When scientists discovered that carbohydrates were linked to diabetes, many people believed that those living with this blood sugar disease had to avoid these foods, which include starches and sugars. But that’s not the case.

In reality, people with diabetes don’t have to ditch starchy foods. Vegetables such as potatoes, yams, peas and corn and whole grain breads, cereal, pasta and rice can all be part of their healthy meal plan. What’s more, fruits, beans, milk, yogurt and sweets eaten occasionally in very small amounts and combined with exercise are great sources of the carbohydrates needed for energy. But the proper portions of these foods are key to avoid boosting blood sugar levels, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

The ADA recommends that people who have diabetes eat about 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates at each meal. But whether you need more or less carbs at mealtimes depends on how you manage your diabetes. “You and your health care team can figure out the right amount of carbs for you to eat,” advises the agency.

Once that’s done, help yourself to the correct servings of your favorite foods to fuel your body.