…and pull your hair out. There is an old adage in the Army that a Soldier is not happy if he is not complaining about something. That could also apply to people with Diabetes when it comes to figuring out carb counting. Don’t get me wrong, but the nutritional labels on food are the best thing since low carb pasta. Just one thing about them really annoys me and that is the “serving size” used to compute the nutritional data.
Yesterday I decided to have a can of soup for lunch. I was going to heat up a can of Progresso Light Southwestern-Style Vegetable Soup. I looked on the back to see how long to nuke it, as well as to get the carbs. Two to four minutes. No problem. Pour it into a bowl, cover and nuke it. While it is cooking, look at the can and figure out the carbs.
Now for the fun. It has 12 grams of carbs and 4 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Subtract the fiber from the carbs and that yields 8 net carbs per serving. So far so good. But for serving size, it says that there are ABOUT 2 servings per container. UGH - here we go again!
For me, I need to know exactly how many carbs I’ll consume so that I can enter that into the bolus wizard in my insulin pump. There isn’t an “about” with the pump. Now comes the fractional arithmetic I hated in grade school. OK, deep breath, grab scratch paper and pencil. (I wish I could find that darn calculator!) Here goes. A serving size is 242 grams. The can has a total of 524 grams. Put the 242 over 542. That equals 8 over “X” with X being the total carbs in the can. Now, multiply the 8 carbs per serving times the total food quantity of 542. That is 4,336 somethings. Now divide the 4,336 somethings by 242 (the serving size} which works out to 17.917 total net carbs per can.
Now I check my BG, wait for the meter, and hooray - it is 117. Time to fire up the pump’s bolus wizard. Enter 117 for BG, 17 (rounded down) into “carbs” and let the electrons fly and do the bolus.
Nuts - with the arithmetic complete, now my soup is cold. Then along comes a co-worker who says I shouldn’t eat that. And they wonder why I get cranky!