Help, I cant understand carb counting

By jennny Latest Reply 2011-07-27 20:06:28 -0500
Started 2010-05-23 12:59:52 -0500

Can someone explain to me about carb counting, because we have too many doctors that say different things. Especially about never eating bread, sugar,pasta,potatoes and rice ever again. I am a Type 2 diabetic,Jenny

12 replies

Dixiemom 2011-07-26 19:50:25 -0500 Report

Check with the ADA, they have books on counting carbs and also a book that has the count already laid out for different foods. There's also a website ncalled that gives you the calorie count and carb count of the food you eat.

Brenda_B 2010-12-01 18:07:17 -0600 Report

I have counted calories all my life… but carbs not so easy. Then GI (glycolic Index)… eeek. You have some great information from the people who have replied. I have to add what I have learned… And I leaved here on this website! Test before and after you eat something. Then you know how YOUR body resonds to food. I can't eat more than a bit of bread but I can eat a few crackers. I can eat an apple but bananas raise my blood surgar too high to quickly… Oh and I can eat a small serving of pototoes at a meal escpecially if I have it with butter or cheese… Rice is too fast a sugar for my body. Testing a lot… before and after.. someting new has been a huge life lesson for me!

Elrond 2010-05-24 18:49:15 -0500 Report

Carb counting is difficult but important. As a type 1, I use the carb count to calculate my insulin dose. If I screw it up, I wind up with a very high or very low sugar. But like most other things, it gets easier with practice. I use my Calorie King book a lot and when in doubt, I resort to the internet. My biggest problem is when we go to a restaurant. I usually don't know what or how much I'll be eating until I see the menu. Then, after ordering, it's difficult to know how long it'll be until the food is actually served. Nobody ever said that being a diabetic was easy.

CaliKo 2010-12-01 16:02:08 -0600 Report

I sometimes look up restaurants online if I have some advance warning and look over the menu and decide what I'll have. Bonus: I don't have to fumble for my reading glasses in the restaurant. Getting old(er) isn't easy either!

jayabee52 2010-12-01 21:07:10 -0600 Report

Getting old (whether or not you have DM) is not for sissies! (but it beats the alternative.)

Dixiemom 2011-07-26 19:47:15 -0500 Report

It's not the golden years they proclaim on tv and in the movies. We call it the rusted years as everything is falling apart. But, I'm like a timex, I take a lickin and keep on tickin.

GabbyPA 2010-05-24 14:23:04 -0500 Report

Hey Jenny,
Here are some basics to carb counting:

The thing is that you have to find what works for you. Experiment with foods. Eat a food you want to see if you can keep them in your diet. Eat a single serving of it or a serving that you are willing to settle for. Test your levels before eating it, then every 30 minutes after for 2 hours. You might have to do this a few times to see how it does. That is the only way you will know what works for you.

Then I would suggest finding a diabetes education class. That helped me so much and explained a lot of the "WHY" part of diabetes. It allows me to make better choices.

Emma2412 2010-05-23 14:48:05 -0500 Report

RayT is right. My doctor has never made me count carbs. Maybe because she knows I understand pretty much what to eat and not eat already. Before I got Type II, my husband had Type I so I learned quite a lot about carbs (good vs. bad carbs) from his training. However, I do go to a local hospital where they have a diabetic class. They don't make me count carbs, either. Instead they use what they call the "Plate Method". Divide a common dinner plate into fourths. Use 1/2 of the plate for veggies. Use 1/4 of the plate for your protein (meat, eggs, chicken). Use 1/4 of the plate for your starch. Also, before you start on any kind of starch, you should first determine how that particular starch affects you; in other words, how much do these things raise your blood glucose reading? Before you have any meal, do a test and note the reading. Have your meal and then 2 hours after you eat that meal, test again. You'll know what that particular kind of carb does to you. Everybody is different. Some people here say they can have rice, etc. without too much trouble, but I for one can't use rice or potatoes. They spike my reading and I don't need those spikes. Instead, I found out from one of my friends here that a product called quinoa is an amazing product. Quinoa is a grain and only increases my readings a beautiful, skinny 2 points. No, I don't count carbs, and I'm very glad that my doctor doesn't require me to do that. He sent me for the diabetic class so I guess he accepts what they tell me to do.

BandonBob 2010-12-01 23:57:44 -0600 Report

I'm like you I don't count cards or really pay much attention to them. I use the plate method as well and I have what my doctor says is excellent control as my A1c runs between 5.8 and 6.2 for the last 20 years since I first got it under control after being diagnosed. Unfortunately I have a couple of friends with diabetes who tried the plate method but couldn't make it wotk and had to start counting carbs. I guess it is just part of everybody being different.

Emma2412 2010-12-05 18:00:19 -0600 Report

Hi, BB
Many congrats to you on your A1c readings. They are great! Wow! I'm impressed. I don't think I've ever had one so low as that, but I'm getting there, I guess.
Take care.

RAYT721 2010-05-23 13:14:16 -0500 Report

I found an excellent article in the Spring 2010 "Diabetic Living" magazine. Here's an excerpt:

What's Carb Counting?

Carb counting is a method of diabetes meal planning. It doesn't prescribe a certain amount of carbohydrate but is a way to include healthful foods, plan meals that contain sufficient carbohydrate to fuel your body, and fit in a wide variety of foods you enjoy while you control your blood glucose levels.

The carbohydrate in foods is the nutrient with the most impact on blood glucose, especially shortly after you eat. A key ingredient in achieving blood glucose control is having adequate insulin. The balance between the carbohydrate you eat and the available insulin - made by your body or that you take as medication - most impacts blood glucose levels and diabetes control.

Carb counting gained support in the United States when it was used successfully in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial in the 1980's says Karen Bolderman, R.D., CDE, PWD tyle 1, coauthor of "Practical Carbohydrate Counting: A How-to-Teach Guide for Health Professionals," second edition (American Diabetes Association, 2008).

The special report "Solving the Carb Puzzle" is in the Diabetic Living edition which may or may not be available on newstands but may still be available at your local library. Naturally the whole carb counting process is beyond the scope of any one article or book. You may wish to see if there are any diabetes education classes available in your community. Check with local hospitals, your physician, the American Diabetes Association, or with your local United Way Agencies for more comprehensive and professional information.

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