How do you count carbs?

Hi all,

I’m a writer with Diabetes Forecast magazine and I’m working on a story about carb counting. I’d like to feature five people, a mix of those with type 1 and type 2. I’m interested in interviewing each of the people this week or next to find out your tips for counting carbs.

I’ll be asking questions like: Do you memorize carb counts? Do you just guestimate? If so, how often do you guestimate? Do you have any tips or tricks you could share with our readers?

While I’m not sure if we’ll be photographing each person, I’d like each to be willing to be photographed.

If you’re interested (and especially if you have some great carb counting tips for newbies!) please e-mail me at

I’m hoping to schedule all interviews this week, and I’ll post a response once I’ve found enough people.

Tracey Neithercott

Not at all interested in a formal interview, but I can share that we use Calorie King, nutritional information on the back of the box or item, weigh all problematic foods on Salter scale (do not find a cup of cereal suggested as a serving on the cereal box matches the gram weight per serving, etc.); weigh all fruit on the Salter. Use carb factors for all baked items I do not have carb counts for. For instance will use carb factors for my own baked ziti as opposed to adding up all the carbs in the item and dividing by serving.

I use and a lot and look up each food if I do not already know the carb counts or if it is something that does not come with a nutrition label. I also look up the nutrition facts for restaurants that I will be going to eat at to look at the carb counts and decide on a meal before going out to eat. It does get easier to eat the same foods often because you already know the carb counts and how they affect your blood glucose.

I have been type 1 for 56 (approx) years. ? Carb counting. I have done it, not done it, and most of the time just guestimate. Problem is not the EXACT value of the carb - it also depends on a lot of other factors: People metabolize “carbs” differently. There are the “good carbs” and the “bad carbs”. It depends on your activity before you eat, after you eat. It depends on your stress level at the time of eating. There are a whole host of factors to count in along with the actual carb value. Its not black and white, its not one carb needs this amount of insulin and that is it. Its an absolute guessing game. I have survived being aware of carbs, counting carbs, everything and the only thing I can say is I am still alive ?? !!

Thank you so much to everyone who has contacted me. Right now I think I have enough people.

Thanks again!

I look up values through Calorie King, livestrong, Google, personal food records, and badger restaurant personnel if eating out.

Some values I’ve managed to memorize but very few relative to the variety I actually eat. After 15 months as a T1, I find myself referring less often to the physical copy of Calorie King I’ve always carried (which was rendered significantly lighter by tearing out the fast food pages) and relying on memory and Scientific Wild ■■■ Guesses (SWAG).

Like LiL Mama, if I know the restaurant before going out, I’ll look up the nutrition info online if it’s one of the .5 percent of non-fast food restaurants that have actually done this.

For the record, I hate it.

Anyone out there been so damn tired of it that they would rather skip a meal or avoid socializing than go through the count-and-shoot hassle?