Carb counting

brisr949

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
This is something ive often wondered about so asking not as an advice post but merely because its interested me and my apologies if its been asked by someone else recently.
My question is do many of you who have had diabetes a fair while even carb count anymore?
Can you just know by having had the meal many times over how many carbs are there?
Adam
 

trophywench

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Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
TBH - yes. Even though we have the same-ish meals, did we have red cabbage or buttered parsnips with it the last time? Boiled rice - or a jacket spud? etc etc etc.
 

Ian86

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Most of the time yes ill atleast look at the packaging and add it up, sometimes easier than others as some items have per pack aswell as per 100g so its easier to add if u have the whole thing.

I also weigh a lot of things digital scales make it a lot easier though. And there are times i best guess due to just not being bothered with it or having a take away that has no information.
 

Inka

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Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Yes, I still carb count but for regular repeat meals - ie meals I’ve had before - I don’t need to because I remember how much insulin I need for them. But for those meals I always have the same amount of carbs and use my digital scales. So, for example, if I have pasta and my normal homemade tomato sauce, I don’t count the carbs but I do weigh my pasta to ensure I have the ‘right’ amount. If for some reason I want more pasta than usual, I just portion up my insulin using the pasta formula I’ve remembered.

Obviously when I’m out, i’ll need to guess and I do that by eye. I don’t use any apps or books unless I need to look up a new or occasional food eg a tropical fruit I rarely eat.

I often eat the same(ish) breakfast and lunch or one of two or three options so I don’t carb count those, I just know how much insulin to have.
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I use a combination of ‘the dose and portion size that generally works out for this meal’ and newer / unknown meals which are calculated from scratch.

Ive always had a fairly approximate approach, totalling up the main carb contents from the most obvious source, and rounding up the other things so I don’t bother with counting lower carb elements (a third of a carrot, a bit of onion etc).

Main carb elements are measured total dry-weight (eg if having rice or pasta) and the results are divided equally between me and the 2 kids, so no weighing onto the plate is required.

Seems to work well enough most of the time.
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Good point @everydayupsanddowns I don’t count minor carbs either. I still largely go by the old booklet I was given at diagnosis (long since disintegrated). So most veg is ‘free’, nuts are ‘free’ too unless above a certain amount.

I also forgot to mention that lots of my recipe books have a ‘carbs per portion’ scribble added by me so that I don’t have to count the carbs if I make that meal again.
 

Toucan

Forum Host
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
My question is do many of you who have had diabetes a fair while even carb count anymore?
Can you just know by having had the meal many times over how many carbs are there?
Hello Adam
For me it varies.
Most of the time, I've got into a style of eating where I know more or less what the daily carb count is.
BUT sometimes (like now!) I'll find that my morning readings are creeping up again.
So I'll go back to keeping a daily carb diary, which sometimes let me spot what I'm eating that's different - or more often works because I am recording what I'm eating and the 'mindless' eating that was probably causing the trouble miraculously stops!
 

brisr949

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Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Thanks for all the interesting replies.
 

Barbie1

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Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
When I was diagnosed back in 1967, we were given an A4 sheet with three sections; free foods, restricted and best avoided (can’t actually remember too much about what they were called but you get the general picture.) I recall that everything was classified by how much was in one “portion” which was 10 grams Carbohydrate, so I grew up viewing everything by that. One hens egg sized potato, 1 tbsp beans peas or rice, I plain digestive biscuit (but two ghastly rich tea) etc etc.

Now 53 years on I rarely weigh anything, and judge everything by those old standards as a rough guess. I do though read packets if available but can never be sure exactly how much I will actually eat, (which would be the same even if I weighed anything first) as I have no realistic expectations of how much of a meal I will manage.

My control is probably lousy by most people’s standards, but I can’t get too excited about the odd extra or missing gram of CHO here and there, nor about the minutiae of the extra odd mmol in my bs readings

Not a good example I’m afraid!
 

SueEK

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Got to be honest Adam I have never carb counted, not religiously anyway. I just guess at what I have. I do have a Carbs and Cals book which I thoroughly looked at when first diagnosed for a number of weeks and planned my meals around that. Funnily enough at present I am working in a different place and am in a diabetic nurses room so have been looking at the book again, they have one here. Because I have a very boring limited menu, I'm too fussy by half, most of those meals are still what I have now so know they must be around the same amount of carbs per meal. Having said that recently I have not been so good but I know exactly what it is that I've had that is bad (bread) and so by removing that I should still be in the range of about 100-120 carbs a day. I am a skinny T2 so have to balance getting good bg readings and not losing weight. We are all very different in how we manage our T2 but of course we all aim for good bg levels.
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I think ‘carb counting’ is different depending on whether you’re on insulin or not. As a Type 1, I use the term “carb counting” to refer to counting the carbs in a meal in order to calculate the amount of bolus insulin I need to take.

I sometimes “Watch my carbs” if I feel I’m putting on weight or losing weight, but otherwise just choose what I’d call normal meals and ignore the daily carb total.
 

nonethewiser

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Would end up more out of range than in if didn't carb count, only time guess comes into place is eating out.

Example still weigh oats in morning pots pasta on evening, stick mainly with same breads so know count when having sarnie.
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I eat low carb so mostly avoid the high carb foods like bread, pasta, rice etc. I have the odd small potato or sweet potato portion and know by sight how much insulin I need for that portion. I sometimes have to factor in protein and fat because I eat very low carb.... approx. 40% of protein is broken down into glucose and 10%fat in the absence of carbs but I do this as a guestimate rather than weighing because unless I ate excessive amounts, it is only likely to be half a unit out.... for instance an egg is about 7g protein so a 2 egg omelette is only going to be about half a unit of insulin. I also tend to use basal insulin to cover this as the protein and fat provide much slower release glucose, so having I unit higher basal level than necessary is sometimes an easier way to cover it and perhaps take the opportunity to have a "free" apple or half a banana if I drop a little low.
The only time I have weighed stuff so far is if I have low carb granola for breakfast.
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
When I was diagnosed back in 1967, we were given an A4 sheet with three sections; free foods, restricted and best avoided (can’t actually remember too much about what they were called but you get the general picture.) I recall that everything was classified by how much was in one “portion” which was 10 grams Carbohydrate, so I grew up viewing everything by that. One hens egg sized potato, 1 tbsp beans peas or rice, I plain digestive biscuit (but two ghastly rich tea) etc etc.
Sounds almost verbatim what I had as an intro in 1991 @Barbie1 !
 

Barbie1

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Sounds almost verbatim what I had as an intro in 1991 @Barbie1 !
And as for the “5 chips” - that had me fighting my siblings for the largest ones each time!
Strange as it may seem I do still give a quick count on the odd occasion when I do have chips - must be deeply ingrained....
 
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