February 6, 2015

Help in Diabetes Management Education – Part 8

Part 8 of 12

Developing a food plan (not a diet) and counting carbohydrates is the topic for this blog. Lately the buzz has been about the DASH diet and most of us with diabetes find that it is often too high in carbohydrates and low in the fats. I have found that some diets promote great ideas, but end up not being something that can be followed for the long term. This is the reason that I suggest that each person with type 2 diabetes develop the food plan (not a diet) that fits their way of living.

Some can eat very few carbohydrates while other can consume larger amounts. I do encourage people to limit the amount of whole grains they consume. Beyond this the food plan needs to be what your testing shows is best for you.

The following links will help you in determining the number of carbohydrates in your meal. This site if free and all you need to do is sign up at this link. There is several things that are explained at the link and there is a mobile app that you can download.

This link is the one I use when my wife uses her own recipe and I can enter the ingredients. The following image is what you will find.

What I also like is that you can use a link to recipes on the internet. Some recipes have the nutritional information and this will provide a check of the nutritional information provided. The next thing that you need to do is determine the number of servings you will be using for the recipe. This can even be done after the food is prepared and you have a better idea of how much you may want to consume. If you like it and your meter tells you that it raised your blood glucose more than you wanted, you now can get a better idea of the serving size you need to consume.

Having this information can go a long way in counting carbohydrates. Many of us count carbohydrates the hard way but reading the number of carbohydrates from the labels on the products we use for recipes and then determining the serving size and dividing the total carbohydrates by the number of servings. This is also when a scale becomes a tool to help determine carbohydrates. I have used a scale for about 10 years and in the last five years, I have used it less and this is because when using the same recipes, the carb counting has been easier. I highly recommend using one to help in the accuracy of counting carbohydrates.

I am no longer surprised by variances in the number of carbohydrates. Manufacturers and processors are allowed to vary by up to 20 percent also. And the USDA tables used by most calculators are only an average and have a variance. So if you are wondering why those of us that have had diabetes for more than a decade get up tight about all the variances we have to take into account, you would be right, as we do have to wonder ourselves. This won't change anytime soon, so we need to go with the flow.

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