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Type 1 Diabetes Carb Counter

Low Carb Vs. High Carb - My Surprising 24-day Diabetes Diet Battle

Low Carb Vs. High Carb - My Surprising 24-day Diabetes Diet Battle

Twitter summary: What I learned from doubling my carb intake: the same average blood sugar, but four times as much hypoglycemia, more work, stress, & danger. As a teenager, I ate a high carb diet that included lots of Goldfish crackers, white sandwich bread, pasta, and white potatoes. It was tasty, but it put my blood sugars on a wild roller coaster every single day. Things turned around in college when I learned about nutrition, got on CGM, and spent time with health conscious friends. I soon realized that eating less than 30 grams of carbs at one time was a complete gamechanger. I’ve stuck with that approach ever since. But is this lower carb method actually better for my blood sugars, or have I just been fooling myself? To find out, I took on a somewhat terrifying self-tracking experiment: 12 days of my usual, lower-carb diet, which averaged 146 grams of carbs per day (21% of daily calories). My carbs were primarily from nuts, seeds, vegetables, and a bit of fruit. 12 days of a higher-carb, high whole-grain diet, which averaged 313 grams of carbs per day (43% of my daily calories). My sources of carbs were NOT junk food: plain oatmeal, whole wheat bread, quinoa, wild rice, and fruit. Neither of these was unrealistic. My lower-carb diet was nowhere near Atkins level (20 grams per day), and the higher-carb diet was consistent with the “average” 45% carb diet in people with diabetes (according to ADA). Even though this was a one-person (n=1) experiment, I wanted to be as scientific and fair as possible: eating whole, unprocessed foods in both periods; counting and tracking every single gram of carbohydrate (LoseIt! app); wearing CGM 24/7 and downloading the glucose data to document what happened (Dexcom G5 and Clarity); taking insulin before meals (5-15 minutes pr Continue reading >>

Culture Gap Makes Carb Counting Harder For People With Type 1 Diabetes

Culture Gap Makes Carb Counting Harder For People With Type 1 Diabetes

There is a broader problem understanding nutrient content of home cooked ethnic foods Patients with diabetes must work hard every day to count the carbs they consume, to avoid dangerous spikes or dips in blood sugar. Learning how to do it can be close to impossible, though, when language and cultural barriers make it difficult for doctors to understand what patients typically eat, a new case report suggests. "Carbohydrate counting is critical for accurate management of diabetes," said co-author Dr. Sumana Narasimhan, a pediatric endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic Children's in Ohio. "If we don't fix this problem, families of children with diabetes from non-western cultures may continue to guess the carbohydrate count of their ethnic foods, resulting in inaccurate insulin dosing and poorly controlled diabetes," Narasimhan added by email. "The risk of diabetes complications is higher when diabetes is not managed properly." The case report in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology involved a child recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition usually diagnosed in children or young adults. With this condition, the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow blood sugar, or glucose, to enter cells and produce energy. People with Type 1 diabetes typically have to test their own blood sugar levels throughout the day and inject insulin to manage them. Getting the insulin dose right requires patients to count carbs correctly. In this case, the child's mother asked doctors how to count carbs for the traditional Middle Eastern foods she prepared at home. Doctors found some pamphlets and online resources for following a diabetes diet that were translated into Arabic. But the information was still mostly based on a typical Western or European diet, n Continue reading >>

How To Count Carbs In 10 Common Foods

How To Count Carbs In 10 Common Foods

What are carbohydrates? Carbohydrates are sugar-based molecules found in many foods, from cookies to cantaloupes. If you have diabetes, planning your carb intake—and sticking to the plan—is critical to keep blood sugar on an even keel and to cut your risk of diabetes-related problems like heart disease and stroke. Whether or not you have diabetes, you should aim to get about half your calories from complex carbohydrates (which are high in fiber), 20-25% from protein, and no more than 30% from fat, says Lalita Kaul, PhD, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. How to read a food label The Nutrition Facts label lists the total amount of carbohydrates per serving, including carbs from fiber, sugar, and sugar alcohols. (If you're counting carbs in your diet, be aware that 15 grams of carbohydrates count as one serving.) Sugar alcohols are often used in sugar-free foods, although they still deliver calories and carbs. Sugar alcohols and fiber don't affect blood sugar as much as other carbs, because they're not completely absorbed. If food contains sugar alcohol or 5 or more grams of fiber, you can subtract half of the grams of these ingredients from the number of total carbs. (See more details at the American Diabetes Association and University of California, San Francisco.) How many carbs per day? If you eat 2,000 calories a day, you should consume about 250 grams of complex carbohydrates per day. A good starting place for people with diabetes is to have roughly 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal and 15 to 30 grams for snacks. While snacks are key for people with diabetes who use insulin or pills that increase insulin production (otherwise, they run the risk of low blood sugar), they aren’t essential for non-insulin users. The goal for anyone with diab Continue reading >>

Carbohydrate Counting

Carbohydrate Counting

Carbohydrate counting is a flexible way to plan your meals. It focuses on foods that contain carbohydrate as these raise your blood glucose (sugar) the most. Follow these steps to count carbohydrates and help manage your blood glucose levels. Your registered dietitian will guide you along the way. Step 1: Make healthy food choices Enjoy a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat milk products, and meat and alternatives at your meals. A variety of foods will help to keep you healthy. Use added fats in small amounts. This helps to control your weight and blood cholesterol. Choose portion sizes to help you to reach or maintain a healthy weight. Step 2: Focus on carbohydrate Your body breaks down carbohydrate into glucose. This raises your blood glucose (sugar) levels. Carbohydrate is found in many foods including grains and starches, fruits, some vegetables, legumes, milk and milk alternatives, sugary foods and many prepared foods. Meat and alternatives, most vegetables and fats contain little carbohydrate. Moderate servings will not have a big effect on blood glucose (sugar) levels. Step 3: Set carbohydrate goals Your dietitian will help you set a goal for grams of carbohydrate at each meal and snack. This may be the same from day to day or may be flexible, depending on your needs. Aim to meet your target within five grams per meal or snack. Step 4: Determine carbohydrate content Write down what you eat and drink throughout the day. Be sure to note the portion sizes. You may need to use measuring cups and food scales to be accurate. Record the grams of carbohydrate in these foods and drinks. For carbohydrate content of foods, check the nutrition label on food packages, food composition books, restaurant fact sheets and websites. Step 5: Monitor effect on blood Continue reading >>

The Best Diabetes Apps Of The Year

The Best Diabetes Apps Of The Year

We’ve selected these apps based on their quality, user reviews, and overall reliability as a source of support for people living with diabetes. If you want to nominate an app for this list, email us at [email protected] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes impacts 29 million Americans, about 9 percent of the population. Someone with diabetes may experience complications such as kidney problems, blindness, or heart failure, according to the CDC. The good news is that with increased education, people are recognizing symptoms, like going to the bathroom often, having blurry vision, losing weight, experiencing tingling or numbness in lower limbs, and feeling very thirsty, hungry, or tired. Thanks to earlier diagnoses, improved treatment tools, and better self-care, people are living better with diabetes. Part of that care includes eating healthy foods, exercising, taking medicines like insulin, sticking to your treatment plan, and being proactive about colds and other sicknesses. Keeping all the pieces of your care plan straightforward can be a challenge, but several apps have emerged to help you track your day and your health. While some of these apps are specifically for diabetes and some are geared for general diet, they can all help you take control of your health. Here are this year’s top picks for the best diabetes apps. iPhone rating: ★★★★★ Android rating: ★★★★★ Price: Free Fooducate promises to be your weight loss coach. This app has a grading system designed to help you make smarter choices. It will help you understand the pros and cons of certain foods. In addition to sugar counts, the app helps you monitor carbs, colorings, mood, hunger, sleep, and exercise. R Continue reading >>

How To Count Carbs At Restaurants

How To Count Carbs At Restaurants

Having diabetes doesn't mean the end of dining out but a little advanced planning can help you keep your blood sugars stable. Dining out with family and friends can be one of the most enjoyable ways to share a meal. Having type 2 diabetes doesn't have to put an end to eating out but restaurants can be tricky as you have little control over the portion sizes and the ingredients in a dish. Using online tools to access nutrition information and speaking to your server about how foods are prepared—baked, broiled, steamed or fried—can help you plan your meal. Today's restaurants are accustomed to accommodating people with diabetes and other health issues. Don't hestitate to ask questions. It's in the restaurant's best interest to go the extra mile to ensure you have a good experience so you will recommend the establishment to others and visit again in the future. Working with a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and other members of your health care team can help you determine the number of carbs you can have at each meal. This of course depends on how active you are and whether you take insulin or other diabetes medications. Your diabetes team can also help you figure out how to incorporate restaurant meals into your meal plan.The American Diabetes Association (ADA).1 suggests limiting the number of times you dine out to twice per week. For more information on carb couting, click here. Keep in mind, many restaurants serve meals large enough to satisfy two or three people, so consider splitting the meal with someone at the table, or have your server split the entree in half and package it up to take home before the food is brought to the table. Useful Online Tools Many restaurants feature nutrition information on their websites. If yours does, spend some Continue reading >>

Halloween Candy Carb Counts

Halloween Candy Carb Counts

Print this chart and stick it on your fridge if you want to budget some carbs while navigating the season of fun-size temptations. Continue reading >>

Best Diabetes Apps Of 2017

Best Diabetes Apps Of 2017

Rates of diabetes may be higher than ever, but there are many apps that can help people with diabetes manage their condition. According to research posted to the Journal of the American Medical Association, as much as 12-14 percent of the adult population in the United States is affected by diabetes. However, the modern era has made managing the disorder easier than ever before. Desktop and mobile apps are widely available for users to easily track and manage their conditions. This may help them to make positive changes and help manage their blood sugar levels safely. Contents of this article: What to look for in a diabetes app One of the most important parts of personal diabetes management is being able to monitor the following factors: There can be a lot of numbers and times to remember, and a lot of math goes into every meal of the day. This can be an annoying experience. Luckily, there are several apps that take some of the heavy burden off the shoulders of someone with diabetes. There are a number of different things that affect the average person with diabetes. As such, there are also a few different categories of diabetes apps. These include: logbook apps calorie counters diet apps carbohydrate counting apps general diabetes management apps This article reviews some of the best diabetes apps of the year. Diabetes logbook apps Logbook apps enable people with diabetes to keep a log of the vital statistics that relate to their condition. The most important being their blood sugar levels. mySugr The diabetes app, mySugr, is a personalized logbook app for both Apple and Android devices. Users can change the way they log key statistics to a way that suits them. The app helps users to analyze these statistics in order to achieve their goals. The app also has an estimate Continue reading >>

Carb Counting: Why And How

Carb Counting: Why And How

Why Count Carbs? After you eat food that contains carbohydrate, it breaks down into glucose and enters the bloodstream. This is why your blood glucose, or blood sugar, rises after eating most sources of carbohydrate. Carb counting helps to consistently control the amount of glucose going into the bloodstream at one meal. People with type 2 diabetes who don’t take rapid-acting insulin before meals can use what’s called basic carb counting. People with type 1 diabetes and those with type 2 who take insulin before meals will likely want to learn to use what’s called advanced carb counting. However, everyone should start with the basics of carb counting no matter how long they've had diabetes or what their ultimate carb counting goal is. What Foods Contain Carbs? There are healthier sources of carbohydrate and less healthy sources. Foods that contain nutrient-dense carbs are an important part of healthy eating and should not be avoided completely. Carbs provide energy and nutrients you need. The calories in these foods and food groups are mainly from carbohydrate. Some contain varying amounts of protein and fat. • Starches: bread, cereal, pasta, whole grains • Starchy vegetables: potatoes, corn, legumes • Fruit and fruit juice • Nonstarchy vegetables: green beans, tomatoes, lettuce • Milk, yogurt • Sugary foods: regular soda, gumdrops • Sweets: ice cream, chocolate candy Basic Carb Counting With basic carb counting, the goal is to eat similar amounts of carbohydrate at the same time each day. For example, if you eat 40 grams of carb for breakfast, you should eat that amount at breakfast every day. Keeping carbohydrate intake consistent helps keep blood sugar under control. This doesn't mean you have to eat the same thing at every meal every day. You can Continue reading >>

Net Carbs Vs. Total Carbs: What Counts?

Net Carbs Vs. Total Carbs: What Counts?

People often wonder if they should count their net carbohydrates or total carbohydrates, which appear on some food labels. Medtronic Diabetes Clinical Manager for Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Katie Crupi-Sullivan, RD, CDE, tackles net carbs, and the advice she gives her patients with diabetes. Net Carbs or Total Carbs: “I’m confused” One of my patients recently asked me about a low carb bar her Mom had purchased for her to use as a quick snack. She wanted to know, “What is the deal with net carbs?” Net carbs was a phrase coined by the food industry when low carb diets became popular about a decade ago, and doesn’t have a formal definition. It’s not a term recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or American Diabetes Association (ADA). Net carbs usually subtract fiber, sugar alcohols, and glycerin from the total carbohydrates. This can be misleading for anyone counting carbs and using insulin to carb ratio to bolus for food. When is it appropriate to subtract fiber or sugar alcohols from total carbs? Looking at my patient’s pump download on CareLink, I realized when she ate the low carb bar, her blood sugar dropped. She asked, “What do I do to prevent these lows?” If you notice a low after eating high fiber foods (beans, whole grains, fiber fortified products or foods rich in sugar alcohols, sugar-free desserts and candies), there are rules set forth by the ADA: If a meal has more than five grams of total fiber, you can subtract half the total fiber from the total carbohydrate If a food contains sugar alcohols, you can subtract half the total sugar alcohol from the total carbohydrate (Keep in mind that these are general guidelines and might vary for each individual so keep a close eye on your blood glucose.) What’s the deal with sugar alcoho Continue reading >>

What To Eat When You Have Type 1 Diabetes

What To Eat When You Have Type 1 Diabetes

It's important to eat a healthy diet when you have type 1 diabetes. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy tasty food, including some of your favorites. With type 1 diabetes, your body stops making insulin. So you take insulin every day either through shots or a pump. It’s also key to track your blood sugar levels. Insulin is only part of the picture. Diet and exercise also play important roles in helping keep your blood sugar levels stable. When you make healthy food choices and eat consistent amounts through the day, it can help control your sugars. It can also lower your chance of diabetes-related problems like heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage. Some experts used to think there was a "diabetes diet." They thought people with diabetes had to avoid all foods with sugars or stop eating certain other foods. But when you have type 1, you can eat the same healthy diet as everyone else. Follow some general guidelines: Eat less unhealthy fat. Cut back on the saturated fats you find in high-fat meats like bacon and regular ground beef, as well as full-fat dairy like whole milk and butter. Unhealthy fats raise your chance of heart disease. With diabetes, you face higher-than-average odds of getting heart disease. Make smart food choices to lower that risk. Get enough fiber. It may help control your blood sugar. You can get fiber from whole grains, beans, and fruits and vegetables. Try to get 25-30 grams a day. Those high-fiber foods are always better choices than low-fiber carbs such as refined 'white' grains and processed sugary foods. Carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy. You get them from many foods, like grains (pasta, bread, crackers, and cookies), fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and sugars. Carbs raise your blood sugar levels faster than Continue reading >>

Gadgets And Apps

Gadgets And Apps

There are many tools that can help make carbohydrate counting and insulin calculations easier tasks, including apps that you can download to your computer, Smart phones and iPhones. General Apps (Carb Counting and More) Android Apps BlueLoop Carb Counting with Lenny CarbControl FatSecret.com Calorie Counter Glucagon Glucose Buddy Medisafe MySugr OnTrack Diabetes iPhone Apps bant BlueLoop Carb Counting with Lenny CalorieKing CarbControl FatSecret.com Calorie Counter Diabetes Companion Diabetes Log Diabetes Pilot Glooko Glucagon Glucose Buddy Go Meals, by CalorieKing Medisafe MySugr Nutrition Database for iPhone Pumps 4 Kids (Hint: remember to change the glucose units to mg/dl) Sugar Streak Devices That Interface with Apps and Systems Accu-Check: Lets you send blood glucose test results to an app on your smart phone. CareLink: Provides a summary of all your glucose, carbohydrate, and insulin information and gives an overview of your glycemic control (daily, overnight, and at meal times). Dexcom Clarity: Allows you to upload glucose data, view the data in easy-to-read graphs, and email them to your doctor. diasend: Provides easy uploading of information from most glucose meters, insulin pumps, CGMs and mobile apps so patients and doctors can share, access and understand information. glooko: Download your diabetes device data to your iOS or Android device, integrate food and lifestyle data, and share reports with your care team. OneTouch Reveal: The One Touch Reveal App is being used a lot for the One Touch Verio Flex meter. TIDEPOOL: A variety of apps that make diabetes data easily accessible through a secure, modern platform. t:connect: A fast, easy way to display and save data from pumps, supported glucose meters and CGMs. Diabetes Calculator Click the BEGIN button below Continue reading >>

Carbohydrate Counting 101

Carbohydrate Counting 101

Carbohydrate Counting 101 There are several different ways people with diabetes can manage their food intake to keep their blood glucose (sugar) within their target range and one such method is 'carbohydrate counting'. Carbohydrate, or carb counting is a method of calculating grams of carbohydrate consumed at meals and snacks. Foods that contain carb have the greatest effect on blood glucose compared to foods that contain protein or fat. Before starting any new treatment or meal plan, you should always consult with your diabetes care professional. What are the benefits of counting carbs? ·Counting carbohydrates is a good solution for many people with diabetes. Once you learn how to count carbs, you’ll find it easier to fit a wide variety of foods into your meal plan, including combination foods such as those in frozen dinners. For example, by checking the grams of total carbohydrate on the Nutrition Facts label on a frozen dinner, you can figure out how to fit the dinner into your carb allotment for a particular meal. Many people find carb counting to be much easier than using a more traditional exchange meal plan. ·Another benefit of counting carbohydrates is that it can bring tighter control over your glucose readings. Being as precise as possible with your carb intake and medication will help you better manage your blood glucose after meals. ·Lastly, if you take mealtime insulin, counting carbohydrates allows you to decide how much carb you want to eat at a meal, rather than having to eat a certain amount of carbohydrates, even if you do not want to. Who can use carbohydrate counting? Carbohydrate counting can be used by anyone with diabetes, not just people taking insulin. This method is also useful for people who are using more intensive methods of adjusting i Continue reading >>

The 500 Rule

The 500 Rule

The 500 Rule (aka 450 Rule) from Using Insulin and the Pocket Pancreas is a great way to estimate how many grams of carbohydrate will be covered by one unit of Humalog or Novolog insulin. This is your insulin to carb ratio or your carb factor. Once you know this, you can count the grams of carb in the food you want to eat and divide by your carb factor to find how many units of bolus insulin are needed to cover the carbs. This allows flexibility in your food choices because any number of carbs can be covered with a matching dose of insulin. The 500 Rule used to determine your carb factor depends on accurately knowing your TDD. As with basal doses, an accurate carb factor can be determined only after you've calculated an accurate TDD for yourself. The 500 Rule: estimates grams of carb per unit of Humalog or Novolog insulins (the 450 Rule is used with Regular insulin) 500 divided by your TDD (Total Daily Dose of insulin) = grams of carb covered by one unit of Humalog or Novolog Lets you keep your post meal readings normal! Example: Someone's TDD = 50 units (i.e., the total amount of say Humalog and Lente insulins they used per day). 500/50 = 10 grams of carbohydrate covered by each unit of Humalog insulin TDD = all fast insulin taken before meals, plus all long-acting insulin used in a day. If Humalog is used everyday to correct high readings, this may also need to be factored into the TDD. For instance, if someone's TDD is "30 units" (5 H before each meal, plus 15 Lantus at bedtime), but they need 8 to 12 units more almost every day to bring down highs, at least some of this 8 to 12 units will need to be factored into a new TDD. Caution: The 500 Rule will be most accurate for those who make no insulin of their own and receive 50% to 60% of their TDD as basal insulin. It Continue reading >>

Carb Counting

Carb Counting

Carb counting is working out how much carbohydrate is in your food and adjusting your insulin dose accordingly Carb counting is an important part of managing your type 1 diabetes. When you eat carbohydrates (both starches such as potatoes, rice and pasta and sugars such as fruit, milk, honey), it’s broken down into glucose and absorbed into your bloodstream where it can be used for energy. It’s important to have a good understanding of how much, and what type, of carbohydrate is in the foods you eat as this will help you work out how much insulin you need to give with meals and snacks. There are structured education programmes like DAFNE (Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating), which help you learn how to count the carbohydrate content of your meals and decide how much insulin you need. Ask your healthcare team for more information about the courses and about carb counting. Continue reading >>

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