Controlling sugar levels is about controlling the portions of what you are eating as well as making the right choices on what to eat. ALL carbohydrates become sugar in the blood, so just because you may think you are picking the "right" carbohydrates, it doesn't mean you can have "unlimited" amounts of those carbohydrates. Your doctor should be giving you advice on how many carbohydrates per meal and how many total carbohydrates per day to help you control your diabetes. You should also have at least a few appointments with a dietitian to learn about food choices for better control of diabetes. If you want to keep reading, I have some tips, but you should still seek professional help for YOUR exact needs and health issues. (my husband is a type 2 diabetic and has been for about 20 years now)
So - lets just start with a few basics. Why brown bread but not white bread - brown bread is a whole grain bread and it digests slower in the system. White bread digests quickly and causes a higher sugar spike. Part of the goal of controlling diabetes is to avoid sudden and high sugar spikes. So, for all grain products, whole grains are always a better choice than white grains.
Fruits are full of natural sugars. Fruit is good for you, BUT you need to watch serving sizes and how much you are eating per day. Snacking on grapes is fine BUT a serving size of grapes is considered 32 grapes and that has 16 carbohydrates and 15 grams of natural sugar. Also , some fruits will spike sugar levels more than other fruits. Fruits that are also higher in natural fiber, like apples and pears usually don't cause as high of a sugar spike compared to fruits that contain less fiber. So, eating an apple might be a better choice than eating a serving of grapes. It is recommended that diabetics not eat more than two servings of fruit per day.
Vegetables are another tricky area. Potatoes, corn and peas are all high in carbohydrates and starches which means they can cause high sugar spikes. Does that mean you should never eat them - no. You can still eat them - but watch the serving size and try not to have them in the same meal. (so, if you are having potatoes, pick a different vegetable than corn or peas to go with it). Most vegetables are great for diabetics. Leafy green vegetables are always a good choice. Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, most squashes, zucchini, and many others can be eaten without too much worry about watching the amount. (very low carbohydrates which means you can have larger serving sizes.)
Meats do not have carbohydrates unless you bread them or put sauces on them. So, any fresh meats from the butchers counter, bacon, eggs, sausage, and any other meat that has not been over processed, breaded or dipped in sauces can be eaten without worry or limits. (Unless you have other health issues that makes some of them a bad choice.) For processed foods, breaded meats, and sauces you would need to check the labels to know the carbohydrate value and look for added sugars.
Dairy products also actually have natural sugars. Lactose is a form of sugar. So, even with dairy, you need to consider serving sizes and how often you are eating them. So - drinking too much milk can keep your sugar levels up.
Drinks should be sugar free and carbohydrate free as often as possible. There are many sugar free flavored water choices as well as sugar free sodas. You should never be drinking your carbohydrates. Things that you drink will usually cause fast, high sugar spikes. If you are having an issue with low blood sugar, drinking some orange juice is often a good fix for that.
For my husband, the doctor and dietitian recommended not more than about 50 carbohydrates per meal and not more than about 200 carbohydrates per day. How much you can eat on that amount of carbohydrates will vary greatly based on what you are eating. You can use google search to find out carbohydrate values of fresh fruits and vegetables. (just type in "carbohydrates in a ....................)
Again, you should talk with your doctor and/or a dietitian about what YOUR daily goals should be. Diabetes is one of those diseases that needs to be managed on a case by case basis and what works for one diabetic might not be the right treatment for another diabetic. The carbohydrate goals given to my husband might not be the right goals for you since age and activity levels are also considered when setting these kinds of goals.