Understand the basic of nutrition & carbohydrates


October 4th, 2022

Understand the basic of nutrition & carbohydrates

1. Why do we eat and drink?

The food we eat is very important as it provides our body with the nutrients we need to stay healthy.
Our food is made up of three main nutrients: carbohydrates, fats and proteins, as well as other small nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. It is essential that a daily diet provides all of these nutrients in the right quantities. We should also drink lots of water to help the body stay hydrated.

What are the roles of those nutrients:

  • Carbohydrate: Main source of energy for the brain and body
  • Protein: Helps growth and repair of body tissues
  • Fat: Provide energy for growth and physical activity
  • Vitamin & Mineral: Regulate many body functions and keep the body healthy”

2. Understand carbohydrates to keep blood glucose level healthy.

People with diabetes should not avoid all carbohydrates. But it is important to learn how to eat the right portion of carbohydrates and able to identify the good and bad carbs, which may be harmful to diabetes’s control.
Good carbs like leafy greens and vegetables contain natural sugars and make the blood glucose level go up slowly.
“Bad carbs” are foods and carbs like desserts or high sugary drinks or foods that make blood sugars go too quickly. These can be “dangerous” if there is not enough insulin given and can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis.
By taking a smart approach to balancing carbohydrates, insulin, and exercise, you can help those with diabetes enjoy food and stay healthy at the same time.

Where can we find carbohydrates?

  • Grain and starch: like rice, corn, noodles, potatoes, pumpkin, or taro
  • Milk and dairy products: like cow or soy milk
  • Fruits: like papaya, mango, pinapple, watermelon or orange
  • Non-starchy vegetables: like eggplant, tomato, cucumber, green vegetables or mushrooms
  • Sugary food and drinks: like coca-cola, fruit juice, sweet milk, candies, cake, chips

Fast sugar food are dangerous! They make the blood glucose increase too much!!”

3. Glycaemic index.

After eating, the time it takes for the body to convert carbohydrates and release glucose into the bloodstream varies, depending on the type of carbohydrate and the food that contains it.
Some carbohydrate-containing foods cause the blood glucose level to rise rapidly; others have a more gradual effect.
The glycaemic index measures how fast and how much a food raises blood glucose levels.
Foods with higher glycaemic index values raise blood glucose more rapidly than foods with lower glycaemic index values do.
Below you will find the glycaemic index of most of the staple, fruit and vegetables people eat in Cambodia:
– Yellow category – eat more
– Orange category – eat moderately
– Red category – try to avoid or based on recommended portion

In addition to serving a balanced diet of carbs, proteins, and fats, you can also help a diabetic person’s blood glucose stay at a healthy level by:

  • Make sure blood glucose is tested regularly (ideally 4 times/day)
  • Encourage 30 mins of exercise everyday – join in to stay active!
  • Make sure they get the right amount of insulin at the right time
  • Plan a healthy meal according to the carbohydrate intake recommended by doctor/nurse


HelloType1 content is based on published, internationally recognised guidelines and then reviewed by local experts to ensure it fits local context. The translation is based on simplified English language to ensure it conveys the safest and clearest possible message in regional languages. Basic insulin and blood glucose testing access is still an issue in the South-East Asia region and our chief aim is to address this. HelloType1 content is not intended to replace the advice of individual healthcare professionals but as a collaborative tool to help them improve the outcomes of disadvantaged people with Type 1 Diabetes in the region.

HelloType1 content is curated for the topics using information only taken from accredited sources such as the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) and the International Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD).

This content is then reviewed and adapted by a panel consisting of healthcare experts (e.g. endocrinologist, nutritionist, diabetes nurse, psychologist) and members of the South-East Asia T1D communities, helping ensure the information is appropriate in a local context.

Writers of HelloType1 content:
Anne-Charlotte Ficheroulle, Pharmacist, Digital Innovation Manager at A4D
Charlotte O’Brian Gore, Research assistant ImmunoEngineering, King’s College. UK

Content Reviewers – healthcare professionals:
Dr. May Ng, Paediatric Endocrinologist, Chief Medical Advisor A4D, UK
Dr. Yeow Toh Peng, Endocrinologist, Malaysia
Dr Jaturat Petchkul, Paediatric Endocrinologist, Thailand
Dianna Culbertson, Physician Assistant T1D care, US
Prof Dr Malene Iv, Endocrinologist, Kantha Bopha Hospital, Cambodia
Steffen Tange, Consultant Psychology, Denmark
Soe Nyi Nyi, Nutritionist, Myanmar
Lucas Lim, Dietician, Malaysia

Content Reviewers – people with Type 1 Diabetes:
Jerry Gore, Co-Founder A4D, Mountaineer, UK
Diana Maynard, T1D advocate, UK
Emelyne Carmen Ho, College Student, Malaysia
Molly Seal, College Student, UK

Content Reviewers – parents with T1D child:
Samantha Seal, Teacher, Thailand
Kim Than, Deputy Country Director – Plan International, Cambodia

Cambodia Camp_A4D-Diet Control for Diabetes (Mrs. Roeurn Yary).pptx

Laos Camp_Basic Nutrition & Understanding of Carbohydrate.pptx

02_Basic Nutrition & Understanding of Carbohydrate.pptx


Read more

How to plan a healthy meal?

How to plan a healthy meal?

Exercise tips

Exercise tips


Nutrition education

Nutrition education


Take the Quizz

Take the quizz on nutrition now!


UK Registered Charity: 1166447
9, Parkfield Road, Taunton, Somerset
TA1 4RL, United Kingdom