that we eat like: eggs, milk, cheese, liver, meat, poultry (chicken, turkey, and duck) and some shell fish. Cholesterol is used by the body to make hormones and build cell walls, but too much cholesterol in the blood can cause damage to the blood vessels and heart which can cause heart attacks and strokes. Read more information on diabetes and high cholesterol.