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Counting Carbs

Discussion in 'Parents of College Kids and Young Adults with Type' started by Tarheel84, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. Tarheel84

    Tarheel84 Approved members

    Sep 3, 2007
    When 1st diagnosed how difficult was it to learn to count carbs?.. Especially while eating out. I was at a greek festival this weekend and was thinking about this as I ordered a gyro and was trying to guess how many carbs were in it. ( My son doesn't count carbs yet...only on Lantus. I am just trying to learn for the future)

    I know about Calorie King but what do you do when eating out or at Potluck dinners. If you have to guess do you try to err on the low side? There's a couple of local fast food restaurants in town that don't list their nutritional values and it seems so overwhelming to try to estimate. How do you remember carb counts of different foods...do you keep a journal, use a PDA or just have great memories??

    Also, when drinking beer do you count those carbs and dose for that or take into consideration that alcohol can lower BG levels?

    Sorry these questions are so basic. This is still all so new to us.

  2. Nancy in VA

    Nancy in VA Approved members

    Jul 16, 2007
    Taking the Calorie King book with you is a big help. It has lots of things in there.

    I tend to look for something similar as reference. If we are going to a restaurant that won't publish their nutrition information (which we rarely do in protest to not having it), I do research their menu and then check calorie king for comparable carb counts for what she might order.

    I have a pretty good memory and can probably spout off 50 or so items that my daughter eats regularly that I know the carb count of.

    I usually would underestimate. My daughter is 2 and her doses are calculated to the .1 unit and believe it or not, that .1 makes a difference. I don't like her to go low, so I'd rather her run a little high than a little low, so I will err on the side of fewer carbs.

    A couple of rules of thumb we were taught: 1/2 cu of many starches and fruits is 15g. 1/2 cup would be the inside of a woman's cupped hand. 1 ounce of bread or baked goods (ie brownies and cake) is 15 ounces, so if you can weigh some things at home and start to get familiar with how heavy 1 ou and 2 ou feels, you can also use that when you are out and about.
  3. BrendaK

    BrendaK Neonatal Diabetes Registry

    Oct 29, 2005
    It's overwhelming when you first start counting carbs, but once you get over the learning curve, it becomes second nature.

    Having a scale and weighing/measuring everything at first will give you a good estimate of what things are when you eat out. When we eat out, I tend to guesstimate the carbs, then add another 25% or so because restaurant food is so deceiving and always has more carbs/calories than you think. Or you can take a travel scale with you to a restaurant and weigh your food. We have never done that -- we just guess when we eat out, and it's usually is pretty accurate. Fries have alot more carbs than you think, too.

    Hmmmm...potluck dinners. A general rule for a casserole is 1 cup is about 30grams of carbs. That can vary, but is usually a good starting place.

    And remember practice makes perfect :cwds:
  4. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

    Sep 10, 2006
    They started me counting carbs in the hospital, with inaccurate carb counts- :( It couldn't get anything but better from there.
    My mother took over making food for me for a while, which got old fast; I don't want to be babied, thanks.
    After about six months we stopped counting exact carbs, but look up foods we're not familiar with to get better estimates.
    I have a WAY better memory than other diabetics I've met in terms of knowing how many carbs are in various foods, and that really helps.
  5. Hollyb

    Hollyb Approved members

    Dec 15, 2005
    Aaron is like Lantus fiend -- he seemed to memorize "standard" carb counts almost overnight. While I'm fumbling in a book searching for something or other, he has the whole meal figured out.

    He recently spent a week at camp -- no scale, no measuring cup, no carb counts, eyeballed and guessed at everything. Had great BGs and only a couple of very minor lows. He knows how much the hamburger buns, bread, pita, taco shells, etc. we usually use and home are, and uses that as a frame of refefence to compare to what he's eating when he's away. It usually works out.

    And yes, when in doubt and especially in situations where he needs to play it safe, he lowballs a bit and corrects later if needed.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2007
  6. OSUMom

    OSUMom Approved members

    Sep 10, 2006
    In the beginning we looked at Calorie King, nutritional menus of restaurants online, campus restaurant nutrition info online, nutrition info on boxes, bread bags, etc.... My son has a great memory for this stuff. For a potluck or eating out or in now, he will guess. He's on a pump, so he can make corrections later if it is needed. He's actually very good at it - but certainly not always.

    We bought a scale. We/He never uses it.

    This morning for the first time he had a Starbucks white mocha coffee on the way to the OSU vs. Akron football game - Go Bucks!!! Since I went in to buy it - I got a nutritional pamphlet and looked up the exact carbs and told him. Now, if he were buying it, he would have guessed.

    Beer - count the carbs, don't drink on an empty stomach. Moderation is key. You want to be careful of going low later - test before going to bed. Can anyone else help me out with this one?
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2007

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