How to Count Carbs for Diabetes Management
Most of my clients with diabetes count carbs to help manage their blood sugar levels. It’s one of many tools to help them with meal planning.
What is carb counting?
With carb counting, you estimate the amount of carbohydrate in your food with the goal of staying within a predetermined range or allowance for each meal and snack.
Carb counting does NOT mean avoiding carbohydrates. It does NOT mean that carbs are bad. Carbohydrates are a nutrient. They are not a type of food. And many, many health-boosting, disease-fighting foods are rich in carbohydrates. Think fruit, quinoa, yogurt, milk, vegetables, black beans, chickpeas, limas, brown rice and a million more!
The beauty of carb counting is that it gives you tons of flexibility. You can choose your carbohydrates from any type of food. This is also the downfall of carb counting. I sure don’t want you to focus on carb counts without paying attention to nutrition. This is just like limiting calories to lose weight, but favoring veggie chips and diet pudding over the foods your body really needs like fruit, nuts and salmon.
Why is it a good idea to count carbs?
Don’t avoid carbs. Count them!
Eating a lot of carbohydrate at one time raises blood sugar a lot, and eating just a little carbohydrate, raises blood sugar less. Many people with diabetes aim for about 45 – 60 grams of carbohydrate per meal and 15 grams or so per snack, but the amount that’s right for you may be more or less. And that depends on your medications, activity level, blood sugar goals and other things. I like to look at my patients’ food records a Continue reading