Carb Counting Advice

By BeckyJ Latest Reply 2009-10-22 10:04:30 -0500
Started 2009-09-17 21:07:10 -0500

I have been struggling with my blood sugars for some time now and the doctor says it's time to start sliding scale while counting my carb intake. At this time I am unable to go to a dietician (temporary insurance until my medicare kicks in doesn't cover it) so my PA is going to help me. I was just wondering if anyone had a favorite book or research site that they would recommend. I ALWAYS want to have the most info at my fingertips (even if it's too much) and am unsure what to look for

44 replies

P2putt 2009-09-29 11:29:00 -0500 Report

I am no authority but did you ever consider that you are eating quite alot of carbs?I may not be right on but I calculate you're consuming approx. 225 gms of carbs/day. Is that close? If it is ,consult with your doc to get his view on the quantity of carbs you are eating. Just as a trial you might ask him if it OK if you reduce your carb intake by 15 grams/meal and 5grams /snack. Hope I am not out of place,just trying to be of some help. Wish you the very best.Pete

BeckyJ 2009-09-30 14:59:17 -0500 Report

I tried following their advice but most days I skip the snacks and average around 45 carbs at mealtimes so I actually only consume 135 carb grams. I THOUGHT that was way too much to eat. I also have IBS so trying to eat more than I absolutely have to is uncomfortable. I see the PA on the 13th and will definately tell her that eating as much as she wants me to is toooo much. When I do have a snack it's generally only around 10g so I think the numbers they gave me where too high. Still adjusting and only time will tell. Got a lot of great advice from people here and with my support group so I'll have a long list with me when I go in. Lol

imsuzie2 2009-10-01 02:56:12 -0500 Report

If you are looking to buy books, I like which has SUPER low prices on books…check it out. S2

imsuzie2 2009-10-10 20:00:51 -0500 Report

Becky, I have UC and was on Prednisone for 3 months a few yrs ago and it screwed w/my bs. What meds are you taking? Some of those drugs will spike your bs. Just a thought…S2

P2putt 2009-09-23 09:15:52 -0500 Report

No offense,you talk about counting carbs. How much bread do you eat a day,white,whole wheat or multi- grain. What about pasta,potatoes rice,pitas, baggles, pizza,corn,carrots,? Soda,diet regular,diet or none?If you are consuming quiet a bit of any of these,this is where you start. What have you bs and a1c #'s been? Please don't thing I'm abrasive, I'm turely trying to help. Abusive no,blunt yes. Best to you,Pete

BeckyJ 2009-09-23 12:16:22 -0500 Report

Don't drink soda, so that's no issue. Only drink coffee, water, and occasional iced tea. Dad & I have digestive problems so follow the diet guidlines they gave us for Crohn's. Also on sodium restriction of 2000mg so no processed foods if possible. Lean meat, fresh veg, occasional fruit but without the skin. No white flour, only whole wheat but only if finely ground. BG's are running around 225 today (fasting 238, after bkfst 226) my most recent A1C was 9.8. Talked w/Doc yesterday and they think it may be because I am not eating ENOUGH. Set up 1:5 carb ratio. For every 5 carbs take 1Unit Apidra with 20units Lantus AM&PM to total 40. Looking at 45-60 carbs at each meal w/3 snack 15 carb. Tried yesterday but just wasn't able to eat that much.

Karion63 - 66498
Karion63 - 66498 2009-09-26 14:35:08 -0500 Report

I just found out this last week I have pre diabetes.My dad and grandpa had it,I have seen it at its worse because my dad refused to do the right things. I would really like to stop this from reaching the point of needing medication.So if you got the warning and could have changed things,what would you have changed in your life?? I feel blessed to have found out early.

BeckyJ 2009-09-28 12:45:15 -0500 Report

I think on this often. I too was diagnosed early. In high school I was told that I had some warning signs and to watch out, family history and some mild syptoms made me at risk. By college I was diagnosed pre-diabetic and told to take action NOW. I was just too stubborn. By my 25th Birthday I was told I was Type 2 and to adjust my diet and take Metformin. I did sometimes…just not always. Now I kick myself and really put myself down a lot. If I had listened I would not be in the situation I am now. I would NOT be on Disability I would still be working and living my life as an independent person. In your shoes I would definately be trying everything. Diet, exercise, any med they told me to try. If you can stop this before you get bad side effects…DO IT. Denial of this disease and it effects is not an option, but unfortunately happens a lot. If you ignore it it WILL get worse (or at least the majority of people I know have had that happen) I am sooooo glad that you have come to this site as they have wonderful advice and being proactive is the key. I wish I could go back and start over sometimes. Eat right, go to the Doctor for regular check-ups and TAKEN THE MEDS. I KNOW that a lot of my problems are from years of avoidance. My only option now is to try each day to make good decisions. Best of Luck and God Bless You.

mamaoak 2009-09-20 10:34:32 -0500 Report

i use the book the callorie king it has calories fats and carbohydrates counter plus diabetic diet guide from the joslin diabetic center. and the complete guide to diabetes from the american diabetes association. as well. hope this helps.

vgarrison 2009-09-19 13:46:44 -0500 Report

The everything series is my Diabetic Bible. There is a cookbook for diabetes as well as a how to book for diabetes.

Counting carbs can be a good thing, but bear in mind not all carbs are the same. Do some research into the Glicemic Index (I don't think I spelled that right).

Good Luck

Blessed Be

BeckyJ 2009-09-19 11:44:44 -0500 Report

My problem right now is that I am so stressed that I just don't feel like eating and when I try to eat something I get what my Gran called nervous stomach(Nauseau). Anybody got some tips on what to nibble on to keep my sugars from shooting up? Family home remedies are a no-no, peppermint tea or oyster crackers in milk. Only thing I can keep down right now are the Ensure or Glucerna shakes.

donsqueen 2009-09-20 10:24:46 -0500 Report

Peppermint tea should be ok, as long as you don't add regular sugar to it. If you're not eating much, check your blood sugar more often, as you don't want to get hypoglycemic. If you are low, the oyster crackers in milk should be ok too. If this has been a problem for a long time, you should talk to your doctor about it, there may be something else going on. If it's new, have you started a new med? That could be the cause too.

BeckyJ 2009-09-20 13:14:04 -0500 Report

I have been tested out the wazoo on what may be causing my stomach complaints. I have a tricky set of diagnoses. I have GERD,Peptic Ulcer Disorder, and IBS. Generally I can get around all that by having small meals throughout the day and medication. Right now however I am stressing and that it not helping. I have been checking my sugars every 2hrs per docs instructions and haven't gone too high or too low (by my standards) staying around 180-200. Get to go in Tue to speak with the PA about diet options and treatments. Forgot that it was the sugar in the tea that put it off limits, will try it without. Thank you!

Alicia039 2009-09-21 23:22:15 -0500 Report

Whenever I get nauseous I use ginger. I put some in my black tea when I brew it and it helps enough.

Sheri S
Sheri S 2009-09-22 22:13:17 -0500 Report

Hi Becky,
2 years ago I had similar symptoms and found out that it was caused by anxiety/depression. I felt nauseous every waking minute and lost almost 40 lbs in 3 months. I could drink liquids but as soon as I ate anything solid wanted to throw up…I too started drinking ensure and Gatorade which were recommended by my Dr. I went through a really stressful time in my life with my job and family and couldn't find a 'safe' place to escape the stress. My doctor finally put me on an anti depresant and the nausea went away after 1-2 weeks once the drug built up in my system. I stayed on it for about a year before I went off of the medication and have been feeling fine for the last year.

I've been reading some of your entries and see that you are also under a great deal of stress right now so I thought I would share my experience.

My thoughts are with you…hang in there :o)

DebbieOh 2009-09-25 14:36:02 -0500 Report

I am on a carb counted diet and it is the best diet that I have ever been on. I have been a diabetic for 40 years and this diet seems to give me the most freedom. Let me know what kind of questions you may have and if I can help I sure will

donsqueen 2009-09-19 10:34:26 -0500 Report

I buy my cookbooks from One of my recent purchases was Betty Crocker diabetic meals in 30 minutes. (not exact title but you should be able to find it). The beginning has a brief explanation of carb counting (a couple pages). I have made many recipes in this book, and they are delicious. They also have a section for vegetarian meals. It's not called that, so there are some meat dishes in there, but the recipes look good. I haven't tried any from that section yet.

Turtle 2009-09-19 00:44:31 -0500 Report

I do not count carbs. I look at the nutrition facts on boxes before I buy things or eat them…same for sugar and I keep in mind that I need to eat wise but I do not actually count carbs.

BeckyJ 2009-09-18 14:08:57 -0500 Report

I thought I was doing well on my diet by just making sure I ate healthy foods and portions. I am loosing weight so I know THAT is working. Not sure how much difference carb counting will make but am willing to try if someone explains it. The PA is helping but still a little unsure how this suff works.

Alicia039 2009-09-18 18:17:19 -0500 Report has some really good recipes that are carb conscious. They also break it down so you know how many calories and carbs are in a portion. The website actually has a lot of usefull information. They have a food look up… you enter the name of a food and it brings up a list. pick the one you want and it gives you the details on the carbs, calories, fat etc.

I hope this helps a little.

Alicia039 2009-09-18 18:18:03 -0500 Report

And they also have a lot of information on carbs and why its important to manage them. Some really good articles.

heen 2009-09-19 00:32:58 -0500 Report

carbs have always been may favorite food group. forget the chocolate just give me bread and pasta! needless to say i'm having a hard time adjusting my diet. i found out i was diebetic 3 weeks ago so would any help our advice. and too make matters more complicated i'm a vegeterian but, not vegan. thank god for small favors

Sheri S
Sheri S 2009-09-20 14:06:53 -0500 Report

I looked at some of the main dishes…it's one thing to want low carb but watch the calories and fat grams…some of the dishes have 30-40g of fat per serving…look at the broccoli quiche…high fat foods keep BG levels higher longer :o(

Sheri S
Sheri S 2009-09-20 15:07:37 -0500 Report

thanks for the link

I have been diabetic for 41 years and for me high fat choices do effect my BG levels…just thougt I would add the FYI

2catty 2009-09-20 20:36:53 -0500 Report

Yeah I think that is why french fries is a diabetics worst enemy. It has carbs plus the fat that makes it keeps your sugar staying high.

ginagirlio 2009-09-26 13:18:25 -0500 Report

I would check this site out There are many forums, one being a diabetes forum. Plus there is a recipe forum. Also check out Dana Carpender's book called "How I gave up my Low-Fat diet and lost 40 pounds. She talks about low carb dieting and how low-fat high carb diets do not work. It has loads of information in it and she tells you what vitamins you should be taking. With any diet you always need to watch your calorie intake. So even though you are eating a low carb high fat diet which by the way are only good fats and doesn't not include bad fats, you still need to watch how many calories you take in. Also exercise is very important for people with diabetes and people trying to lose weight. Here are a couple more sites to check out. She has many cooking & baking books called splendid low carbing. She has loads of low carb recipes too. When you first start out learning to eat and make low carb recipes it can be overwhelming, but just take it slow. There are many different types of flours (almond flour, which is ground up almonds) coconut flour (made from coconut) Oat flour and whole wheat flour. All of these types of flours will help you create delicious low carb recipes. There are also many sweetener subs, like, splenda, ethrytol, xylytol & stevia to name a few. You can also find here a list of foods and their carb counts. I try to limit my carbs to 15 grams for a meal and 7 grams for a snack. That is what works best for me and my diabetes control. I usually have about 30-40 grams of carbs a day. Everyone is different, so there is no exact plan that will work for everyone. You need to find what works best for you and make that your way of eating. Good luck, I hope you find a way of eating that will work for you.

Sheri S
Sheri S 2009-09-26 17:34:10 -0500 Report

15 carbs per meal! I'm guessing you don't drink much milk…an 8oz glass of skim has 12 carbs…

SkipT 2009-09-17 21:18:11 -0500 Report

My diabetic "Bible" is a book by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein.
It is called Diabeties Solution, the complete guide to achieving normal blood sugars. I purchased it through Amazon. You can actually read most of his book online at his website:

This book turned my life around. I was once 261 lbs and now weigh 189 lbs. I was on two medicines for my diabetes and have been taken off of both of them.

It is a very strict and tough program; but it works!

Good Luck

BeckyJ 2009-09-17 21:23:40 -0500 Report

Thank you, I will have to add that to the list. I am starting a "request list" for when I go to the book store. I live in a rural community so it is 45 minutes to the closest bookstore. I want to have a list on hand when I go in.

2catty 2009-09-18 14:26:07 -0500 Report

Don't feel alone. I live in a rural community also. I live about the same distance. The closest bookstore is 36 miles from me. I live in the mountains and we have little mom and pop shops and it is a tourist area but to go to the bigger area it is about 45 minutes away. It is a good and bad thing.

Vicrgreen 2009-09-27 20:59:25 -0500 Report

Gosh, you can get most books online at or eBay; there are also other bookstores online that are pretty good, there are even Internet versions of brick and mortar stores. They even have terrific prices on used ones. I always check them before I go to the bookstore, which is in Fairbanks and is 100 miles from here.

sweething 2009-10-10 18:04:39 -0500 Report

I buy all my books from Amazon. I can't walk very well because of pn but I don't need to with Amazon. You can even buy some used, which sometimes getting a book for half price.

kruss 2009-09-24 15:07:45 -0500 Report

Wow! Off all meds…great weight loss. I'm ordering this book…my goal is to be off Metformin and to lose weight. Thanks for the tip and info.

Jtaylor1966 2009-09-25 11:25:45 -0500 Report


What kind of blood sugar levels did you have in the first couple of weeks on "Diabetic Solutions" diet?

SkipT 2009-09-27 18:40:54 -0500 Report

In the first week I went from 238 post prandial down to 138. Fasting numbers went from 150 down to 110.

Jtaylor1966 2009-09-28 14:30:08 -0500 Report

Skip, I am experiencing similar numbers. I am worried about studies that say, "you need at least 40% carbs in your diet" and that "your brain only uses carbs for fuel." What did your doctor say to going on a low carb diet? and how many carbs are you trying to stay around during the day?

SkipT 2009-09-28 16:45:27 -0500 Report

I follow the Dr. Bernstein program of 6-12-12. That is 6 grams of carbs for breakfast and 12 for lunch and 12 for dinner. You can find out more about this program at his website where you can read some of the book online.

Also, there is no truth to the statement that we must eat carbs. There is a term that explains what out bodies does without carbs called Gluconeogenesis There is a video that you can watch on this website that will explain it to you.

Jtaylor1966 2009-10-10 09:44:02 -0500 Report

Well Skip, I have been doing low carb for about three weeks now. I lost around 5 pounds but more importantly I have lowered my sugars considerably. 222 average down to 112 average. I am taking 20 units of insulin down from 55 units before low carb. I am type 2. If I lose a few more pounds I can probably get off the insulin all together.

Jtaylor1966 2009-10-22 10:04:30 -0500 Report

In addition see if this sounds correct to you.
I realize that you eat until you feel satisfied and do not overeat on the low carb diets. Following Dr. Bernstein's book, it seems like the breakdown is roughly 30 g of carbs a day (135 calories) and approx. 84 g of protein (378 calories). If we were eating approximately 1500 calories a day that would leave about 987 calories for fat (or 110 g of fat). I know you really don't count calories, but does 55 to 65% of your daily calories being fats sound correct? I realize the fat is going to help with the full feeling you get when you eat so this will help, but it sure sounds like a lot of finding fat for your diet.

Next Discussion: depression »