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Basics of Carbohydrate Counting
The nutrients in food can be separated into three main groups:
Blood glucose levels are most affected by the CARBOHYDRATE content of
Carbohydrates are an important part of a balanced diet and can be an
excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fiber
Adjusting the INSULIN dose based on the amount of CARBOHYDRATE that
will be eaten is critical to keep blood glucose levels in the target range
Foods that contain carbohydrate are:
Grains (pasta, rice, cereal, bread)
Starchy vegetables (potato, corn, peas, plantain)
Fruits & fruit juices
Milk products (milk, yogurt, ice-cream)
Sugar & sweets
Foods that contain carbohydrates must be “counted” so that the proper
dose of insulin can be given
Meat, meat products, eggs, cheese, fish, fat & oil, nuts and non-starchy
vegetables contain little or no carbohydrates.
Not Carbs:
**When consuming a reasonable portion size, these foods do not need to
be “counted”
Foods that contain little or no carbohydrate may be considered “free”
foods that do not require insulin coverage
Your care plan will include a ratio of 1 unit of insulin for every _______
grams of carbohydrates
This ratio may need to be adjusted to assure that you are getting the right
amount of insulin for your carbohydrate intake
Benefits of carbohydrate counting
All foods can fit in your meal plan, sweets are not eliminated
There is greater flexibility and freedom to choose what and when to eat
Better control can be achieved by matching insulin to carbohydrate
Carbohydrate counting gives you more control of your diabetes care