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What Is Carb Counting?

By the dLife Editors Carbohydrate counting is a method of meal planning that involves calculating the amount of carbs you eat at each meal and snack. Keeping track of your daily carbs can help you keep your blood sugar in your target range. That’s because carbs—which include sugars, starches, and fiber—affect your blood sugar more than protein or fat. Your body breaks carbohydrates down into glucose, which enters the bloodstream, raising your blood sugar levels. Balancing your carb intake with physical activity (and diabetes medications, if you take any) can help keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible, which lowers your risk of diabetes-related complications. Simply counting the grams of carbs in the food you eat is the most popular and accurate method of carbohydrate counting. Older methods of keeping track of your carb intake include: The carb choice system. One “carb choice” is about 15 grams of carbs. Examples of foods that contain about 15 grams of carbs include one slice of bread; 1/3 cup of pasta or rice; 1 small fresh whole fruit; and 1/2 cup of starchy vegetables. A food with 30 grams of carbs would be considered two carb choices. The dietary exchan Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. elcamino

    Hi all,
    I believe I'm hypoglycemic ( and have been for quite a while--at least 3 years). The episodes have gotten a lot more frequent this past year. I've been reading that hypoglycemia can be a precursor to prediabetes--is this accurate? Does the research support this? My father and my grandmother both had Type II diabetes, so I have a family history. I also have autoimmune disease already which may make me suspectible to other autoimmune issues.
    If it's true, is there anything i can do to prevent the diabetes from developing?
    thanks!
    El
    Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Suspected dx: UCTD/Lupus
    Current Meds: Enbrel, Methotrexate, nexium, tramadol, nasonex, Nifedipine, Folic Acid, Tylenol PM

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  2. Lanie G

    Hi El and welcome to the diabetes forum. I have read the hypoglycemia may be a precursor to diabetes later on but I don't know if it's true in every case. Having type 2 in the family does put you at risk though. The good news at this point is that you are aware of it. Do you test your blood sugar? Is this how you know you do have bouts of low blood sugar? Do you eat regularly and have breakfast? I'm not sure if it's possible to prevent diabetes but it may be possible to control it, especially if you catch your blood sugar rising early enough. When and if you do see that your blood sugar is rising above normal limits, cut out some carbs and test to see how the blood sugar is. Basically, it's the carbs that cause the rise. If you're able to do some regular, sustained exercise, this also helps with blood sugar, as well as other health matters.
    Lanie

  3. elcamino

    Hi Lanie,
    Thanks for your response. For clarification, I do not yet know if I'm truly hypoglycemic. I have episodes of intense trembling, nausea, light headedness, heart palpitations, etc... that are immediately relieved by the ingestion of sugar. I have not tested my blood sugar--didn't know if that was an option without a diabetic diagnosis, but my rheumatologist sometimes measures my blood glucose level as a matter of course. Out of four measurements, one was low--55, one was slightly high--112, and two were within the normal limits. I don't know if these are truly meaningful numbers, as they were only single, random measurements. I have not had a glucose tolerance test done. I'm more concerned about the symptoms than the lab measures; the symptoms are scary and make me feel awful.
    Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Suspected dx: UCTD/Lupus
    Current Meds: Enbrel, Methotrexate, nexium, tramadol, nasonex, Nifedipine, Folic Acid, Tylenol PM

    Back to Top

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