HELP! I'm learning to count carbs.....Part II

Part II: Okay, so I’ve had the day to count what I have eaten…now please check it and make sure that I have the whole deal down for one day, please.

I am using 30 carbs for breakfast, 45 for lunch and dinner, and 15 for three snacks.

Slim fast protein drink 28 COH 30 carbs
I know this isn’t the best breakfast, but I swam for 90 minutes and by the time I got home, showered, let the dogs out — it was 10:30…and and hour and half till lunch. Better than nothing

Yogurt 0 carbs 0 counted
String Cheese 0 carbs 0 counted
Both of these items were checked by using the data on the package.
Banana 1 carb 15 counted

5 oz lean burger 0 carbs 0 counted
1 sm baked potato 1 carb 15 counted
2 T fat free sour cream 0 carbs 0 counted
1/2 fresh peach 1 carb 7 counted
1 c sugar free pudding 2 carbs 30 counted
with skim milk
1 1/2 zuchinni cooked 1 carb 15 counted
fresh tea hot 0 carbs 0 counted

My total for the day 112 carbs

I am planning on having some fresh vegetables and 2 slices of deli ham for a snack before bed.
so add 15 more carbs to make 127 total for the day.

Am I even close?

Cathy J

Hi Cathy. It looks like you are trying to combine the old way of exchanges and carb counting. Forget the exchanges! You need a scale, measuring cups and measuring spoons and either the CalorieKing carb book and/or the CalorieKing website. Take your banana for instance. Weigh it then look up the amount of carbs in the CalorieKing book/website. It says that 4oz has 13g of carbs. So if your banana is 5oz according to CalorieKing you have used 20g carb of your lunch alotment. I really recommend CalorieKing because it lists brand name food, i.e. Green Giant, Nabisco, etc. as well as fastfood joints and restaurants. The book is small enough that you can carry it in your D bag or your purse when you are out.

The way you are doing it is not necessarily wrong but it may not always be accurate, I think if you are going to count carbs then do it right and be accurate. If I find products that I use that aren’t listed I write them in. I hope I made sense.

Well, and maybe that’s where I am getting confused. I read the label on the Yogurt for example, and it says 1 — okay is that 1 carb to count or one exchange = 15 carbs? So for every number 1 - whatever, each number counts 15 carbs? Is that what you are tell me. I have all the equipment that you mentioned, I am waiting for my carb counting books to get here, and then I am sure that things will be much clearer…right now it’s pretty cloudy, but getting clearer, the more input I get.

Cathy, It looks like you’re in the States so your yogurt containers should show the same mine do. On the label under Total Carbs my yougurt is 17g which is slightly over 1 carb counter (15 g’s).

Still suggesting the CalorieKing book at Wal-Mart for about 7 bucks.

Cathy, you will find many labels that list 1 carb exchange but if you look at the actuaol carb count you will find that the actual number of carbs may vary. ! carb exchange may range from 10 or 12g carbs to more than 15g carbs. So on the one hand if you don’t count the actual number of carbs you may taking too little or too much insulin. On the other hand you may be ???cheating??? yourself when you plan your meals or snacks. (Does anyone else have as much trouble typing on a laptop as I do?)

Please check out CalorieKing website!!!

I agree, forget the whole exchange thing. Don’t think of “1 carb, x counted”. Since you know how many carbs you can have per meal and per day just count the carbs in all your food which should be on the label or if it isn’t a packaged food, get yourself a list or resource such as Calorie King. I was wondering about the yogurt as well as I know yogurt has some carbs. I don’t do the whole weighing thing, though I understand it can add to your accuracy. To me I find a balance of not driving myself crazy and you said you didn’t like math. I do measure. For example the yogurt. If one cup is x number of carbs you need to know if you are eating 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup or what.

Hi Cathy, There is a little more to consider. Some foods will spike you, an example is I can only do 1/2 of a banana and stay under my 140 for a BG. I have not tested myself with peaches yet but I have heard from others that they have issues with them. Part of this you can get an idea as to what you may expect from by looking at the Glycemic Index but being each of us is an individual, you need to test to be sure. Also 1 1/2 Hr between breakfast and lunch, you were probably still high from your breakfast when you added the lunch, the protein slows the carb absorption. Did you test an hour and 2 hours after lunch? this type of testing will give you a good idea on what your system can tolerate. As Zoe mentions deep six the carb exchange thing, it is a lot easier to just deal with the carb minus the fiber if over 5.

I know that any fruit that has a pit in it, will spike my sugars up…I ate a peach before my driving eye exam, and sure enough, my license for the next five years read “must wear corrective lenses”…my eyes were buldging and I didn’t see the farther signs…I know that watermelon does the same thing. SO…I have tested some things out on myself and know those limits. As for Calorie King, looked today, and our WM doesn’t have it, doesn’t carry it and no they can’t get one in just for me, we get what we get from AK…I have received two wonderful books that are fairly accurate with the brands and foods we eat. They give a lot of ingredients in the recipes we use, so dh and I are in the process of looking things up and marking it in our “Diabetic Home Cookbook”. As for the exchange thing, I have no idea what you are talking about…so I guess I’m better off. I am just going by what the label says: Carbohydrates: 0g - Fiber of 0…doesn’t that equal 0? If it says 3g of CoH - 1 g of fiber that would be 2 g of carbo’s right? Or do I have to convert that? Maybe in the translation of what I was saying, I was screwing it up…I’ll find out Monday for sure when I meet with the CDRN…hopefully I am not messing things up too much. YES, my years of measuring and weighing with WW has paid off, in that I am so used to doing that, it would be hard not to do it, so have it covered there. Thanks for all your help…I’ll take a look see at the glydemic index again, it can’t hurt.

Cathy J

Checked the CK website, and I am sorry can’t afford to pay for much. I am taking the exact numbers off the labels of the item I am eating or using in recipes. I don’t think I am taking exchanges, I think that was just a miss quoting of terms. I don’t take insulin…I am a medication taking type II diabetic. I take 2000 mg of Metformin, 1000 with my two biggest meals, and 20 amaryl with my breakfast. It seems to be doing the trick, after playing with the timing of dosages. My levels have leveled out at around 116 over the course of the day…and FBS is about 98…not bad from in the high 100’s and low 200’s…

Cathy, the way my diabetic educator dietitian taught me your example "If it says 3g of CoH - 1 g of fiber that would be 2 g of carbo’s right? " would still be 3 carbs.You only subtract fiber if the fiber is 5 or more so if you have 7 carbs and 5 of those are fiber then you only count 2 carbs. If you have 7 carbs and 4 are fiber then you count 7 carbs. There seems to be as many ways to count carbs as there are people with opinions as it looks like Atkins foods also subtract protein or a portion of it. My guess would be as long as you are consistent in how you count and know what the counts do to you, you should be good to go. Interesting that the watermelon spikes you as it has no apparent effect on my BG watermelon and cantaloupe both are or at least currently, who knows about next month, seem to be a free food for me. It’s a good thing as our cantaloupes are coming on like gangbusters, and they are quite good this year. now a tangerine will give me a spike, as will lactitol, one of the sugar alcohols.

You either have to count the exact carbs or count exchange. You can’t mix them. I count carbs

10-15 breakfast and lunch
15-20 for dinner

10-15 snacks (2)

If you were doing exchanges 1 exchange =15 carbs

Breakfast 1 exchange

Lunch 1 exchange

Dinner 1 1/2 exchange

Snack 1/2 - 1 exchange

Also most yogurts are 11-30 gr of carb
cheese 1 carb.
small banana 23 c, med 27, large 31

Pick up a small paperback book that lists all foods. I carry mine around with me.

Ok I tested a peach today, they go on my ‘not my friend’ list I was 83, 1 medium peach, I was at 121 in an hour and 85 in 2 hours big fast spike, no thank you. I prefer slower and extended time

I have two great books, but I’d have to carry a large purse even to just carry one, so I have a pocket book on order. That will make being out easier.

I had a meeting with my RDN today, and I told her the exact carbs would be easier, at least that is listed. AND when I make things like casseroles, etc I’d count each item I put in…much easier than remembering exchanges in my mind.

As for Yogurt, check out the WW yogurt, it lists 17 as it’s coh; most others I have looked at, and believe me I looked at every single one last week that our store carries…were well over that. The string cheese lists 0 carbs, and only 50 calories, so that made me happy. As for fruit, well, we all know that we have different tastes, and different “red lite” foods, mine are anything that has a large pit in it, peaches, nectarines, , mangoes, etc. But OJ and oranges don’t produce any kind of spike for me. YIPEE.

As for the counts, I get 150 - 175 per day…
so it’s divided like this; 30 for breakfast, 45 for lunch and dinner, and 15 per snack. It works, my BG’s have been down under my target mark for about four days now, AND I showed a 2.5 lbs loss.
double YIPEE, YIPEE.

Thanks for the help

Cathy J

BOO HISS, peaches are my enemy! Yes they are one of my favorite fruits, but because I ate a medium peach right before my driving test, well the eye test, I am wearing glasses for the next 6 years! Boo Hiss!