It is a planned meal where the amount of carbohydrates to be taken in every meal is calculated. Food we consume is broken down into 3 main types of nutrients – Carbohydrates, fats, proteins. Carbohydrates are mainly sugars and starch which is the main source of energy. Diabetic patients need to be careful about the amount of Carbohydrates they eat as it raises their blood sugar levels.
- Rice, Bread, pasta and cereals
- Vegetables containing starch and fruits
- Cookies, cakes, confectionaries etc
- Milk and milk products
Uses of Carbohydrate counting
- Helps in adjusting the right doses of insulin to be taken before meals and snacks as insulin dose depends upon what is eaten (i.e the amount of Carbohydrates) and how much exercise is done.
- Helps in figuring out the amount of meals and snacks that can be eaten every day.
- Optimizing the blood sugar control –Dividing the amount of carbohydrates over the whole day keeps the blood sugar level under better control.
Method of carbohydrate counting
Every food mainly the packed ones have a nutrition label that has to be looked for. In the nutrition label, look for:
- “Total Carbohydrate” number –shows the amount of carbohydrates in 1 serving size of the food.
- “Serving size” – shows how much food is in 1 serving.
- “Dietary fiber” – Fibre is also a Carbohydrate that is not digested and so does not raise blood sugar. Diabetics should be encouraged to consume more of fibers. If taking more fibres, those on Insulin will need reduced doses.
Dietary plan – A balanced diet is to be eaten depending on age, weight and physical activity. Carbohydrate consumption can be distributed over the entire day. The meals should comprise of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low fat milk, healthy proteins and dairy products. It is important to know that eating extra snacks can cause increased sugar levels leading to numerous complications. For more details on Diet call us on 8008166166