Carbohydrate counting: the easy way to manage diabetes
Carbohydrate counting is a method to control carbohydrate intake in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It helps match the intake of carbohydrate in each meal and snack with the insulin regimen provided.
• Carbohydrate is one of the three macronutrients. Carbohydrate is important in the diet, as it is the main source of energy that the body, especially the brain, uses. However, in people with diabetes, dietary intake of carbohydrate requires more consideration, as it directly affects the amount of sugar in the blood stream. Carbohydrate can be found not only in starchy foods like bread, pasta, cereals, or starchy vegetables, but also in fruits and fruit juice, milk and dairy products, and sweets.
• The basis of this carbohydrate counting method is to consider one serving of carbohydrate as 15 grams. For example, 1 slice of bread would be considered as one serving of carbohydrate, meaning that 1 slice of bread will have 15 grams of carbohydrate. Using this standard, one serving of carbohydrate would be 1/3 cup cooked pasta or rice, 1 cup of milk, 2/3 a cup of yogurt, or 1 small fruit. For a detailed food list, please refer to the Exchange Lists for Diabetes.
• Carbohydrate counting makes meal planning easier for the diabetic population. Smaller, more frequent meals are encouraged, with 3 main meals and 1 to 2 snacks throughout the day to keep the carbohydrate intake consistently. Ideally, many adults can have 3 to 5 servings of carbohydrate per meal, with 1 to 2 servings of carbohydrate per snack. Carbohydrate sources that have fiber are preferred, such as whole grains. Lean protein and healthy fat can then be added to the meals depending on individual preferences and heath conditions.
Management of diabetes requires effort of the whole healthcare team. Meal planning for people with diabetes should be customized based on the individualized medications and insulin regimen. Nutrition On The Go, Inc. provides programs that match with clients’ unique needs. Please contact us for further confirmation.
Nutrition On The Go, Inc.
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Contact: (301) 263-7319
Address: 1201 Seven Locks Rd, Suite 360, Rockville, MD 20854