Carb counting

please refresh my memory…

when counting carbs using the “nutrition facts” label, do you add “sugars” to your carb count?? do you subtract fiber??


take the total carbs and subtract fiber.
Sugar is already accounted for in the total carb number.

I use the total carbs and only subtract fiber if it is 5 grams or more.


I subtract all fiber but there is no “right” way to handle fiber. You need to establish a consistent methodology to set your ratios and then follow it. In the end, Depending on how you handle fiber, green vegetables and protein your ratios will vary but the goal is to take the right amount of insulin for your meal. If you tend to eat the same types of meals each day, you can ignore more items which will tag along with your main carbs, If you go low carb then you have to make sure you pick up more of the pieces and perhaps even adjust your dose for protein.


This is the second time I have seen someone mention subtracting fiber from carb count. Why? My daughters endo’s have never mentioned it.

Like Zoe, I was originally instructed to subtract the fiber if it were 6 or above. Didn’t work for me, I would end up highger than I wanted to be at the 2 hour mark. I don’t subtract anything now.


Fiber, in large enough amounts, passes through the body (aids in bowel movements), but isn’t broken down by the body for energy. If it’s not broken down there is no need to give insulin for it.

I only subtract fiber if there are 5g or more per serving of whatever it is I’m eating.

That’s a good question! When I was first diagnosed the dietician said to add 1/2 the amount of sugar listed to the total carb count. And any fiber amount above 5g should be subtracted from the total carb count. Then the last time I asked when I switched over to the pump an endo told me not to! To just look at the total carb count listed! ??

Same here :wink:

Myriah, we’re all so different. Try all the different methods posted and see what works best for you. Keep us posted!

Jrtpup is right: do what works for you.

I, personally, used to subtract fiber but I’d end up high so now I don’t: I just include the total number of carbs.

I don’t pay any attention to fiber. I’m intrigued by the notion of “bonus carbs” for sugar in Preeti’s post, maybe with stuff like cereal (Captain Crunch!) that would help smooth things out? Hmmmm…

You have gotten good advice on your particular question, but let me just pipe in with a broader observation. And please don’t take this as a criticism. Your question is “basic” and suggests that you are not an expert carb counter. You are not alone, lots of people “get by” without counting carbs, but you can achieve much better control by precisely dosing your mealtime insulin to your actual meal.

My suggestions is that you make it your mission to become an expert carb counter. You have a pump and it gives you very precise control over your insulin, yet without proper carb counts you cannot realize it’s potential. I believe that you could become quite a competent carb counting with little effort and drop your A1c below 7%, perhaps dropping your A1c a whole percent. I do hope you would consider trying.

Here is what you could do. You could take a carb counting class at a local diabetes center. You can check out some basic books on carb counting from your local public library (look in the diabetes section). You could purchase “Advanced Carb Counting” by Scheiner (I got it in a three book deal with “Using Insulin” and “Think Like a Pancreas” on amazon). You could take Gary Scheiner’s advanced course on carb counting at Type 1 University.

Give it some thought.

So many books to read! They have that at the library so I’ll add it to my list of stuff to pick up!

thanks so much for all of ya’lls replies!!! :wink:


Hi acidrock23, I do count the “bonus carbs” for the sugar content and it works better for me…that way I don’t spike up as fast from that sugar content, but I do have to watch 2 hours post bolus to make sure it doesn’t drop too fast. It usually works out fine!

Hmmm, but then, if it “drops too fast”, you can have…more sugar!! Whee! Queen Frostine here we come!!

Haha yeah if you like roller coasters!!! :wink:

I just learned something new. Thanks you guys I didn’t know to subtract the fiber. Can someone explain why you subtract the fiber?

Fiber (in particular, dietary fiber) is by definition, not digestible. When the macronutrients of a food are measured, fiber is put into the carbohydrate bin. So a general rule allows us to subtract out the carbs that can’t be digested, namely the fiber.

That is the simple story. I have a long story, but we shall have to leave that for later.