Need Assurance with Carb Counting

Hello everyone!

Well I just wanyed to ask, so I just started with carb counting and yes I am a type 1 diabetic and since forever never tried carb counting, it was too much for me, but now I am in a not so rigorous plan, but I want to know how much carbs can I actually have during one big meal i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner, when I actually sum up all the gram of carbs I eat they are dancing between 46g to 55g to 60g max, I already asked the nurse that I follow up with but she tells me that it really doesnt matter since I have to have carbs, but my concern is that I am making this idea of how much do I really need and NOT GO OVER THAT PARTICULAR NUMBER!!! I need help! Can someone help me clear up the air a bit?

Thanx for reading this!

Learning to carb count is a very useful tool. It helps you correctly determine your carb to insulin ratio so you can get your rapid insulin dialed in.

I have found it extremely helpfully to use measuring cups and a gram food scale to weight my portions as I was learning carb counting and portion control. If you combine that with online nutrition sites like calorieking, livestrong, myfitnesspal you will quickly learn to recognise the carb content of a lot of foods.

Once you have these skills down then you can start to eat to your meter. By knowing what your pre meal number was, how many carbs you ate, and what your peak was after, and how much insulin you took as your pre meal bolus, then you can start to see if you meals and insulin play well together.

Each person is different. Some can do more carbs than others, some can do carbs at dinner but not breakfast, some can do potatoes but not bread, some can do pasta but not potatoes.

You will need to try out various types of carbs, in different amounts and at different times of day. Once you work out how your body works then you will be able to decide how many carbs will work for you. What you can eat with out spiking too high will be individual for you and will more than likely be different from what I or others on the boards can do.

By testing BG in relation to what you eat you will be able to decide what works best for you.

Do you have a diabetes dietician you could consult with? Probably just 1-2 sessions would do the trick.
I am trying to take off some weight in a sensible way, and the dietician suggested is do 30 gm for breakfast and 50 gm each for lunch and dinner, along with lot of veggies and a moderate portion of protein.
If you are consistent with eating the same approximate amount of carbs each day/eachmeal. then you should have good luck in matching the appropriate amount of insulin.
Good luck - you can do it!

When we say carb counting we often mean the skill of estimating the number of carbs in a meal that sits in front of us. For many of us we want to know that number so that we can adjust our insulin dose properly for the meal. Others want to carb count so that they can fix, limit or restrict the carbs in their meal. Despite what anyone will tell you carb counting is one part science and two parts art. To become really good you will end up learning the carb counts of many foods. And eventually you will find that you need to adjust your counting to match yourself as an individual (for instance wheat causes me real problems so I double count wheat products). As Kathy suggests, meeting with an educator will be a great way to start. They will also likely suggest (or even give you) references such as CalorieKing which lets you look up the carb counts for common foods. Learning to carb count can give you the freedom to choose your meals and adapt your insulin dosing to the meal.

ps. And despite what your nurse said, you don't have to have carbs. You can choose to eat less carbs if you find it helpful (and many of us do).

Thank you all for giving me pointers, I have actually ended up having a calorieking bookwith all the carbs of food, well now I know I can choose to have or not alot of carbs and like I mentioned this is all new to me since it is the first time I actually go in depth in counting carbs dilingently, but I guess I can work with whatI feel comfortable with, either way I will ask the nurse to see a dietician so Ican discuss the quantity of carbs I have for each meal.

Do you have a smart phone? There are a lot of diet apps (lose-it) is my favorite that make estimating carbs in unknown foods easier. In reality though, for me, 95% of carb counting is based on experience and not precise counting. For example— at my work the bread comes in bulk packaging with no nutritional info— I know that 5 of novolog isn’t quite enough and 7 was too many— therefore I know one sandwich at my work requires 6 units and I consider my lunch IC ratio to be 1:6 therefore a sandwich counts as 36…

However, a can of my favorite chili says the whole can contains 40 grams of carbs— at 1:6 this would mean about 6.5u of novolog— however I know that 6+u of novolog without would send my blood glucose plummeting— so every can of chili in my cupboard has a “24” magic markered on its lid— because to me, it’s 24 carbs, for my purposes its 4 units of insulin— I have rules of thumb like this for pretty much everything I eat, I learned these patterns by incessant note-taking, comparing nutritional info to results, etc. it’s not exactly the scientific method but the results are what I want