If you have been reading our newspaper series “Journeys in Home Care” you have learned about the importance of meal planning and carbohydrate counting to manage your diabetes. So what is carbohydrate counting?
Carbohydrates from the food you eat are broken down by the body into sugar to use for energy. If you eat more carbohydrates than your body can use, your blood sugar can climb to an unhealthy level. Keeping track of how many carbohydrates you eat – counting carbohydrates – and checking your blood sugar levels before and after meals will help you learn just how many you should eat throughout the day.
Counting carbohydrates doesn’t have to be difficult. Use a carbohydrate counter to add up all the carbohydrates in the food you will be eating at a meal. Carbohydrate counters are available at your local pharmacy or book store. You can also look at the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods. That label will tell you total carbohydrates along with other important information such as total calories and serving size.
Ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator to help you with meal planning and carbohydrate counting. They can review with you how many grams of carbohydrates per meal or snack you should eat.
Counting carbohydrates is a great meal planning method for people with diabetes. The more accurate you are at counting, the better you can be at managing your diabetes.