In this week's Twitter chat, we discussed a topic that causes a lot of confusion and stress to many a diabetic: carb counting.

Our diabetes advocate and type 1 diabetic herself, Jewels Doskicz (@She_Sugar), returned as our host.

We were lucky to have a distinguished and qualified special guest, Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, (@HopeWarshaw), to give us her insight on carbohydrate and how to carb count for better diabetes care. You can read this article for more information on her expertise, books, interviews, and other authored sources.

Hope Warshaw helps diabetics learn about proper carb counting at the January 20 Diabetic Connec Twitter Chat

Question 1

We began with brief introductions and then went right to the first question:
Diabetic Connect Twitter Chat first question: What does a carbohydrate budget mean to you?

Jewels explained that a carbohydrate budget is a safety zone, or the limit of carbs you let yourself eat each day. Most people have a range they like to stick to.

The American Association of Diabetes Educators, Iowa sector, gave a clear definition of a carbohydrate budget:
American Association of Diabetes Educators participates in Diabetic Connect Twitter chat talking about carbohydrate budget

Carb counting for a diabetic on Diabetic Connect Twitter chat January 20

Range rather than limit for carbohydrate budget, Diabetic Connect Twitter chat

Question 2

Our next question was, "How do you count your carbohydrates at home — accuracy vs. estimating?"

Some people said they rely on years of experience with diabetes for counting carbs:
read labels and rely on 22 years of experience with diabetes. Diabetic Connect Twitter chat January 20

Jewels says she relies on serving size and her 30 years of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Diabetic Connect Twitter article

Hope Warshaw reminded us that accuracy is vital for better diabetes care, and that our accuracy wanes over time.
To stay accurate with portion size and carb count for diabetes, must on occasion weigh and measure

Others agreed with Hope:
Read labels to have accurate carb counting for better diabetes care

Reading labels, using measuring cups and a calculator for accuracy in carb counting for diabetes

Question 3

We followed with this question:
What challenges do you face when carb counting at a restaurant?

Hope told us a surprising statistic that the average American eats out 5 times a week — therefore, learning to carb count restaurant food is essential for diabetics around the nation.

People voiced the challenges they face at restaurants:
portion distortion of restaurant food for diabetics

your blood sugar going crazy after you eat at a restaurant for those with diabetes

Others gave their advice on how to successfully carb count at restaurants:
how to successfully carb count for diabetes care at restaurants

measuring cups at home to help you know portion sizes at restaurants for better diabetes care

successfully asking for modified recipe for carb counting and better diabetes care at restaurants

Question 4

For the fourth question we asked, "What method do you use to count carbohydrates accurately?"

We had some very helpful responses:
defensive carb counting for diabetes care

measure things out and use fitness pal

preplan meals so you don't make mistakes when you're hungry for better diabetes care

Hope gave another helpful tip about counting carbs when eating Asian food, saying you should "up carb by 5 to 10 gm from corn starch, marinades, and sauces."

Question 5

With question 5, we moved into the technology realm of diabetes management, asking:
online tools or apps for carb counting and diabetes management

Some people like to keep it simple:
pump history for diabetes management

While others embrace the apps and online tools the diabetes world has to offer:
Spark people app for diabetes care

apps for diabetes care and carb counting

apps some people like to help with diabetes care and carb counting

apps to help with diabetes care and help count carbs

Question 6

For our last question of the night we asked:
dietary goals and strategies to implement in 2015 for better diabetes care

Lots of people wanted to consume more whole foods and fewer processed ones:
healthy calories and more exercise for better diabetes care

eat less junk and more fresh foods for better diabetes care

minimize processed GMOs for better diabetes care

We had a few latecomers who asked:
Twitter chat next week for #DCDE

And the answer is yes! Don't miss out on our Twitter chat next week, January 27, at 9pm ET, #DCDE.

For more Twitter chat summaries:

Diabetes and Exercise: #DCDE Twitter Chat Summary
Diabetes and Healthy Weight: #DCDE Twitter Chat Summary
The Raw Emotions of Diabetes: #DCDE Twitter Chat Highlights