I’ve noticed that sometimes, with prepackaged foods, the listed carbohydrate counts don’t seem to match up with my insulin requirements (carb counting on an insulin pump).
I can explain some of the issues, but not all. Examples:
- At work, I almost always bring my lunch. Sometimes, I bring frozen meals. If I take a frozen Asian meal that lists, say, 50g of carbohydrates from rice plus whatever carbs might be in the sauce and/or vegetables, for this brand, I usually have to tell my pump I only had about 35g. Otherwise, I go low. Every time.
- For breakfast, I often eat various flavors of granola bar. I always take insulin for the exact carb count listed on the package. But my blood sugar always spikes rapidly after eating them. I guess the carbs digest too fast for the insulin? The effect is less noticeable if I give myself a longer lag between taking the insulin and eating, but that doesn’t completely prevent it.
- Pizza. If I eat restaurant pizza from literally anywhere, I have to take the published carb count and add about 50% or I go high. I’ve found it works best if I take the insulin in stages, some before I eat, some during, and then some after. I’m guessing this is the high fat content coming into play?
I’m careful to make sure I count these correctly, taking into account serving size, etc., so it isn’t that. And these are not one-time events but a steady pattern that I see every time I eat specific foods. There are other instances where I mess up my blood sugar that might be from mis-counting homemade foods or etc., but these are cases where I’m not having to estimate the quantities. They’re literally on the package.
Do you ever have problems with carbohydrate counting like this? Is this because different carbs digest at different rates or that some spike blood sugar levels differently? Or am I just finding that not all packaging is accurate?