Food consists of several nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein and fats. Every nutrient gets converted into either energy or a stored form of energy. For instance, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and generate energy that runs the body. Counting your carbs helps you from major blood sugar fluctuations. Carbs counting is the addition of the grams of carbs that have to be eaten so that the right amount of insulin will get for the food.
Why count carbs?
- It matches insulin release with the food eaten
- Manages blood sugar levels to avoid highs and lows
Carb counting tools
Carb counting includes knowing how much food is being eaten.
We can use:
Measuring cups and spoons
Using cups, spoons and a food scale is a helpful tool to count carbs. Measuring food gives an estimate of how much it will look like on a plate, while a bowl or glass helps to better determine the amount when you are not at home.
Hands are also a better estimating tool to measure portion size, even when you are not at home.
Methods for carb counting
There are several ways to count carbs that can either be used particularly or in a combination with another method.
Other sources of carbs counting:
Estimating carbohydrates content in foods
It’s the estimation of carbs based on serving size. This method helps you when you don’t have any idea about carbs content in a certain food. For example, when you are in a restaurant, where you don’t have nutritional information, you can predict the carbs by using this method.
There are certain foods and serving sizes that contain carbs:
1 slice of bread (15 g of carbs)
100 g poha (18.8 g of carbs)
1 roti ( 15 g of carbs)
6 crackers (15 g of carbs)
100 g legume (14 g of carbs)
100 g boiled lentils ( 20 g of carbs)
2 puri (26.1 g of carbs)
One bar of milk chocolate ( 26 g of carbs)
100 g of sweet potato ( 20 g of carbs)
100 g cooked rice (28 g of carbs)
Sweets and desserts
2 small cookies ( 15 g of carbs)
½ cup ice cream ( 15 g of carbs)
100 g of puff pastry ( 45 g of carbs)
One brownie ( 12 g of carbs)
1 tbsp sugar/maple syrup (13 g of carbs)
1 tbsp syrup, jam, jelly, honey or sugar (15 g of carbs)
1 cup milk (12 g of carbs)
100 of plain yoghurt ( 4.7 g of carbs)
One boiled egg (0.6g of carbs)
100 g of greek yoghurt ( 3.6 g of carbs)
One tbsp butter ( 0 g of carbs)
100 g of cheese (1.3 g of carbs)
Fruits and juices
One cup vegetable juice ( 18 g of carbs)
One cup apple juice ( 28 g of carbs)
One cup orange juice (26 g of carbs)
One cup tomato juice (10g of carbs)
4 fresh apricots (15 g of carbs)
One cup grape juice (37 g of carbs)
An apple (25 g of carbs)
1 large kiwi ( 15 g of carbs)
One medium-sized banana (27 g of carbs)
One cup of grapes (16 g of carbs)
100g of watermelon (8g)
2 tbsp dried fruits (15 g of carbs)
Carb meal size
Your doctor might ask to guess how much carbs you eat based on your meal’s sizes. Thus, when you have a round figure in your mind, you will be able to guess the carb content. For instance, a doctor may help a person to figure out that a small carb snack might contain 15g of carbs.
For a quick estimation, a small carb meal is taken as 30g of carbs, a medium carb meal as 60 grams of carbs and a large carb meal about 90 grams of carbs. While some people might have different carb meal sizes where a small meal is about 30grams, the medium is 45 grams and large is about 60 grams of carbs.
People can estimate their carbs intake through the approximate figures of meals and can take meals according to that.
Protein and fat: proteins and fats impact glucose levels too along with carbohydrates. Foods such as eggs, meat, seafood, oils, seafood, and nuts.
Certain meals like scrambled eggs have high protein and little to no carbs, people need to find insulin based on the protein amount in their meal. This is to be noted that, while setting bolus for fat and protein, frequently check your blood sugar levels to know what’s best for you.
High-fat foods like cheese or meat or 100% fat oils can impact blood glucose in two ways. Some people become resistant to insulin when consuming high-fat foods, and require additional insulin. Fats slow down digestion and affect blood glucose levels. Thus, carbohydrates are eaten with fat and move easily into the bloodstream.
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